Haraldur Thorleifsson

HARALDUR-THORLEIFSSON

Founder and CEO, UENO, SAN FRANCISCO CA

Haraldur (Halli) Thorleifsson is the Founder and CEO of Ueno (pronounced like bueno without the b), a first-rate, all-singing, all-dancing, fast-growing, fun-loving, not-quite-bourgeois-yet-not-quite-bohemian full-service digital agency that designs and builds digital products, brands and experiences. A creative director and designer, Halli founded the agency as a one-man operation out of his Reykjavik, Iceland apartment in 2014. Three short years later, Ueno has 50 employees and offices in Reykjavik, San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles. Airbnb, Apple, Chubb, Cisco, Dropbox, Facebook, Fitbit, Google, Lonely Planet, Red Bull, Progressive, Reuters, Samsung, Uber, Verizon and Visa are clients. In a short time, Halli has won several industry accolades and been nominated as designer and developer of the year by AWWWARDS. He speaks English, Danish, German and Swedish, and last month, Ueno was accepted into the Society of Digital Advertisers (SoDA), an exclusive international, invitation-only association.

WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW?
Reykjavik, Iceland. Now I live mostly in San Francisco CA

DID YOU GO TO DESIGN SCHOOL?
No

LEFTY OR RIGHTY?
I’m always right

MORNING PERSON OR NIGHT OWL?
Yes, both

FICTIONAL OR HISTORICAL CHARACTER YOU IDENTIFY WITH?
Sisyphus

ARE YOU MUSICAL AND/OR DO YOU PLAY AN INSTRUMENT?
Yes

FAVORITE BOOK?
Oh, The Places You’ll Go

FAVORITE MOVIE?
First 45 minutes of Wall-E

FAVORITE TV BINGE WATCH?
Broad City

FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM?
Twitter

FAVORITE FINE ARTIST?
Cindy Sherman

FAVORITE CHARITY?
Unicef

FAVORITE FREE TIME ACTIVITY?
Sleep

COLLECT ANYTHING?
Memories

COLOR USED MOST OFTEN IN YOUR DESIGN?
White

TYPEFACE USED MOST OFTEN IN YOUR DESIGN?
Tisa

DOES PRINT HAVE A ROLE IN YOUR DESIGNS?
Not much

DESIGN MENTOR/INSPIRATION/HERO?
Don’t believe in heroes

GREATEST STRENGTH/WEAKNESS AS A DESIGNER?
Strength: digesting information and displaying it

ADVICE TO A YOUNG DESIGNER JUST STARTING OUT?
Get over yourself

IF YOU WERE NOT A DESIGNER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
A bass player in a punk band

A MANTRA OR SAYING YOU LIVE BY?
Life is short, enjoy it

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