FvF x FFF Portrait – Fons Hickmann

FvF x FFF Portrait – Fons Hickmann

We’ve teamed up with Freunde von Freunden to bring you an exclusive look into the lives of creatives from around the world. Starting off with Fons Hickmann, who founded Fons Hickmann m23 in 2001 in Berlin with Bjoern Wolf.

Their work focuses on the design of complex communication systems and is working mainly in the cultural field, ranking among today’s most awarded design studios. The studio lends its expertise to everything related to events, communication and visual identity.

Here’s short excerpt from the interview…

Which clients are your favourite?

I really appreciate clients from the cultural and social sector. Semperoper, theatre festivals, music labels, Amnesty International… it is a great gain to work with cultured people who respect and understand what we do. It was a hard road to be where we are now, to be able to choose for whom we want to work for. But the work was worth it and continues to be. Working with equally respected clients means that both sides will profit, be feared, and will learn from each other. For me it is very important to work with people I like. This is a good idea: never work with assholes.

Can you tell us about your journey as a designer that turned you into what you are today?

I don’t consider myself as a designer. I also studied philosophy which still influences me today. During my studies I mainly did artistic work, even though I couldn’t truly handle the etiquette of art and design.

I did my diploma under a painter, Dieter Glasmacher. This man put an immense amount of life into his teaching. He showed me the true importance of passion in work and that one should be willing to burn for it. At the end the medium of expression didn’t matter – I still don’t know how to paint. However, the work needed to express an idea. Something you feel or something that shows a bridge between heart and brain. I underwent this journey until I understood that design was best for my expression. It was so beautiful to realise that people understood what I did. The idea that design is not something hermetical but should communicate with words and prove its relevance.

Of yours, Uwe Loesch also influenced me greatly, under whom I studied in Wupperal. Still to this day he is one of the smartest designer celebrities that I know. That’s how I became a designer.

Do you have a favourite piece of furniture or object in your flat?

I really like my action figurines. The salamander figures come from the shoe store of my parents. As a child I used to play with them in the shop windows. My books are also really important to me, both literature and novels. Books change over the years, they live! Even the stories of a book alter, the content always changes. Just like Heraclitus said, one couldn’t step twice into the same river; for the other waters are ever flowing on to you.

Check out the full interview at Freunde von Freunden.

Glenn Garriock