The art of running a two-fold design company

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Photo by Herman Cph

Helle & Jonas Herman.

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Photo by Herman Cph

Limited pillows with fabric from Kvadrat and Frisbee coffee table for Herman Cph.

Published
27.02.2015

Helle Herman Mortensen and Jonas Herman Pedersen are the founders of Herman Studio and Herman Cph. They run a two-fold design company that combines a design studio with its own design brand while still designing for other brands – something they see only as an advantage.

Helle and Jonas Herman’s project started in a basement in Copenhagen, while Helle was on maternity leave. A joint passion for designing and producing their own products led to the beginning of a double-edged design company – a rare combination that brings up questions about competition and prioritising between tasks. But co-founder Helle Herman sees more opportunities than drawbacks.

“We do not look at it as if we are competing with our collaborators by having our own brand. Basically, it is the same when we as a design studio go out and design for different brands. Studios are never dedicated to just one brand nor should they be. The opportunity lies in seeing design in its totality, getting inspired and constantly seeing new opportunities”, Helle Herman says.

The idea behind Herman Cph and Herman Studio is a creative urge to create a universe where all products carry the same design philosophy. Jonas Herman established the studio in 2011, the brand Herman Cph emerged in August 2013, when Helle Herman decided to quit her job and devote herself fully to the project.

Both educated as designers, Jonas and Helle Herman share the same professional field, but have different approaches to design. He is the creative force and detail-oriented designer, whereas she is more of a conceptual designer, who focussed more on how the products are launched.

“We believe these different qualities are important because we put our assignments and products through a wide, integrated process. And with Herman Cph we have the chance to follow an idea from sketch to finished product”, Helle Herman says.

However, what they share is a passion for sustainability, which is something they focus on in their products – both from Herman Studio as well as from Herman Cph. Everything is sought to be green and environmentally friendly.

Companies mentioned in this article