Good morning.

I’m Espen Brunborg, an independent digital designer who also knows how to code, write, and present.

View my work

I'm currently working three days a week with Hava Media on Phlinx, Releases, and DailyBits. The rest of my time I am available for hire. Recent clients include Smashing Magazine , Oslo Municipality, and VitusApotek (Lloyds Pharmacy, but in Norway). I sometimes talk about design at conferences around the world.

Before this, I managed the design team at Redink (now HyperRedink), where I worked with clients like Santander, DNB, Oslo Municipality, and Elkjøp.

Before that, I co-founded and worked as creative director at Primate, where we did projects for clients like Airbnb, Waterstons, Scottish Book Trust, and Bulbapedia.

Before that, I designed websites for Heehaw Digital, where I first started working with pixels and at some point made a photoshop action to create 1px rounded corners on my bitmap shapes. What a timesaver!

Before that, I had a brief stint at Taste Design, where I forgot what I learned at my preceding job and subsequently got fired. Ouch.

Before that, I designed magazines for White Light Media, where I learned that caring about what you do and putting in the hours is the only way to do decent work.

Before that, I studied graphic design at Falmouth University, where they told us that ideas and concepts are more important to learn than implementation. I still believe they were right.

Before that, I studied graphic design in Oslo. We weren't allowed to use computers, so I learned how to sketch with pencils and marker pens. I once drew the cover for an imaginary book called "Plastic Fantastic", because dildos were easy to draw realistically.

Before that, I served 11 months national service in the north of Norway. I hated every minute of it, but I learned to cope with weather and boredom and I'm glad to have had the experience.

Before that, I did arts and crafts at the local high school. For my final exam I spent five days painting a mural for a train station. (On paper, not actually in a train station.)

Before that, I went to secondary school. One day we had a guest lecturer from the advertising industry, who sold me on a career in the creative industry.

Before that, primary school. I drew fake tattoos of guns and roses on my friends' arms because, well, Guns N' Roses.

Before that, at the age of two, I spent a year in Japan because of my dad's work. My earliest memory is sucking on a giant twirly lollipop at Disneyland Tokyo.

Before that, I was born in Drammen, Norway.

Before that, my parents met at Club 7, Oslo.

Before that, in 1905, Norway voted to dissolve its union with Sweden, by 368208 votes to 184.

Before that, more than half of Norway's population was wiped out by the Black Death between the years 1348 and 1350.

Before that, in 1030, King Olav Haraldsson was killed in the battle of Stiklestad. A brutal opportunist, he helped kidnap and murder the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1011. Three years later he fought alongside King Æthelred The Unready to defend England against the invading forces of the Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark and his son Cnut (soon to be Cnut the Great). In 1015, however, he changed sides again, and helped Cnut conquer Wessex, before returning to Norway and declaring himself King.

Once King, legend has it Olav introduced – likely with the help of death threats – his fellow Norsemen to Christianity, to which he had converted during his many "holidays" to Europe (being Christian may have been a prerequisite to make alliances with the European elites).

Later on, Olav teamed up with the king of Sweden to conquer his former ally Denmark, but was forced to hide in the Swedish fjords, before being defeated in the battle of Helgeå and chased back to Norway on foot. In 1928, as a consequence of his failed invasion, Norway was in turn invaded by – you guessed it – Cnut the fucking Great, and Olav finally met his fate. After his death, he was named a saint and he became known as Olav the Holy, allegedly because his nails, hair and beard continued to grow posthumously.


Game of Thrones can take a hike.

Before that, you know, dinosaurs and stuff.

Before that? Darkness, I suppose.

And before that? How should I know?


Drawing on 14 years experience I can help at any stage of the design process – from strategy, prototyping and user experience to digital design and implementation. I can work independently or as a (remote) part of your design or product team. My ideal client needs a blend of brand and identity work, visual storytelling, and UX – delivered in phases, or design sprints.

What's a design sprint?

The wait-until-everything-is-perfect-and-deliver-it-all-at-once-method is a sure-fire way to cause delay and frustration. Design sprints are the antidote. When I say design sprints, I don't mean Design Sprints™️ by Google Ventures. I simply mean identifying manageable, self-contained problems that can be overcome within a reasonable time frame – without the pressure of also fixing everything else at the same time.

It usually goes like this:

  1. First, we work together to understand the problem and agree on what we want to do to solve it. Perhaps we want to run a digital campaign to tell people about your new thing, improve a particular user flow, design a logo, or increase the conversion rates of your calls to action. It can be anything, as long as the scope is finite (and bitesize).
  2. Next, I come up with a number of ideas that I think can solve the problem. These will be rough sketches or wireframes – or, if the project calls for it, clickable prototypes – that show the outline of each idea and act as a starting point for discussion.
  3. Then, I present those ideas to you. We discuss and iterate. Then we discuss a bit more. Maybe we argue. But we continue discussing until we've narrowed it down to a single idea to take forward.
  4. After that, I will polish our chosen idea and make a high fidelity sketch or prototype for review.
  5. Finally, we take the prototype to your audience and test it. This may interviewing your users, or, better still, watching them interacting with the prototype.

That's it.

At the end of a sprint you'll either have a production-ready prototype, or you'll know how to improve it. You'll also have the choice of doing another sprint, either to build on the outcome from the previous one, or to tackle a new problem altogether. What you won't have is a budget-eating projectzilla with an insatiable appetite.

You're welcome.

Talk to me about your design problems

What, specifically, do I do?

Fair question. The best way to answer this is perhaps to imagine that you have a product, a service, or a campaign you want to market. I could help with the following:

  • Brand and visual identity
  • Design and creative content
  • Prototyping, UX, and UI
  • Interactive illustrations and animation

For example, for Phlinx, I developed the visual identity, designed the interface for the product, wrote, designed, and coded the marketing and onboarding pages, and animated the illustrations.

View examples of my work


Thinking about rebranding, feel like your website isn’t working hard enough, or wondering where to start with your content strategy? Fear not. I help companies and teams with a range of workshops on brand, content, and design:

Brand new brand

A one day workshop for teams looking to refresh an existing identity or build a brand from scratch. During the day we will refine the hows, whats and whys of your company, along with the values, philosophy and personality that will form the foundation of your brand strategy.

Expect: Secret votes, group work, eye-opening discussions, and a newfound understanding of who you really are. After the workshop you'll be ready to brief, design, and assess your new identity.

Don't expect: A new logo at the end of it.

Talk to me about organising a brand workshop.

Content for dummies

A one day workshop for teams who need help developing a content strategy. During the day we will establish a clear purpose and strategy for your content, and make it work hard to bring more visitors to your site (and answer their questions once they’re there).

Expect: Roundtable audience analyses, ruthless auditing and lots and lots of index cards. After the workshop you'll know what content your site needs and who's responsible for delivering it.

Don't expect: A crash course in SEO.

Talk to me about organising a content workshop.

What's wrong with my site

A half or full day workshop for teams who want honest, expert advice on their existing website. During the workshop we will discover the purpose, goals, and pain points of your site, learn how to lower barriers, increase usability, and improve the user experience by analysing your audience’s needs.

Expect: Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, but for websites and with less swearing (unless that's your thing). After the workshop you will know how to fix your website and what low-hanging fruits to tackle first.

Don't expect: A walk in the park.

Talk to me about organising a design workshop.

Designing with code

A one or two day workshop for digital design teams with no or little experience with code. During the course of the workshop we will improve the digital understanding and technical literacy of your design team through practical exercises and a hands on introduction to the material of the web.

Expect: Working with typography, layout, and animation using HTML and CSS. After the workshop you'll understand how code works and be a better designer for it.

Don't expect: A front-end masterclass.

Talk to me about organising a digital design workshop.


I like speaking a lot. Over the years I've had the privilege of sharing my thoughts about design at various conferences across the world. If you would like me to speak at your next conference, send me an email or say hi on Twitter.

What people say

"@ebrunborg is my #hero."

"Five minutes and I'm already in love."

"If you ever need to kickoff a second conference day with a room full of hangovers call @ebrunborg..."

"Well that was the best talk I've seen in a flipping age..."

"@ebrunborg already won the #frontzurich conference with his talk."

"Omg @ebrunborg is ridiculous and amazing and such a joy to watch..."

"@ebrunborg just nailed the opening of #fronteers. Entertaining *and* educational."

"I'm in awe, the perfect mix of education & humour...Perfect way to end the day..."

More on Twitter


I’m currently available for client work two days a week. Get in touch to chat about your next project or organising a workshop for your team.

  • Email:
  • Phone: +44 7309 039 740
  • Twitter: @ebrunborg
  • Facebook: Fuck off, Zuckerberg.
  • Instagram: Fuck off, Zuckerberg.
  • WhatsApp: It's complicated.