A lifetime with letters
70 years of creative talent. Bo Linnemann’s life is one that is tightly intertwined with typography design. It was in the 1980’s where this relationship officially came to fruition, with the founding of design agency Kontrapunkt alongwith Kim Meyer Andersen. A design agency that quickly proved to have weight, it has now established itself as one of the leading brand and design agencies in Scandinavia with offices in Copenhagen and Tokyo.
Linnemann’s familiarity with typography, however, goes further back. Its first initial steps were taken on his childhood streets in Gentofte, where Knud V. Engelhardt’s characteristic typography with red hearts adorning the street signs. It was in 1923 that Engelhardt began to draw the type that would ultimately inspire Linnemann decades later. Engelhardt’s personal and humanistic typography sowed the seed for Linnemann’s career and passion devoted to type design.
Linnemann himself describes that the work with design has contributed to an essential understanding of how art and craft can be used to influence something or someone:
I experience on a daily basis that design can be used as a tool to explore and solve issues in society. Personally, I use design as a toolbox to create enduring value for brands. Specifically, to translate human needs and ideas into something meaningful that moves, inspires and contributes to something bigger.
Today, Bo Linnemann turns 70, where the majority of his life has been devoted to the craft. With his approach to design, Linnemann has solidified a central role within the Danish and international design world, where he constantly works to make a difference with the design agency Kontrapunkt.
Linnemann’s noticeable expressions can be located throughout our cities, therefore, it’s a difference we experience daily.
We experience it through the rebranding of large international businesses such as Ørsted and Lego. We experience it on the move and in transit with DSB or Copenhagen’s Metro. And of late, we experience it with our eyes gravitating towards Denmark’s newly formed government, where the legislative sovereignty establishes itself with designs crafted from Linnemann’s hand.
For Bo Linnemann, the half a lifetime as design director, owner, and co-founder of Kontrapunkt, has been grounded in a lifetime of familiarity with letters.
A lifetime with letters that started with a heart over the i. Happy Birthday, Bo.
Best of Bo
It’s impossible to collect the best of Bo’s work and make it fit into a seemingly sizeable presentation. It’s a long legacy of typography and design, whereas we can only showcase a brief collage. But to cheat you from a quick tour de force of (at least) some of Bo’s work would be an atrocity.
So here it follows. The best of Bo.
Seventy years of creativity and craftsmanship deserve a celebration. A warm-felt thank you for being the spine of Kontrapunkt. We couldn't design to excite and inspire change without you!
Bo Linnemann has been responsible for countless brand and design programmes for businesses all over the world. Among them are Mitsubishi Motors, Shiseido, Microsoft, IKEA, Denso, Nissan, Andersen Bakery, Tasaki, LEGO, DSB, Postnord, Carlsberg, Danske Bank, Ørsted, Danish Crown and many others.
Educated as an Architect from Kunstakademiets Arkitektskole in Copenhagen in 1981.
Awarded Designrådets Ærespris (2011) and Nationalbankens Ærespris (2012).
Awarded the Bindesbøll-medaljen from The Royal Danish Academy – the highest recognition of expertise within applied arts and industrial design.
Lecturer in international universities, as well as earlier professor at Designinstituttet, The Royal Danish Academy of Architecture, Design and Conservation and since 2006 guest professor at Musashino Art University in Tokyo.
Winner of Den Danske Designpris more than 20 times as well as separate international design awards, in addition to 6 Red Dot Awards.