A conversation with Jacob Klein and Nathan Cowen of Haw-lin Services, a Berlin creative agency
Nathan: Berlin was a means to an end, sort of. It is the place where we both met and started a great friendship and working relationship, but the city was probably much more familiar to Jacob. I didn’t really know much about it besides the basic historical facts. Which is to say, I was mostly unaware of the many creative possibilities the city had to offer.
Jacob: Berlin was somehow the city that interested me most after I finished my studies. Many of my friends and family have moved here over the past four years, which has made it a great place to be. I also like how easy it is to experience new things while also being able to stay away from it all and live a quiet life. These choices mean a lot to me.
What do like the most about Berlin?
N: It is a beautiful city with a laid-back atmosphere. The cost of living definitely cannot be ignored, and this makes it easier to travel, which allows us to work with so many international friends and clients.
J: I like the differences between the seasons. A mostly very cold winter followed by a great hot summer. I like the quietness of the city in the winter and the feeling when everything starts waking up again in spring. Great contrast. Besides that, I have to agree with Nathan. Berlin is a great hub for traveling throughout Europe, which makes collaborating very convenient.
What annoys you?
N: The combination of being allowed to smoke inside bars and restaurants and how easily residents file noise complaints. Noise complaints equal closed windows, which equals smoky clothes and allergies.
J: Broken glass on the bike path.
You are passionate about or addicted to _______ .
N: Passionate and addicted to the Daily Zap on NBA.com.
J: I am addicted to licorice and Kadó [a licorice shop] on Graefestraß, which is my paradise. Besides that I am addicted to good espresso.
What are you doing right now?
N and J: Taking the ICE train to Hannover to meet with a client.
Anything personal you want to add or say or illustrate?
N: Looking forward to working with you in Switzerland, Kostas!
J: One hundred percent Tempelhofer Feld.
Haw-lin Services offers art direction, photography, graphic design, and creative research specializing in the fields of fashion, architecture, art, and product and interior design.
The name Haw-lin serves as an analogy for the studio’s creative philosophy of exchange and collaboration, and stems from the duo’s beginnings. “Haw” coming from Hawaii, where Nathan grew up, and “lin” from Berlin, the city where the creative first formed.
Jacob Klein was born in 1980 in Warendorf, Germany, and grew up in Rheda-Wiedenbruck. In 2007, he graduated from the University of Applied Sciences in Bielefeld, with a degree in graphic and communication design. Nathan Cowen was born in 1983 in Santa Cruz, California, and grew up in Kailua, Hawaii. In 2007, he graduated from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco with a degree in graphic design.