INTERVIEWS

Paper Collective

Som selvstændig journalist bliver jeg boblende glad, når jeg møder folk i branchen, der har modet til at stå på egne ben og tro så meget på deres eget projekt, at de satser hele butikken. Da jeg rendte ind i Morten Kaaber til Design Awards 14, var det netop dét, han havde gjort. Han havde lige sagt farvel til et solidt job som marketing director hos Room Copenhagen for at gå all in på sit sideprojekt, Paper Collective. Her når han helt ud til danske hjem med sine plakater fulde af fortælling. Se, hvad manden med de mange kasketter sagde om gode råd, plakater og mandag morgener.

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Hvad er din baggrund, og hvad laver du i dag?

Jeg har en uddannelse fra Copenhagen Business School og har arbejdet med marketing og branding i designbranchen for bla. Muuto og Room Copenhagen. Nu er jeg iværksætter og altmuligmand i mit eget firma, Paper Collective.

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Hvorfor har I startet Paper Collective?

Paper Collective var egentlig et idealistisk projekt, hvor vi ville skabe den type virksomhed, vi selv gerne ville arbejde i. Det skulle være kreativt, bygge på en god brandhistorie og vigtigst af alt ville vi vise, at man kan lave en god forretning, som ikke bare er profitabel, men også kan være bæredygtig og velgørende. Så vi endte med en model, hvor vi donerer en del af vores omsætning til velgørenhed hvert år.

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Hvad er det første, du tænker på mandag morgen?

Først tænker jeg i lang tid på kaffe, og når den tanke er skyllet væk, så prøver jeg at sætte mig nogle få, men konkrete mål for dagen. Når man som jeg står for alt fra logistik til kundeservice, skal man holde tungen lige i munden for også at få taget nogle af de initiativer, der gør en forskel på længere sigt.

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Hvad er den vildeste oplevelse i din karriere?

Da jeg som helt nyuddannet endte som gæstetaler på en designfestival i Polen for at underholde 300 gæster om nordisk design i en time. Med 48 timers varsel.

Hvad har været den største udfordring i din karriere?

Spørg mig igen om 30 år.

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Hvilke råd ville du give til dig selv, da du var yngre?

Tag det roligt. Stol på din mavefornemmelse. Sæt færre mål, hvis du jagter for mange ting, så når du ingen af dem.

Hvad er dit næste projekt?

Vi arbejder hårdt på både små og store designsamarbejder for næste år. Samtidig har vi adskillige kreative samarbejder for Paper Collective, som vil flytte endnu flere af vores plakater ud til vores glade kunder.

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Hvad drømmer du om?

At vi kan skabe en bæredygtig succes og på sigt forhåbentlig skabe nogle gode arbejdspladser for andre end os selv.

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Hvorfor laver I plakater?

Du kan fokuserer fuldt ud på form og den historie, der fortælles, når du har at gøre med plakater. Den historiefortælling er der noget befriende simpelt over.

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Hvordan vælger I jeres designere?

I og med vi ikke selv designer vores plakater, er vores vigtigste opgave at vælge de rigtige mennesker at samarbejde med og skabe de optimale rammer for dem og deres værker. Samtidig kan vi sammensætte en bredt favnende kollektion, der ikke er begrænset af vores eget kreative udtryk eller manglende evner.

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As a freelance journalist I am ecstatically happy when I meet people in the industry who have the courage to stand on their own feet and believe so much in their own project that they are willing to go all-in. When I ran into Morten Kaaber at the Design Awards 14, it was exactly what he had done. He had just said goodbye to a solid job as marketing director at Room Copenhagen to go all-in on his side project, Paper Collective. Here, he reaches out to Danish homes with his posters full of stories. See what the man with the many titles said about good advice, posters and Monday mornings.

What is your background and what are you doing today?

I have a degree from Copenhagen Business School and have worked in marketing and branding in the design industry for, among others, Muuto and Room Copenhagen. Now I am an entrepreneur and handyman in my own company, Paper Collective.

Why have you started Paper Collective?

Paper Collective was really an idealistic project where we would create the kind of company we ourselves wanted to work in. It should be creative, build on a good, hot story and, most importantly, we wanted to prove that you can make a good business, which is not only profitable, but also may be sustainable and charitable. So we ended up with a model where we donate a portion of our revenue to charity each year.

What is the first thing you think about Monday morning?

First, I think about coffee for a long time, and when that thought has been washed down, I try to give myself a few, but specific goals for the day. When you are responsible for everything from logistics to customer service, you have to stay focused and also be ready to take some of the initiatives that make a difference in the long run.

What’s the craziest experience in your career?

When I, as a recent graduate, ended up as a guest speaker on a design festival in Poland to entertain 300 guests about Nordic Design for an hour. With 48 hours’ notice.

What has been the biggest challenge in your career?

Ask me again in 30 years.

What advice would you give to yourself when you were younger?

Take it easy. Trust your gut feeling. Set fewer goals, because if you chase too many things, you end of reaching none of them.

What is your next project?

We work hard at both small and large design collaborations for next year. At the same time, we have several creative collaborations for Paper Collective, which would shift even more of our posters out to our happy customers.

What do you dream about?

That we can create sustainable success and eventually and hopefully create some good jobs for anyone but ourselves.

Why are you doing posters?

You can focus fully on the form and the story that is being told, when you are dealing with posters. There is something liberatingly simple about that kind of storytelling.

How do you choose your designers?

Because we do not design our posters ourselves, our main task is to choose the right people to work with and create the optimal environment for them and their works. At the same time, we can put together a comprehensive collection, which is not limited by our own creative expression or lack of skill.

 

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