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Questions with a Maker: Darling Clementine

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What is your brand name?
Darling Clementine
What are your names?
Tonje Holand & Jo Kolstad
Tell us about your brand
Darling Clementine consists of designers/illustrators Ingrid Reithaug & Tonje Holand. Since launching an independent stationery series in 2006, the line has developed into a worldwide brand with an extensive assortment, selling everywhere from Tokyo to Helsinki. DC has a recognizable look that defines the brand. This style was the platform when establishing a design studio with the same name, undertaking a wide range of various commissions.
Ingrid & Tonje both did their university degrees in the UK, but are now working and living in Oslo. They love the freedom of working with a narrative story line, as well as the challenge of answering to a client’s request by creating something that is perfect for them.
What is your best creative advice?
Our best creative device is to be aware of the creative process and its ups on down, and almost expect this journey. We’ve experienced that most of the time, there’s no shortcut to great work. You’ll need to work through and stay in the process to produce something that makes you happy and proud!
What inspires your products?
We’re inspired by so many things; art, fashion, travelling, nature walks, theatre props, classic films, fellow designers…life! Our aim is to stay original, but it’s hard to not let trends, social media and where we are in life, also influence the work. For instance; our kids series Pantomime came about after our kids Lotte & Henry were born. Working as a team means we constantly inspire each other in new directions, which makes the work so much more organic and fun. We have a distinct style, but our work changes along with us as we’re getting older. We have been working together for ten years now, and matured in these years together. We still have some heroes that have stayed with us from when we started, like photographer Tim Walker, designer Paul Rand and director Woody Allen.
What are you best known for doing?
We are known for drawing with humor, love and warmth. We are best at developing characters that depict a story or have certain qualities, and communicating these to the consumer. We’re also good at spotting new trends and using this in our work, both in styling of our photoshoots, directions for new product lines as well as the drawing itself. We’re not so good at drawing correct anatomy and real people in motion. We love when we are allowed to stylize and simplify imagery.


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