One day the city is struck with horror. A criminal is moving through town spreading havoc and disaster! A grammatical gangster, a linguistic lunatic! No one is safe in a city literally transformed by disorder…

My name is Oskar Laurin, I work as an Illustrator and Graphic designer and I am based in Stockholm, Sweden. For the last three years I’ve been studying at Konstfacks bachelor programme in Graphic design and Illustration. My bachelor project Bokstavstjuven (The Letter Thief) is a typographic detective-story that leads us through a city literally transformed by disorder. The starting point for the project was signs in the cityscape where letters had disappeared, revealing new strange messages. Signs that often become objects of the absurd, objects that tell potential stories. I use these possible stories and fantasies in my book.

In this project I’m interested in how I, as an illustrator and designer, can approach the picture book, an object of total design and storytelling. I want to look at and reveal the similarities between design and illustration and use them both as tools of visual communication and storytelling. My working method is often shaped by a personal approach to the tools and techniques that I use. In this project I have used a xerox-machine as my main sketching tool, experimenting with different ways of layering in a technique similar to screen-printing. The result is an expression that is aware of and stays close to the actual production, letting it become a part of the actual image-making. A merging between production and reproduction with the final image in focus.

Making a picture book is a tedious process and has left me with a deepend respect for those who make them. During the process my biggest difficulties were to achieve a balance between image, text, and design and to allow for the unexpected. An important reflection was that you can start telling a story through images just as well as with text. The democratic set-up between image, text and book allows for it and makes it possible for me to approach storytelling on the same terms as those of a writer.

This summer Bokstavstjuven has been shown at Form/Design Center in Malmö, it was also awarded with The Swedish Graphic Companies Federations scholarship for best graduation-work of 2015. In september Bokstavstjuven will be shown at Gothenburg Library alongside other fantastic picture book and storytelling projects from Konstfack and HDK.

 “Bokstavstjuven” by Oskar Laurin.

“Bokstavstjuven” by Oskar Laurin.

Oskar Laurin (f. 1988) is an Illustrator and Graphic designer based in Stockholm, Sweden. Oskar is studying Visual communication at Konstfack (2012-2017) and has contributed to since 2015.