February '18 Guest Collection: Johanna Stark

February '18 Guest Collection: Johanna Stark

The "Love/Hate" collection is designed by Johanna Stark

For our first guest collection of 2018, we got in touch with local designer, Johanna Stark. She's an extremely talented illustrator and graphic designer that uses color and loose form to its best. Her designs are inspired by the world around her and how she interacts with it. Her guest design is no different. A playful and humorous blend of things that make our city what it is, you are guaranteed to love/hate them all. From the giant rose in Folkets park to the rats that scurry through our streets, this design is Malmö from top to bottom. Johanna has even thrown in some special illustrations that only the most die-hard Malmöites will recognize. Can you guess them all?

The collection consists of two A5 postcards, a cotton gym bag, a white fitted t-shirt, and a super soft zip hoodie. All garments are printed on Neutral garments and screen printed at Malmö Screen Print. All paper items are printed at AtGraphiken print shop in downtown Malmö. 

Johanna's collection is printed in limited quantities and designed exclusively for Malmö Clothing Co.


We asked Johanna a few questions about herself and life in Malmö:

What is the inspiration behind the design?
The inspiration is kind of a mashup of what Malmö is for me - the constant mix of great and shitty things, all blended together in a modest sized city.

What technique or process did you use to create the design?
I started out with hand drawn sketches using different colors of markers and posca pens, then I cut out the shapes and moved them around - often I feel more inspired working by hand than on the computer. But sooner or later I end up scanning everything of course, since somethings makes more sense doing on the computer, like changing colors and so on.

Where did you grown up and how long have you lived in Malmö?
Growing up I moved around a bit, but my first years I spent in a super small village called Vomb, about 45 minutes from Malmö. It’s a great place, with a big forest, three lakes and nice old houses. My parents still live there, and it’s always really nice to go visit them. We also lived a couple of years in Chicago (quite a contrast!) and two years in Italy. I think that moving around made me feel that the world is very accessible, and that opportunities are endless.. A very positive thing to learn at an early age I think.

I’ve lived in Malmö for five years, but before that I lived in Lund for some time and even then I would hang out a lot in Malmö.

What do you do for work?
Many different things! But I mainly see myself as an graphic designer and illustrator. I also work part time as a visual merchandiser and sales person at Marimekko, and lately I’ve been managing their flagship store in Copenhagen. I’ve also been working as a costume assistant at a movie set, done some copywriting and held lectures at an art school. If something interesting comes my way, I jump in! I’m also currently working on a new lifestyle brand with my boyfriend. Whatever I do though, I always try to carve out a couple days a week for creative work.

What do you do for fun?
Travel! Mainly to destinations where the weather is nice and the surf is up! Every winter me and my boyfriend escape winter in Malmö for a month or two and go somewhere to rest, surf and draw. For me this gives energy and new ideas for the year to come, as well as feeling grateful for what we have at home, a nice apartment and a great welfare system…

What keeps you here in Malmö?
I love that everything is so accessible, that you can walk or take your bike all over town. Also having the ocean nearby means a lot. And of course, the diversity, having lots of different cultures in one city almost makes me feel like I’m traveling all the time, which for me is very positive! And over all I think that Malmö has a nice relaxed vibe, people take time to just hang out and have a coffee or beer.

What’s one thing you would change about Malmö?
The weather! If someone could just make the wind stop a couple more days a year that would be really nice. And add some waves to Öresund! There has been some talk about a wave garden though, would be awesome if that went through.

What makes Malmö a place that’s worth visiting?
I would say the overall nice vibe and the many good places to eat. And that it’s a city where you can walk to everything!

Best coffee in town?
Cafe nr 6, a nice small coffee bar in our neighborhood

Best falafel in town?
Jalla jalla! Loud party music 24/7, friendly staff & obviously good falafel!

Best bar for a beer or cocktail in town?
For beer and a pizza: Family pub at Nobelvägen - a true home away from home where the staff makes everyone feel like their friends. 

What should every tourist know about Malmö when they visit?
That the summer usually lasts like two days - and you never really know if it’s in June or September. People are generally really friendly, ask for help and you will most likely get it! Lilla Torg of course has some nice buildings, but try walking 30 minutes in any direction away from it and you will discover some really nice places.

Where can we find more of your work?
On Instagram @johannastark or my website johannastark.se


Johanna's top 5 places to visit in Malmö:

  • Djuphavsbadet - for a dip in the sea from the rocks (if your lucky and score one of those two summer days)
  • The area around St Knut - for fika

  • Slottsträdgården - an amazing garden in the middle of the city, surrounded by a nice park.
  • St Pauli graveyard - a great place for walking around and checking out some really neat gravestone designs, but also a really nice, calm and well kept garden
  • Yoga Kendra - the best yoga studio ever, amazing teachers & warm atmosphere. Go for a drop in class, they have all kinds of yoga.


Johanna's top 5 places to eat at in Malmö:

  • Lyran - a set five course menu, they just show you which ingredients they’ve got, and then it’s a surprise what they make. Perfect for people that have a hard time with decisions!
  • Bastard - great interior, cozy courtyard and super nice food with locally produced ingredients. Don’t miss the stone oven made pizza in the summer!
  • Scandwich at Mitt Möllan - so much more than a sandwich, it’s more like a world class meal on a piece of sourdough bread
  • Green mango - good Thai food both for lunch & dinner
  • Casual - burgers that are hard to beat, this is where we often end up after a long day of work