Online All Stars: The Strongman

Jens Karlsson/Illustration: Molly Crabapple

Jens Karlsson Cofounder & Creative Director, Your Majesty

"Obviously, I'm a very ambitious person," says Jens Karlsson. "I like to get my creative vision through." At just 30 years old, that ambition has served him well. Your Majesty, the company he started in 2007, after serving as creative director at Big Spaceship, is growing in stature, if not size.

Karlssen struck out on his own with the idea of staying small, and producing strictly-controlled top-quality work. The plan was for Your Majesty to never exceed 25 people, "to keep the personal touch and personal inspiration." The size of the company also means that everyone needs to be good at everything.

"We love to work with storytellers - to create little experiences," Karlsson says. This idea is one of the things that is innate to the work he does, and the online environment lends itself to this. "You need to know how to tell stories and create content." These more intricate campaigns, going far beyond building a microsite or a mobile app, stretching the traditional boundaries of what creative means. "It takes a lot of time and vision," he says. "You have to foresee how your product will be used."

Though he may be young, Karlsson is a digital veteran whose work dates back to the mid-90s, when, barely out of high school, he worked with Telia, Sweden's largest telecom provider (now TeliaSonera). Karlsson has known his Your Majesty partner, James Widegren, since those days in Sweden, when the two were something of pioneers in the digital space.

However, Karlsson beats the same drum as many of his peers, whose voices are building to an ever-intensifying rallying cry that likely started with the digital indies, but has now pervaded the industry, echoing from the halls of VivaKi to the towers of WPP. "This whole calling ourselves 'digital' is something that should be put to the past," he says.

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