On thursday evening I went to the Erik Kessels talk at the Manchester Conference Centre. I found him very down to earth and easy going but quirky and one of those designers who’s able to do whatever the hell he wants and leaves me wondering how he managed it.
He’s the co-founder of agency KesselsKramer in Amsterdam but admits he wouldn’t have had the courage to set up the company if he hadn’t moved to London in 1993 to work for Chiat/Day, he was fired after two years for giving a presentation to a client in a chicken suit. Those crazy Dutch.
Work from KesselKramer which most of the attendees of Amsterdam 2011 can relate to is their campaign for the Hanz Brinker hotel which the branded as “The Worst Hotel In The World” and surprisingly it worked out really well for the hotel and increased their bookings year by year.
Erik is also a passionate collector of anonymous photographs and spends his free time searching through flea markets around europe. One of the most interesting collections he found was of a Dutch woman who went to a fairground shooting gallery every year and every time she hit the target it triggered the shutter of a camera which photographed her creating a chronological photo album beginning in 1936!
I’m pretty sure he said she is now 93, and still shooting. These photograph collections can be found in their “In Almost Every Picture” photography magazines by KesselsKramer publishing.
Another funny collection he has is In Almost Every Picture 9 which is of a families collection of photographs of their black dog and how every single photograph they have of it turns out like this…
Until the final picture where they manage to turn up the exposure and finally see the dog
The collections wouldn’t be appreciated as much if you didn’t know the story behind them and both are lovely, if not humorous narratives and even heartwarming.
I wanted to go to the talk to find out the explanation behind kesselskramer.com because their website changes to a more hideous website every time you click on it. Their reasoning is that every agency website is the same and they find it boring so they created 200 different websites which are are really awful but relate to a piece of work they have produced. Amazing.