Vimma Linda Linko -

Linda Linko

How did you become a designer?

It’s been clear as day to me ever since I was a kid, though the journey this far has been long and winding. Designing in itself is a large concept, so doing your own thing and getting better at it is the most challenging part. After 15 years in the business I’m finally developing an image of myself as a designer. After my studies I worked for a while at a designer office. Later I started my own business. For the last seven years my work has slid solely to creating images as if by itself. I think of myself as an illustrator and an artist.


A style icon, or a person you idolize in this world?

Haha, I could say Nora of Skam, because my current hairstyle (blonde polka) is inspired by the character. I also idolize the scriptwriters of Skam. There’s so much beauty and universally good things about that show. This world needs that kind of thing right now.


What do colours mean to you?

Colours are what I do 🙂 Before I used to do only black and white pictures. In the past few years I’ve introduced myself to colours in a new, different way.


What is your working method?

I draw and paint with ink and watercolours. I also use the collage technique a lot and take a lot of pictures on a camera. Very analogue. One day it would be great to get rid of the computer entirely, but for now it is a necessary tool for me.


What makes you tick right now?

I’ve always had a weak spot for the 1970’s. As a teenager I wanted to be a hippie, when all my friends were wearing skater clothes. The 1970’s style still intrigues me, even though it’s said to be out of date by now.

I like patterns that surprise me in some way or do not fit in any particular genre. Now, as a mother of a small boy, I look at patterns from a different perspective. I would like to see more patterns that would work well on both, girls and boys. Boys should have more fun patterns available!


How did you end up as a designer for Vimma?

It was a series of fortunate events. I’ve been with Vimma from the very beginning. The patterns were interesting and I had wanted to do something with textiles for the longest time. It didn’t take much time to think and make up my mind when you asked me to join in.

Designing for Vimma has been very educational for me, a dive into the very essence of different patterns. I was a greenhorn when I started. Luckily, Vimma as a brand wants to be adventurous and experimental, and as a designer this has opened a lot of doors for me. I enjoy creating patterns for Vimma. This may sound like a clichè, but working for Vimma doesn’t feel like work at all. I also think what I would personally like my own son or myself to wear.


What is the most important pattern you have created for Vimma?

It’s hard to say anything specific. It’s always an exciting moment, when I get to open a roll of fabric and see the pattern in real size. I scaled the Butterfly-pattern very large at first, but Marjut envisioned it to be printed in small-scale as well. I was excited to see what the end result would look like, but I was very happy about the mini-butterfly when I got to see it. I use the same pattern a lot myself, too.

I also like the Blur pattern. It’s been fun to see how well it suits for girls, boys, babies and adults alike. On one person it looks like a soft ink pattern, on another person it’s kind of punk. I’m very happy with it for its diversity.


On my desk at this very moment…

Empty takeaway coffee cup, can of paint, post-it notes, water bottle, Vimma sweater in a plastic bag on its way home. I’m creating a lecture for day after tomorrow, but what I’d really want to do right now is paint.


On the radio right now…

I listen to a lot of girly music. Nothing too soft, but more up-beat. It fits my woman cave and it makes me feel good and energetic.


The fall feels right now…

Good. There’s excitement in the air. I feel sunny and hopeful.


The most wonderful thing in life is…

Watercolours, and (most of the time) the time spent with a smiling 2-year-old boy.


My favourite hobby is…

Painting, running up and down the Malminkartanonhuippu stairs, browsing through second hand stores, foraging for mushrooms and a trip to skate park with my son every Sunday.


On foot, bike, bus, tram or a car… and why?

These days all of the above. I praise them and curse them all in turns.


The most beautiful part of Helsinki is…

The shipyard. It’s always been my favourite places here. I’m lucky, now that my office is there, too. At the shipyard the change of season and the sea are always present. It’s in the middle of everything, but still in a world of its own.


Future works…

Hmm… I’m not allowed to talk about them much, but I’m working on different things from a book cover to cups and pans. Art-related things are closest to my heart right now, although I’m still building up courage to bring that side of me out even more some day.


Linda’s line is…

Sinewy, but a little messy.


Favourite outfit right now…

A night gown I designed from the silky Vimma Butterfly-fabric. It feels really nice and airy, when you wear it, although I’ve been able to wear it just once.


On a Sunday…

We go to the Kaivopuisto skate park with my son and after that we go somewhere near for a coffee and bun. Best.


The forest…

Equals peace. The opposite of everything else. I enjoy it. In the fall time I spend a lot of time in the forests and trails of Nuuksio.


I play…

Quite a lot these days. At work I play with colours and at home I fool around with my son.


I hate it, when people…

Speak on top of each other or leave no room for you in some other way. This is the view of an introverted person…


I would some day like to visit…

I still dream about trips to Central America. Somewhere close to volcanoes, where the sea boils.


When I was little…

My mother made me clothes that I designed myself. Those designs were pretty simple, hah. I also made a lot of things from paper. Usually different characters inspired by Asterix and Dallas. I once built them a town out of paper. Every character had a home there, there was a tiny post office and a bakery, too. I had thought everything through. However, my sister tore the whole thing up thinking it was rubbish.


My biggest dream is…

To some day work without a computer.


Who do you follow on InstaGram?

I follow my friends fooling around on InstaGram. When you create pictures for a living, you would go crazy by looking at pictures others are creating. As an introverted person, I’m at my very best in a kind of a vacuum space. I don’t spend much time in social media.



Where can we see your work in the future?

Top secret :).


Linda Linko (b. 1979). Illustrator and artist.
Graduated graphics designer from TAIK in 2005.
Self-employed since 2010.


Iittala, Arabia, Fazer, New York Times, Gap, Vimma.


‘Pttrns’ (solo exhibition) Iittala Arabia Design Centre, Helsinki 2017.
‘Tiny Space’ (group exhibition) Contact Lab, Los Angeles (US) 2015.
‘Harmony Entropy’ (solo exhibition), Galleria Huuto, Helsinki 2014.


European Design Awards -award in illustration 2014.
Several awards from Vuoden Huiput.