Stella Björg – “I can’t stop illustrating letters”

Icelandic Illustrator Stella Björg talks typography and nature.

This week The Creative Chair is in Reykjavik, Iceland where we’re talking to Stella Björg.

An Iceland Academy of the Arts graduate, Stella Björg is a talented illustrator with a captivating visual style and a passion for typography.

You can see more from Stella Björg on her Behance.


Could you tell us a little more about yourself and what you do?

I’m a freelance graphic designer and illustrator living in Reykjavik, Iceland.


Who / what are the inspiration(s) behind your visual style?

Nature is clearly an inspiration, plants and animals mixed with my typography obsession. Inspirations come from all over; examples could be classics like William Morris’s Kelmscott Press books and Eric Gill’s illustrated typography. For a more modern example, Jessica Hische’s work is really inspiring.

Starlit Wood Work in Progress
Starlit Wood

Which of your projects are you most proud of and why?

That would probably be my Ugluholt (Owl Hill) project. It started as a small school project that I took too far and ended up as my graduation project. It started an obsession in me with illustrated lettering, and it was the reason I got to work with great companies like Crabtree & Evelyn and Simon & Schuster.

Stella Björg
Ugluholt: an Alphabet Book
Ugluholt: an Alphabet Book
Ugluholt: an Alphabet Book

You work a lot with letters and themes of nature. What is it that you love about these subjects?

My summers have always been spent in large part in a little cabin surrounded by nature. The place always has a good number of birds and nests which are a joy to observe. Over the years, we have filled the place with plants that we enjoy watching grow into our nice little forest. It is a place of warmth and childhood nostalgia, and it is without a doubt where my love for nature started.

There Be Monsters

My love for letters is more recent and didn’t fully exist, or at least not turn into an obsession until that project in which my sadness over the end of summer caused me to bring my summer sanctuary (Ugluholt) into my little school assignment. Now I can’t stop illustrating letters.

There Be Monsters

And finally, if you died and were reincarnated as a song, what would that song be?

It would have to be some low-key song played on an acoustic guitar, sung in a raspy low voice. Maybe something like Joni Mitchell’s “River”.

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