Thank you President Obama, soon Mr.

Thank you President Obama for making your 8 years, although way far from perfect, to at least have a better tone, seriousness and more grown up approach than your predecessor. You inherited a ferocious war, and we all, not only americans, share the effects of it in various ways. Maybe you shouldnt have pulled out the troops so early from Iraq – but you did say you would, and you did. You stood by your word. For better or worse. The Bush/Cheney era was the most mad presidential period I have witnessed america ever had. At least in my lifetime. And viewing it from afar, here in old Sweden. Rolling Stone magazine seems correct when they claim you to be the most successful president in american history, back in 2014.

"President Obama", Illustration, drawing by Stefan Lindblad, copyright 2016
“President Obama”, Illustration, drawing by Stefan Lindblad, copyright 2016 . I made this illustration in my skecthbook, while having coffee and a sandwhich, at a local cafe here in Stockholm, Sweden. A computer gaming place, with a great cafe, in the subway train station.

I clearly remember how I as a younger version of myself, back in 1988, told some of my friends, that my generation didn’t seem to experience anything historically significant – and then Gorbachev arrived on the scene. The wall fell, and countries became free from decades of communist rule. I remember how in 1990 I traveled through europe by train, backpacking for a month. And everyone was experiencing and talking about the historic events – or let me rephrase it a bit: not everyone, far from it, but many enough. It was also the year of the world championship of football in Italy that year, 1990. And so much have happen to our world since then. incredible really.

Now, when your leaving your office, we once again read and hear and watch, the madness and ludicrous making a comeback. Why people never learn, is beyond me. And far from only in the US. Just look at my own country Sweden.

You showed with your eight years in office, that there still exist decency in US politics. Okay, I am not with you on every thing you have done these 8 years. But again, I am a Swede living in Sweden. So I mostly look at american presidents from a foreigners perspective – and for what your foreign policy means to me and the rest of the world.

Okay, hush-hush, don’t tell any other americans, they are sensitive to this, but I do look to what you have done domestically also. But I don’t say that too often to americans. Some of them go cranky if I as a foreigner dare to have an opinion on american politics. I guess its like it is over here in Sweden, with some swedes not liking when foreigners in america or Nauru island close to Australia, have opinions on Swedish domestic politics – if they have, that is.

But you are an educated fella. And I am sure you know the planet we all live on, is quite solid. And if it wasnt for all the water dividing us, we could all walk to each other.

Thank you again for making it okay to like america and americans again. I am just so tired over the fact, that unless Hillary wins, we might have a mad time coming again. Maybe if a republican win, John Kasich is a good alternative, he seem cool and decent enough to hold an office of yours. And he is not like that other guy. Equally, to be honest, if I was an american, I would probably vote Democrat. But I have american friends who are the opposite, and that’s fine with me. If we all could just get along better, in this world, it would be so much better. Which sounds like a platitude, but still true.

Looking at my own country, europe and the world, and contemplating over the future, it seems grim. Not hopefull.

Fingers cross the world of sanity get another 8 years

Now, i´m going to continue drinking my brew cup of coffee, and draw some drawings in my sketchbook, before I continue on the computer. Which means to finish drawing the drawing of you, President Obama, which you can see together with this blog article of mine.

I really enjoyed reading your second book. Looking forward to your third.

Stefan Lindblad
Illustrator, graphic designer and artist
Stockholm, Sweden
My laptop, my brew coffee, and my sketchbook out of the picture. Drawing the picture of Barack Obama in my sketchbook. And for the art geeks out there – as you can see in the photo of my drawing, I used Touch-twin markers and staedtler filt pen.

I use Twitter. To make Twitter be even more relevant: allow for longer text

Illustration by Stefan Lindblad (me). Originally for a Webinar I made for Corel Corp on digital drawing & using Corel PHOT-PAINT and a Wacom pen tablet
Illustration by Stefan Lindblad (me). Originally for a Webinar I made for Corel Corp on digital drawing & using Corel PHOTO-PAINT and a Wacom pen tablet

I use Twitter. I think I know what could make Twitter be even more relevant: allow for long text. Way more than 140 characters.

I have felt this from day one. I know, its a great statement saying you only have 140 characters to tell your story. But seriously why limit yourself to that? With other channels like Instagram and more channels coming all the time, i believe twitter users and Twitter corporation themselves, would benefit if they allowed for either 400 words in their tweets. But with a catch.

Actually 400 words could be seen as the perfect way to go. Why? Well, most newspaper columns, at least in the daily worldwide Swedish owned newspaper METRO, are within that 400 word mark. Its the perfect amount of words for a column, written by a columnist expressing his/her views. And for further reading one simply click a link. And it is also the perfect amount of words you can cope with reading an early morning, on the train or bus commuting in to work.

The catch could be, that only the first lines of text allowed to be viewed by twitter users – the classic 140 characters, and it would allow to be seen as a title to an article, or news flash as it is today. The modern type of Haiku. And to be able to read the entire text, would have to click a button to open the entire article.

Because, seriously, how fun is it to read a twitter tweet with mostly 140 characters of hash-tags, that some post. This would also allow for more advertising space, similar to Google Ads, inside the article, but instead of google adds, its twitter own ad service.

But one should still only be allowed 140 characters for comments posted by followers and readers.

As human beings, we take to our hearts and minds various ways for communicating with others. That´s what social media is all about. So why limiting Twitter interactions to only 140. It may be seen to make sense, from a marketing strategy sense, to be unique. But as much as limitation can be beneficial, it can also be a unnecessary obstacle to grow.

How many words have I used for this column type article? 386.

Stefan Lindblad
Illustrator, graphic designer
Web portfolio:

I am tired of smart solutions. Their smartness annoyes me during work

Illustration, drawing by Stefan Lindblad, copyright. ( I originally made this illustration for a broschure for Swedish org Prevent AB)

I am tired of smart solutions in social media and cloud services.
They are so smart, I´ve built a big animosity to much of them. Not all, but much of it. They annoy me. They all add smart solutions by default, so that if I complain, there is often tons of steps I have to make to get rid of them. Taking even more time from what I really set out to do in the beginning.

I am tired of smart solutions in social media and cloud services.
They are so smart that they annoy the hell out of me

Auto-correct is a perfect example. In a way its good its available, while on the other hand it is overwhelmingly annoying, as I spend as much time to correct the auto-correct, as I would actually had to simply write without interruption. Or for example Google Chrome. I close a tab with facebook, becuase I dont like to be disturbed by updates on my facebook wall, and simply work to earn some money to pay my bills. But with Chrome it is so smart… that even if I have closed the tab, I still get notifications in a small window popping up. Now, yes I could log out, and I do, but the convenience of simply closing the tab, made it quicker to view the facebook wall when I felt for it. So that solution is no longer available. A smart solution which Google developers thought they could make even smarter.

And I could list so many more situations, where the smart solutions are annoying me and disturbing me in my work.  Often, when I have made settings changes for each service, they come out with a new update, disrearding my settings. A new policy they felt was needed.

Not very smart in my eyes. They haunt you like a phone salesperson who wont take seven No for an answer.

Edit: this was also published on my Linkedin Page and got some attention on Linkedin Pulse.

Stefan Lindblad
Illustrator, graphic designer & artist
I use computers and smart solutions everyday.

My drawing of musical genius Dave Stewart

As I sit and work with my own art, illustrations and graphic design for various clients, or for my own sole enjoyment & projects, I often listen to music in the background. And occassionally, I´ve discovered, Dave Stewart have either written or worked together with someone, on the tune. The one I enjoy so much to listen too.

Dave Stewart, David A. Stewart, musician, Eurythmics, Stefan Lindblad drawing, illustration. portait of Dave Stewart, Jessie Baylin, Mick Jagger
Illustration, drawing portrait of singer songwriter Dave Stewart by Stefan Lindblad, 2016, copyright

Mick Jagger & Dave Stewart, these two musical geniuses

20 years ago, I listened to his music on the radio, and saw him like many others most probably did, on MTV. These days I´ve discovered that Dave Stewart have worked together with Mick Jagger on the songs played in the movie Alfie. I feel kind of stupid for not checking this up. I just love the music of Mick Jagger and saw it as a Jagger song. And fully knowing that probably someone worked together with him. But still forgot to look further for credits. Which is quite normal I guess.

I just love listening to the soundtrack for the movie Alfie  when working. I started to notice the name “Dave” next to Mick Jaggers on Youtube. And then it hit me, could it be Dave Stewart. And it was. With this discovery I have, via Jagger and Stewart, discovered the music of Jessie Baylin. Just spend a few minutes of your time to listen to the wonderful song “Counting the days” by Mick Jagger and Dave Stewart. What a song! I am in love with it.

Today, as I sat and enjoyed the music of Jagger & Dave, preparing for a Poster design work, which I am illustrating and designing for a company here in Stockholm, Sweden, I was once again remembered that Dave Stewart had worked on the tune as well. And this time I browsed for Daves new music, I was once again confronted with music by Jessie Baylin. Listen to Dave and Jessie’s wonderful duett: “God Only Knows You Now”. Simply divine. A beautiful song. It resembles a bit of Leonard Cohen. Perfect music to work to, helping me create the poster my client will hopefully love. So I can send that invoice later on.

New musical dicovery for me, Jessie Baylin

How do you say thank you, when you probably wont ever meet either Dave Stewart, Jessie Baylin or Mick Jagger. Well, if they ever read this blog post: “Thank you very much for the music. If I met you guys at a café, I would probably have tried to shake your hands and say thank you for the music”. And then I would move on, no worries. I really should do an illustration of Jessie Baylin and Mick Jagger as well.

As I am off to walk my dog Bella, it´s snowing outside. Having the song with Jessie Baylin and Dave Stewart in my head for another minute or two. Wonderful song. If Dave ever see this blog post, hope you enjoyed the drawing I made for this blog article. Have a great day.

Stefan Lindblad
Illustrator, graphic designer, artist

My first drawing 2016 – of my love Mia

Drawing by me Stefan Lindblad, copyright 2016, of Mia

My first drawing 2016, 2 January.  A drawing of Mia, my love & girlfriend sitting in the subway train, heading in to town.

An for all you art material nerds out there, like myself, I drew it in my sketchbook on a yellow-ish paper. Drawn with my fav Touch twin marker pen and a Staedtler felt pen, pigment liner.

Listening to one of Mick Jagger’s solo albums,  with songs used in the Alfie movie and soundtrack. Simply a perfect mood setting for a drawing. An absolutely great album really.

Stefan Lindblad

Illustrator, artist & Graphic designer

Cooling your computers is what make the computer last

Coffee cup “Canada”, which I was given by Corel (Cecile) on my visit to Corel Corp, in Ottawa Canada. Corel software developer of CorelDRAW & Corel PAINTER

I have had at least two laptops, both HP laptops, that broke down due to a broken internal fan. The last HP was broken twice even. And the last time it broke down it wasn´t fully diagnozed by HP tech service at their head quarters repair dep. in Stockholm. Due to the internal fan I got a complete screen madness and shut down of my laptop. Couldnt work with it. But considering it now, two years after it broke down, surpricingly, it  seems to work okey when using a two fan laptop cooler from Targus, 29 euros, or was it 19 euros on a sale? Around 2-300 swedish kronor making this old laptop work again. I now use it mostly to beta-test stuff, and for a last resort, would my current Dell laptop brake down.

Because Swedish Dell sales, customer service still haven´t got back to me, to give me an estimate of what an extended hardware support for my Dell Inspiron 7520 Laptop would cost, I need to be prepared better this time, would anything happen to my curent Laptop. The Swedish Dell technical support is actually great. They have alwaysed help me. But the Swedish Customer Service, Sales support, is poorly, and have once again shown that they are not good enough. It is Dell sales and customer service people that always make me think twice, to buy a Dell. But when I do buy anything Dell hardware, I am pleased so far. I can not understand why Swedish sales and customer service is soo bad, to be honest. I really can´t. It should be something Michael Dell should look into. Or his top branch of people.

Anyway, back to reparing your laptop, regardless of brand. I wouldn´t hesitate to repair a desktop myself, but a laptop; it is just too many screws and special screw drivers needed, having to be bought. To much I could damage when trying to fix something on it. Nah, it is important to have a knowledge of which local repair shops to go to. And check for prices. I was, as an example quite surpriced to learn, that two years ago, replacing a fan on my old HP laptop, would mean I would have to repalce the mother board as well. It was so connected – according to the repair guy. And they would basically charge the full amount of a brand new laptop, with better set-up. While the video attached below, and a local repair shop pricelist, shows it is quite easy to replace a fan on a Dell Inspiron, the model I have.

So this means, I might, might, might, forget about paying Dell any extended hardware support this time around. I most probably won´t replace a fan myself anyway – I prefer paying a girl or guy to do it for me, being professionals as they are, to do it. And this video attached, really show how easy it is, and very well done video. Don´t seem to leave out the “obvious” steps so many people forget to show, when they write tutotials and videos.

Cooling is probably, without any surveys behind me to back this statement, one of the most possible reason to why a laptop stop working. And if it wont cost much too fix it, then why not do it.

Dell Inspiron 15R (5520 / 7520) CPU Cooling Fan Replacement Video Tutorial”

Also, when using a cooling plate like the one from Targus, or any other brand, I would suggest placing a small bag clip between the laptop and the plate in the front. It lifts the laptop and creates even better cooling, letting the air flow even better.

So, cooling people, thats what´s imporant. Start by buying yourself a cooloing plate, like mine from Targus. I know a guy in the US who built an interesting custom made cooling box system for his old laptop. The cooling is always what is so important to think about. especially if you work the laptops and desktops as hard as I do.


Stefan Lindblad
Illustrator, graphic designer and artist

Subway maps design

The Public transport train system in Stockholm, SWEDEN, equivalent to the subway in USA, the underground in the UK and the Metro’  in Paris, France, was being planned and set in motion in the midst of the second world war Europe, in the 1940’s. In 1933 there was already a system in place for tramway trains. In the 1950 the new was ready – the “Tunnelbana”, tunnel rail it would be in english, freely translated from swedish.

The Stockholm Public transport train system, the “tunnelbana” is also using the same, or at least did use the same measurements as the New York subway. So much that you could take a train to each system and run them on the same railroad tracks.

The current & now DARK Stockholm, Sweden subway/Metro/underground map for the first time. Have always been white previously.

The original “tunnelbana” trains, or those designed in the 50’s – 60’s resembled the NYC trains very much. Basically mirrored. Quite different in Paris and London.

The platform system maps, if I can call it that, with all the train stations, also got, and still have, a very similar design of those in New York City subway system. And the original design for NYC were designed by a brilliant Italian design team and married couple. Their graphic design of the map in NYC was so influential, together with the entire design of signage etcetera, that they kind of invented what we now see as Americana a la New York City. Massimo Vignelli of Vignelli Associates was the one of the two who made the graphic design of it. A design company he share with his wife/spouse Lella Vignelli.

Read about the NEW redesigned map just arrived in NYC

Quite impressive how all this interacted so well. Like life does. We are all connected.  Inspired and sometimes stealing even from each others design. It’s what makes life go round and round and somewhat forward in time and space.

The Vignellis are also the ones who literally brought Helvetica Type font to america. Which you can see in many places in New York City, but also in Stockholm City in Sweden.


Stefan Lindblad
Illustrator, graphic designer and artist

How I work creating a Logotype for any business & organization

My own logotyp, designed by myself Stefan Lindblad. The first draft in my sketchbook & business card

When I first made a logo, it was probably around 1997, it was for a at the time  typical dot com company, when Stockholm according to media such as CNN and Time magazine, was seen as the Internet’s capital. It was such a new founded start-up company that the founder rushed forward. No sooner had he come up with what it “kind of” would do, as it should obviously have a logo. The company was bought up by shares only – as was the norm back then, no ready cash, just before the company entered the market. Crazy time and fun time. A time when Icon Medialab was a crazy high-valued company, compared to today, it mostly work as a name for within an entirely different company. To safe keep the name only it seems. Too bad because it’s a cool name.

“My own company logotype is a splash of paint”

So how do I create a logo? On the one hand, it works similarly every time a logo is created, while it may differ a great deal in the workflow from time to time, depending on the client. The first logo back in 1997, came about very quickly. The job description: “Guerilla, an animal as a square plate, and make the logo quickly, I need to have it now, like yesterday.” That is neither a good or recommended job description, but rather ordinary. But I usually do not settle for such a description, whether I make an illustration, editorial to a magazine, book cover – or logotype design.

A logo is often a company’s first branding. The logo often sets the tone for how the company is seen and perceived for several years – decades even, in all their products, promotion & information materials. Or it´s design and branding becomes completely irrational and mixed both right and left without any thought behind. No history. There are some parameters that should be followed if a logo will survive, and the way the designer work to create logos, that last over time. A logo may be a name, and a font. Many small one-man companies start like that – a name and a font, in black at least if there was the very basic thought behind it. And as a bumper sticker on a car and a business card. Perhaps created by someone’s friend that never designed or drawn professionally before, but they have an illegal copy of Photoshop or CorelDRAW on his/her computer, and that should be enough – kind of…

“There are many logotypes and bumper stickers I would love to re-create from scratch. With a fresh new look on the work. Especially two one-man company cars in the elictricity & contractor business. They useally are parked around the corner on the street”

What works

I like logos that work 50 years ago, and still works today. One of my all time favorite logtypes, as well as its name, is Pan AM. Once the world’s largest airline company, with an iconic place on a skyscraper in New York City. And now gone – almost. One can almost say that it does not exist anymore. When the airline industry was hit in the late 90s and later in the 2000s, crashed it all – almost, to be sentimental. But the logo is still functioning, greatly.

What works overtime, which is important, is the one that has a story behind it.

My quick checklist

  • Company name, where it has its registered office, city and country.
  • What the company sell and manufactures.
  • Is there a family history behind that can give weight, tradition and provide inspiration.
  • What does the company stands for.
  • It is a brand new company with no traditions.
  • Is it good not to have any previous history.
  • Is there a philosophy behind the company or organization.
  • Is it something that the founders of the company, or those who today manages the company considers very important to have in mind.
  • Lowercase or Uppercase.
  • Color selection, but also serve as monochrome and grayscale.
  • Feel as big as its competitors, even though they are small, bordering tiny in comparison.
  • Perhaps a small business, but feel more sustainable, stable and old-fashioned.
  • Feel new, future


A real design projects, the logo for an organization

I got a request from Ken in Bradford, England. Ken is working among other things as a copywriter, but also work with an aid organization for homeless men in Bradford. I was asked to redesign their old logo. I said yes. I asked the questions I usually ask. Two things came up again and again; “An up to date look and feel, contemporary, and an open door”. In other words, create a completely new logo from scratch. Modern and contemporary feel and an open door.

I asked, listened, took notes and made research, then started sketching with a pencil in my sketchpad, freely, openminded and fast to capture the first impression. I checked for other logos with an open door, and there are many who have it – an open door. Which sometimes becomes a bit problematic. This is a fairly common dilemma, logos so often reminiscent of other companies’ logos. I see this quite often with completely new firms, start-ups in Sweden. They choose generic, generic symbols fully aware or unaware that they remind too much about other companies. It is inevitable now that the logos these days are so similar. Simply because there are so many companies around. But not to think through ones logo, seek the help of a professional designer and illustrator to design their logo, that is to miss an opportunity to build something that works for decades.

I came up with a logo that the great people of Bradford Cyrenians really liked and feel happy to use. It was a really a fun project in several ways, and one in which the open door is included. Learn more about the project and see how the logo is used.

It’s all about how much you value your own brand, your own children in the form of your own company. Sure, anything can serve as a logo, and the company can be successful. Buying a ready-made logo for a few hundred or a few thousand. But if you want to take the chance to enjoy a personally designed logotype, then you have the possibility to feel proud of your logo, which has thought and work behind it. Think big and globally even if the company is small and unknown. Simply daring it. Even if the logo is just a black outline and nothing more, but it has at least been designed with thoughts and skills behind it. And that, ladies and gentlemen, that is what makes a logo often continue to work over decades. Like Pan Am and Coca-Cola. Regardless if you dare to fly or drink soda.

A logo can be long and wide, but often it may usually be just a symbol. Take Starbucks Coffee. It started out as a coffee shop, with a round logo symbol with text Designed by Terry Heckler in Seattle, United States. Today it is a symbolic sign that is so strong that it does not even need a name to be recognized. Everyone knows that is Starbucks anyway. And the logo has been changed and redesigned over time. Changed but refined. With an idea and thoughts behind it.

“What does it cost and what is included?” a common question. Depends on the designer and experience and service level. But you get consultation, many hours of work and thoughts and sketches made, all that I have already mentioned, and a professional, print-ready, vectorization of your logo. That last thing, lo and behold, vectorized print original, is not always a given when you work with a less experienced designer – or more often – by your friend with an illegal copy of Photoshop or CorelDRAW.

Stefan Lindblad
Illustrator, graphic designer

86 kilos of waste to build a Smartphone

Madness. Manufacturing a smartphone, consume 86 kilograms. Read that again. And a total year sale of smartphones in Sweden alone consumes (waste) 6 megabig ships, ferries. According to a new swedish study. Total madness. Now how does your smartphone weigh? and add those 86 kilos and 6 ships.

More reading!gnbvD9pYgGUl6/

Stefan Lindblad
Illustrator, graphic designer and artist
Also named CorelDRAW Master.

Can you work for free, on spec? – I mean your an artist, designer, illustrator, right?

“Can you work for free?” one of the most common question artists, illustrators and designers get. Around the world. We can all relate to this. Funny video showing brilliantly how it is. Unfortunately too many designers, illustrators and artists do it, work for nothing. In a way it even starts when you work for a Photographer as an assistant, or some add agencys where your supposed to learn the craft – by serving them coffee and biscuits and running arrends. So that you learn the craft. rigth! – if you were aming for the servant service and barista buissness! Which would still be wrong of course, to ask them to work for free. but then, most people would still adhere to the so called nomrality to that artists, illustrators and artists love their work so much, that they are expected to work for free or silly money. Simply not viewing it as work basically.

Stefan Lindblad
Illustrator, artist, graphic designer

Speed painting | Drawing Street Scene in Stockholm, with Corel PHOTO-PAINT X7 & Wacom

Speed Painting an illustration. The scene is Hornsgatan Street at Södermalm island in Stockholm. Came out of the Penstore after buying Marker pens. I basically took a photo with my smartphone. Placed the smartphone on my Keyboard, and drew and painted, using it as a reference. And Artistic freedom rules of course.

Software: I used my Corel PHOTO-PAINT X7 and a Wacom Intuos PRO tablet. Music courtesy of Corel Videostudio X7 program I used to record and edit the Speed Painting video with.


Stefan Lindblad
Illustrator, graphic designer, artist
CorelDRAW Master

Batman v Superman? Ugh, boring setup

Batman vs Superman might be the best ever movie, but I just dont like that setup. I mean, thats what makes comics boring in someway. Why this super this and that meetings. Whats so fab about it, really. Didnt like it when I was a kid, toddler, and dont fancy it today either. Again, it might be a fantastic movie, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Comic-Con Trailer, and then I will go watch it. But for now, it just sounds, ugh. Give us more Nolan movies of batman instead. But I agree, the Movie trailer looks decent. Ok, that´s my rant for today.


Stefan Lindblad
Illustrator, graphic designer and artist.
Occasional comic artist

Drawing a favorite street in my neighbourhood, for Inktober 22, 1015

Teckning av Stefan Lindblad, copyright 2015. #inktober 22
Teckning av Stefan Lindblad, copyright 2015. #inktober 22

Today I made this new drawing of one of my favorite street corners in my own neighbourhood, in suburbia to Stockholm, Sweden. This place always remind me of a wonderful neighbourhood in San Fransisco, were I walked with my girlfriend Mia. I quickly fell in love with SF, California. There is something special with that town. Both these citys have a lot of water around it. Made this drawing with my ink/felt pens and markers, thinking it could work well also for the drawing movement on the web called #inktober 2015. Suite quite well.


Stefan Lindblad
Illustrator, artist, graphic design

My drawing of Bella among the autumn leafes, #inktober 21, 2015

My dog Bella´s walk today, after lunch. Sitting among the autumn leafes in the small forrest. How cute can a four legged be – very cute indeed. This is my todays drawing, illustration for #inktober, 21, 2015. Drawn with markers from ShinHan art Twin touch marker, Promarker, GEO college Pigment Liner on yellow ish paper. In my A4 sketchbook.

Teckning av Stefan Lindblad. Vår hund Bella bland höstlöven, 21 oktober, 2015 #inktober
Drawing by Stefan Lindblad. Our dog Bella sitting among the autumn leafes in the small forrest, 21 oktober, 2015 #inktober

Stefan Lindblad
Illustrator, artist, och graphic designer
Stockholm, Sweden