Overtone is a design studio based in Aarhus, Denmark. We’re partnering with clients across various industries to create or evolve strong visual brands, digital experiences and bespoke typefaces. We’re driven by strategic thinking and a deep expertise in design and visual craftsmanship.
Creative thinkers, craftsmen and digital explorers.
We’re a team of passionate and strategically founded designers — able to work across different disciplines, yet specialised in certain domains. We solve business challenges, give brands a voice, teach at design schools, write about design and work on our own ideas, when there’s time. We’re experienced, curious and care about using design to move things forward.
Feel free to reach out to Nicolaj at +26 84 91 17, if you have an idea, a question or a project in mind.
What we do
↳ We craft new brands or evolve existing ones
Your brand is much more than its logo. Based on your business strategy or purpose, we’ll work closely with you to create or improve your brand identity — and craft distinct visual designs that speak to your audience with relevance.
Brand strategy / Naming / Graphic design / Visual Identity / Print / Packaging / Product Identity / Design systems / Design manuals / Typefaces
↳ We design exciting digital experiences
We’ll translate your brand into an appealing digital experience or help you turn your ideas into digital products. Together, we’ll explore concepts, define key features and explore how to efficiently interact with your audiences or stakeholders.
Digital design / Websites / UX/UI design / Prototyping / Apps / Service design
↳ We develop bespoke brand typefaces
Few design elements have greater impact than the voice of a typeface. It creates consistency and enables you brand yourself across touchpoints. In companies with many tactical activities the bespoke typeface is the visual anchor that connects everything to the strategic base.
Brand typefaces / Font families / Wayfinding / Implementation
German Design Award 2021
Creative Circle Award Silver 2021
Creative Circle Award Gold 2020
Creative Circle Award Silver 2020
FWA Awards 2020
Creative Circle Award Silver 2019
Red Dot Award 2019
Børsen Gazelle 2018
Børsen Gazelle 2017
Every great design starts with understanding your ambitions as a business — and by empathising with the needs of your audiences and users. We’ll work closely with you to ensure that what we do support those goals.
Upon understanding, we’ll define the strategic scope of your design. It’s here, we draw a process, create a solid strategic foundation and discuss the potential routes to go — no matter whether we’re rethinking a brand or creating a new product.
Now, it’s time to start exploring — and designing. We’ll combine our knowledge from the previous phases with creative craftsmanship and start exploring ideas on how we can move your business and entice your audiences.
Finally, it’s all about crafting compelling and efficient designs. We’ll work with your team to make sure that everything is adjusted until it’s just right — and ensure that your designs will be implemented just like they’re supposed to.
↳ Work like a band
Overtone is like a band. Everybody needs to perform and we’re all on the poster. That way it’s easier to focus and do great work. Here, everyone knows what is going on and there’s a direct line from you to the designers.
↳ Trust the process
Design is as much about process and strategy as it’s about stunning visuals. Don’t get us wrong — we’re passionate about crafting beautiful design, but we always aim for asking questions, solving challenges and moving you forward as well.
↳ Care about the craft
At Overtone we’re craftsmen and we care about every dot, line or curve that we make. We know that every little detail matters if what we’re designing should matter to people — and stand the test of time.
↳ Design for reality
It’s important to us, that what we’re making together makes it all the way to reality. That’s why we’re always focusing on creating real, tangible assets and generate actual value. We’ll work with you all the way from vision to implementation.
In brief, what do you do?
We design brand identities, typefaces and digital products. In essence, it's all about helping our clients speak clearly with their own visual voice and tone. We provide them with insights, tools, guidelines and assets that help them in their everyday worklife and to achieve strategic long-term goals.
That sounds a bit fluffy – could you please give us something solid?
We facilitate brand workshops to clarify strategic goals and visions, design brand names and logos, create visual identities, typefaces, user interfaces, digital products, websites, book designs, annual reports, album covers and much more.
Is there anything you don’t do?
Yes, of course. We strive to be true to our core design skills. We don’t do advertising, online campaigns, movies, and things that others do so much better.
Who have you been working for?
This question always come up. Overtone has existed since 2008 and we all have a lot of experience – so of course we have a long list of companies that we’ve helped over the years. What no one asks is: Did you make a difference? How do you stay passionate in the process? Questions that make much more sense, if you’re looking for an agency.
Can a small agency work on large-scale projects?
Sure. We work with some of the largest organizations and companies in Denmark. Some of the projects we work on are large-scale and transformational. Our size makes it possible to be very flexible — and when more hands are needed, we include trusted freelancers in our team.
How do you turn business strategies into a visual expression?
It's mainly hard work. Many people think designers are like wizards who just wave their wands. We’re trained and experienced in working in a field of knowledge; right in between analysis and creativity. This combination is the main fuel and the rest is just magic ;-)
Your cases show work for both small and very large companies. Why is that?
We don't care whether you’re big or small. What matters is your level of ambition and passion for the project. Of course there can be differences in both complexity and budget – but it’s most important to us, that you want to move things forward.
Does my company need a visual identity?
Probably, yes. If you want to benefit 100% of all your marketing and communication activities, it's crucial that everything is true to your brand values and highly recognizable. A visual brand identity wilI ensure that your tactical marketing activities will create brand value, and your target groups will start building a relationship with you.
Isn't a logo enough?
No. Today we´re overloaded with visual information and it takes a lot to be recognized. Just adding a logo to random layouts and platforms doesn't do the job any longer.
Why do you design typefaces?
Well… first of all, we love working within typeface design, both as a design discipline where it’s all about bringing that very specific typeface to life, but also as part of a wider design concept, where the typeface or type family is an important piece in the visual identity.
What can typefaces do for brands?
A bespoke typeface can talk to you on so many levels. It can capture a feeling, underline an atmosphere, express a specific mood but, most important, it can communicate your brand as clearly as possible. When designed in the right way, it stands out as the single most powerful asset in a visual identity — you will be recognisable across all platforms.
How can large companies benefit from using bespoke brand typefaces in their design systems?
There may be a lot of good reasons for developing a bespoke brand typeface. Here's a few we learned from our clients:
In corporate identities, brand typefaces are an excellent tool to create visual consistency on all platforms. Together with colour, no design element has greater impact than the voice of a typeface. In companies with many tactical activities, the bespoke typeface can be the visual anchor that connects the activities to one strategic base.
The cost of font licences has dramatically increased over the last few years. Today companies operate worldwide in many different contexts. In most cases, it's more simple and less costly to own the fonts exclusively than to buy licences for all platforms, users and campaigns.
Special requirements, such as use on special media, advanced language support or special design issues, may require special typeface features.
In everyday worklife tasks, a bespoke typeface is an easy and effective tool to use. Whether you are putting a sign on a door or a headline on a presentation, they are easily branded by using the typface.
People take pride in being a part of something special. We experienced that employees, even in accounts or legal departments, get fascinated and feel proud, when a bespoke brand typeface is presented.
What is the budget for a custom typeface?
That depends on many factors. Today’s production tools and workflows have improved a lot and have caused the production costs to decrease. We often do display brand typefaces that fit most companies’ branding budgets. Of course, large and complex type families with wide language support will be at another budget level.
I want to hear more, how?
Get in touch with us or listen to Rasmus talking about the passion of type design, and how to use it as a strong branding tool in this episode af the Podcast "Design Kan..." (Danish only): iTunes, Spotify, Podbean.
Are you a digital agency?
When it comes to branding projects, we often work in a digital first (and sometimes digital only) context. We use our creative and digital skills to create interfaces, digital products or websites that support the brand story and help our clients to create great brand experiences for the users.
How does digital design and branding fit together?
In short? UX = branding. If you help your customers achieve what they want and desire, they like you. If they like you, they want to see you again. In a digital context UX is a tool that helps you to strengthen and develop this relationship. Great UX designers create brand experiences that last and bond.
Do you code?
No. We know what can be coded and what can't. We do however work with skilled partners who can help take your digital design all the way to implementation.
I didn’t really get my questions answered?
We’re happy to hear from you — and would love to answer your questions. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you as fast as we can.