Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Lunch: Poul Hans Lange

We had the pleasure of having Poul Hans Lange over for lunch. A native of Copenhagen, Poul is a graphic designer/illustrator who has been based in the US since 1989. Lunches like these let us get to know an artist and their background a bit more. Asked why Poul came to America we learned about his passion for the 5-string banjo and it was this love for blue-grass that played into his first coming to America. Forming a band with his sister who played the fiddle they decided to embark on a transatlantic adventure. Landing in Newark they rented a car and toured all the blue-grass festivals they could find from cost to coast. He admits that their accents lent a new twist to the song's lyrics but he found everyone here to appreciate their interest and devotion to the music. Attending design school in both Denmark and at the School of Visual Arts here in New York Poul is now an instructor in a unique program at SVA for designers who want to learn more about illustration.

Poul has worked at Milton Glaser's studio working with Glaser and Walter Bernard on editorial assignments, he's been at GQ and now works on bookcovers for the likes of Paul Auster as well as dabbling in children's books--his book, "Hulle Bogen was an AIGA winner last year and has a new book in the works. His wife, Kayoko Suzuki-Lange, is the former art director at Golf for Women and now an AD at Essence. A self-trained art director, Poul first noticed her design-eye when he'd come home each night to find the furniture perfectly rearranged. Spotting her talent he encouraged her, helped her with the design software programs and she was able to land her first job at GQ scanning artwork. Working her way up the ladder, when the design director left to go to Golf for Women he brought Kayoko along as associate art director and she rose to the title of creative director. A strong supporter of illustration she is now working on getting Essence to use more art. Poul also teaches intensive workshops in Copenhagen, but prefers if the classes are in the Spring or Summer--he adds, "Copenhagen is dark in the winter." Poul certainly brightened up our afternoon even if he didn't bring his banjo.

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