Jakob Trollbäck

Jakob Trollbäck is the legendary graphic designer who founded his award-winning studio Trollbäck + Company in New York which for more than 20 years has worked with significant brands, and recently also designed the widely spread communication system for the United Nations, Sustainable Development Goals.

Jakob thrives combining beauty and logic to generate excitement and sustainability.

Starting at a very young age, Jakob was driven by an urge to understand the world. This lead to an increasing interest in Math and Logic. Some years later, when he became obsessed with design, he immediately realized that this was a fantastic way to make communication that promoted understanding.

His studio Trollbäck + Company in New York celebrates more than 20 successful years in a cut-throat field of business and his portfolio includes Apple, BBC, CBS, Google, National Geographic, New York Times, Nike, and TED, to mention a few. He and his colleagues are driven by two mottos. “Discard Everything that Means Nothing” is hinting at the classic “less is more”, but more importantly, it’s a great guide for finding the essence as we build brand structures. The other motto, “Beauty + Logic” is a shorthand for taking smart, structured messages and turning them into inspiring communication.

Both these key mottos were in heavy use during the work that Jakob and his team started in 2014: to make UN’s upcoming Sustainability Development Goals easy to understand for everyone. The finished, colorful communication system was launched in September 2015. Since then it has been used all over the world to raise awareness of the most important questions that our civilization is facing today.

As a direct response to the enthusiasm that the Global Goals created, Jakob started The New Division in Stockholm 2017, a communication group that is 100% focused on creating strategy and communication for sustainability. The motto of The New Division is Complexity is good, but hard to understand. We’re changing that”.

While Jakob is driven by an urge to make complex things understandable, his main inspiration has always been music. According to him, music is the apex of human evolution. It takes complex harmonies and patterns and put them together in smart and unexpected ways in order to create new expressions of beauty. In essence, it makes the complex easy to understand. In addition, music helps us to look into ourselves, and its absolute beauty in many ways epitomize the best of mankind.