Hello. I am Bernhard Karl Hörlberger.

I’m an Art Director, Concept Developer and Designer.

I’ve been working in advertising for over 12 years. I work remotely and visualise ideas, campaigns, presentations and layouts for agencies and clients.

I develop creative concepts with visual appeal.

Advertising agency Philipp und Keuntje booked me to work on an extremely fast-paced project for their client Audi.

I developed a creative concept to draw attention to Audi’s sustainability efforts. The idea is brought to life with strong visuals illustrating the notion of a world out of balance.

After countless explorations, the Tilt photo series by photographer and director Romain Laurent formed the basis for the moodboard of the final film.

One of the challenges was finding an execution that could be realised within an incredibly short time period. This ruled out CGI productions or anything requiring a lengthy or complicated setup and pretty much forced us to consider simple but effective practical effects.

The resulting TVC.

Some results:

  • 20 Million combined views
  • Bronze award at New York Festivals
  • Bronze award at Die Klappe
  • ADC Shortlist

I create visual ideas that can carry entire campaigns.

Like for advertising agency thjnk and their client IKEA.

I developed a creative concept for IKEA to advertise their wide range of sleep solutions for every sleep type.

The execution is based on a simple but equally strong visual framework that’s at the core of the creative concept – using locations as metaphors for sleep preferences:

An ice patch in the arctic sea: the cool sleeper.

Nested in the desert dunes: the warm sleeper.

In a magical mossy forest: the soft sleeper.

Atop a rocky cliff: the hard sleeper.

The resulting TVC.

The strong imagery made it easy to expand the TVC idea into the real world with a media- & platform-agnostic brand statement. A select handful of lucky winners got the chance to customise the IKEA bed of their dreams and to then experience it in person in a special setting that matched their sleep preferences:

The warm sleeper got to sleep on the beach.

The cool sleeper slept atop an icy mountain.

The soft sleeper slept in the forest.

Some results:

  • Bronze Effie
  • Shortlist in Cannes (PR)
  • Two Red Dot Awards
  • First prize at the New York Festivals
  • Campaign of the year at the Lead Awards
  • Gold medal at the AME awards.

I develop looks quickly and effectively.

Like for a variety of automotive clients and agencies.

Developing looks, composings and rough mock-ups for automotive clients lets me draw on over 15 years of photoshop skills for quick and effective results. Some of my ideas make it all the way to production, some of them land in the trash along the way, some remain confidential and never see the light of day. I pour my energy into all of them.

A look for Toyota Saudi Arabia for the hydrogen-powered Mirai. One of the oldest water-powered means of transport juxtaposed with one of the newest. (Mock-up only)

A style reminiscent of Uwe Düttmann’s legendary old ads for Porsche for an equally iconic new BMW M2. (Mock-up only)

Last lap at the racetrack for the BMW M2. (Mock-up only)

For the BMW 3 series GT: taking the spacious idea of the vehicle literally. (Mock-up only)

Originally developed for the VW Transporter and discarded in the process, this look was revived for the VW Crafter.

For the BMW 3 series: a look derived entirely from the absolutely delicious introductory vehicle colour. (Mock-up only)

Shot for the Mercedes-Benz SLK years and years ago with Uwe Düttmann.

Or for any other product or brand

It often starts with a collection of moodboards and ends with actual mock-ups and preliminary layouts. And while the search is fun in and of itself, there is true magic when a layout starts to come alive and becomes more than the sum of the pieces it is made of.

Two mock-ups for a brand I can’t name yet that that I would love to work on with Kevin Brisseaux if the chance arises. (Mock-up only)

It doesn’t need much to define a look – just a few simple elements combined in an appealing way. This rough layout was for a German natural cosmetics brand. (Mock-up only)

It doesn’t even matter how spectacular the job or the product is – things can look great regardless. Like this idea for client Grohe that I would have loved to work on with Carl Kleiner. (Mock-up only)

I craft and design presentations.

There’s no excuse for an ugly presentation.

I pimp presentations and set up slick slides. I take boring text and give it some spice and some flavour. I try to produce Keynote decks that I myself would like to see and find amusing, interesting and stylish. All while remaining true to the presentation’s intent and content. Because seriously: how sad would it be if great ideas are let down by an ugly presentation.

A random assortment of slides I have produced over the years.

I visualise concepts and ideas.

Building presentations and making them look great? Easy. Where things get more interesting: Visualising ideas as caseboards. What looks like a single chart soon becomes an assortment of mock-ups, design elements and decisions to give an idea maximum punch. Yes, please!

A collection of caseboards I have produced recently.

I make layouts that look good and are structurally sound.

I’ve been obsessed with design systems and grids since I first pirated Photoshop as a teenager almost two decades ago.

Making something that looks good subjectively based on your own personal taste? Sure, why not. Easy enough. Also super easy to argue with seeing as it’s all just a matter of taste.

Making something that looks good subjectively based on an objectively sound and logical design system? That’s where the magic happens. That’s where layouts turn into bullet proof visual concepts and where the designer turns into a visual architect. If the logic is sound, any and all assignments can turn into something interesting to look at and something fun to make.

I don’t get too many pure design jobs, but when I do I relish the opportunity to view the task as a challenge to develop a system that leaves the design no choice but to look good. Regardless of taste or subjective preferences.

I make some great grids when I get the chance.

Working for advertising agency Serviceplan and their Saudi client ALJ Motors, I got to develop a brand book as part of a company-wide rebrand and communications overhaul. So far, so boring. Until grid systems get involved.

Among other things, Robert Bringhurst details grid systems for book designs in what Hermann Zapf called the “Typographer’s Bible” and what I consider to be one of the most important books I own: The Elements of Typographic Style. Designing spreads with Bringhurst’s many teachings in mind allows them to retain a visual rhythm by following a set of rules without losing their playful and varied appeal.

I make logical layouts that look good.

Often enough, a design system is not part of the task. But having a solid design rationale in mind anyway greatly reduces my layout times and ensures a uniform look that stays fresh longer.

The grid system makes design choices easier and the results more pleasing. A rigid layout in juxtaposition with almost playful content for the Audi S8 plus and advertising agency Philipp und Keuntje.

A solid visual foundation results in a contemporary print look for Telekom as part of a major strategic relaunch I had the pleasure of working on.

I developed a highly modular visual system for publisher Rowohlt and the launch of one of their new books. Visually derived from the book cover and based on the idea of letterpress posters, it combines and scales a toolkit of DIN formats with varying message hierarchies for countless creative executions.

I make random stuff that crosses my mind sometimes.

I like working on your stuff and earning money more than I like working on my stuff and wasting time. But sometimes I feel like making something just for the sake of making it. So I do.

You know those floaters? The ones the French call mouches volantes apparently?

You must know what I’m talking about. Please tell me you see them too and I’m not going insane or my eyes are deteriorating or I’m slowly going blind or something.

Anyway. I tried to capture them somehow.

Oh, squiggly line in my eye fluid. I see you there lurking on the periphery of my vision. But when I try to look at you, you scurry away. Are you shy, squiggly line? Why only when I ignore you, do you return to the centre of my eye? Oh, squiggly line, it’s alright, you are forgiven.

The power of design ™: a therapeutic outlet for stressed out freelancers.

Starting my own company and working as a freelance advertising mercenary for clients all over the place was the best decision of my professional life. It still is.

Sometimes things get a bit weird though behind the scenes – which I occasionally like to capture for posterity.

The phone rings and the absurdities begin: Yes, hello…

Long live typography. Or not.

Every now and then I get this almost uncontrollable urge to start making a font. And then I remember the time I made a font over ten years ago, poured countless hours and sleepless nights into the project and then lost all the related design files upon completion. Each and every one of them.

For some reason that memory makes me not want to make a font anymore.

This is all I’ve been able to recover by tediously trawling old web caches. It’s almost like it’s mocking me.