Here is a link to a PDF of my CV + Portfolio.


Sóley Stefánsdóttir
Graphic Designer working in visual communication, project management, teaching and research

Mobile: +354 698 4300

Nationality: Icelandic



2001 – 2004 B.A. in Graphic Design. The Iceland Academy of the Arts.

1996 – 2000 B.A. in Theology and Gender Studies. The University of Iceland.


Tree weeks crash course in portuguese grammar in Porto, Portugal.

Three weeks intensive course on behalf of the Norwegian Peace Corps (FK), preparing for development work. Among topics: Development issues and peacebuilding, Intercultural communication, health and security and Institutional Competence Building.


Icelandic, English, Norwegian and Portuguese.



Freelance Graphic Designer

Developed and taught a course in Iceland Academy of the Arts called Design; a creative force for change.

BA thesis instruction in design

Radio lectures about design and society

Various lectures about the Design Innovation for Gender Equality project.


Teacher in the Art school in Maputo, Mozambique

From january 2009 to July 2010 I have been teaching graphic design in the National Art School in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. The project is called MONOZI and is a cooperation between the Culture School in Fredrikstad (Kulturskolen i Fredrikstad) in Norway and art schools in Mozambique and Zimbabwe. This is a so called FK project where teachers are exchanged. The position was for one and a half year.

The school is a skill based high school with the aim of graduating students that are qualified for the work market. In the design department there is a great hunger among the young students to learn to use all the new technology and grow their ability to create a professional design. All though they face great difficulties in the access of material, suficient facilities and teachers. The school is stronger in visual arts, ceramics and texteils but design is developing as industry and commerce grows. Until spring 2010 the media lab was in a little boiling room with 4 old mac’s and 14-21 student in each year (very few students have their own computer and if they have it is just an old PC) In March 2010 the school got 16 new computers which has revolutionised the media lab of the school. The fear now is lack of infrastructure to maintain this.

I taught basic graphic design in a broad sence; sketching and planning, identity design, information design, typography, layout, animation, webdesign and photography. The creative computer programs I tought were Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Flash, Final Cut, After Effects and WordPress (for webdesign).

As well as teaching graphic design I was a course leader for my class. That meant looking after their overall education, looking out for their rights and their performance and participating in meetings concerning grades and studyplans.

Graduation project and final presentation

From March 2010-July 2010 I leaded the work of the graduation students in Graphic Design in the Art school where I was teaching. I managed the whole graduation process; all the printing of the students work, the final presentation day, getting together a jury, designing the way students would present their work in the new building the school had moved in etc.

Sem Balanca/Off balance. Dance and visual communication about global warming.

Together with Kristine Watten Sorensen (who is teaching dance in the same umbrella project) I developed and got a support for a project called Sem Balança (Off Balance). The project was developed and executed in Mozambique.

The basic idea was that our artforms together can address issues such as global warming in a creative and interesting way. Visual communication is an obvious tool (and a strong one in a country with 40% illiteracy) and dance is an effective way to reach people in Mozambique. Dance is at the core of the Mozambican culture, everyone dances from the minute they can stand on their feet. We wrote the project description, budget plan and a 3 weeks day by day plan. The project consisted of two one week workshops ending in a dance and video show.

Design, Art and Sustainability; A study trip for two Mozambican design students.

In desember 2009 I had two mozambican students with me to Iceland for a 5 weeks study trip. I created the project, got it financed and directed it. Two of the best students in film and animation got the opportunity to travel to Iceland and Norway.

The art academies in Iceland and Oslo helped out by inviting us to use the schools media lab to work. The students visited designers, animators, film editors, design agencies, recycling stations and more. They had several workshops, e.g. in photography, animation and bookbinding. As well they held two concerts and an Africa night.

In the final presentation of graduating studens in graphic design in july 2010 these were students of exellence and the jury gave them highest grade possible.

Caos na Identidade; Searching for myself.

In November 2009 I took part in a Dance and video projection performance directed by Lulu Sala, a mozambican dancer. He performed his choreography along with Kristine Watten Sørensen, a norwegian dancer. The performance was a combination of dance, poetry, music and video projection. The title of the show was Identity Caos; Searching for myself. The show was on in the capital Maputo and then we travelled to Quelimane in the north for another show there.


Freelance graphic design and design research.

Among clients:

  • Gunnar Hersveinn; an Icelandic philosopher, poet and author writing about ethics in every day life
  • Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies in the University of Iceland
  • Icelandic Centre for Verbal History
  • Iceland Institute of History
  • The Equal Rights committee of the University of Iceland
  • The Icelandic Historians Society
  • Stígamót – Icelandic Counseling And Information Center For Survivors Of Sexual Violence
  • UNIFEM – the United Nations Development fund for Women
  • 16 days of Activism Against Gender Violence
  • ENATW – European Network Against Trafficking in Women for Sexual Exploitation
  • Institute of Womens History
  • ENTA – property developers
  • Myvatn Nature Baths. A blue lagoon project in Iceland


I worked for the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies in the University of Iceland as a graphic designer in the development of a ‘Center of Excellence in Gender Research’ and a ‘School of Practical Gender Research’.



In early 2008 I developed a research project called DIG-Equality; Design Innovation for Gender Equality. The objective is to promote the thesis that design innovation is a catalyst for gender equality and diversity. The aim is to propose an interdisciplinary platform that will tackle gender equality issues through design and innovation.

The project has gotten positive reaction. It was introduced in Paris this spring at the HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) Match making Event.

In the 2010 Cirrus (network of nordic/baltic design schools) conference I held a session about the project with participants from several schools in the nordic baltic region.


An exhibition of images of poetry and launch of a book/envelope of poetry called “Sjöund” (Seventh) in The National Museum of Iceland 5th – 19th of April. A project in cooperation with Gunnar Hersveinn, an Icelandic poet.


Design – Resource for the Future.

Along with my partner Halldór Gíslason I wrote and designed a policy making book in Icelandic named Design – Resource for the Future. The aim of the book is to give insight in a readable and attractive form about the status of design in the world, research findings and the potential for design as an actor in the Icelandic economy.  This book was sent to all governmental bodies in Iceland and has already become influential in the Icelandic Research Council, the new Iceland Innovation Centre and the Ministry of Industry and the media.

We have given two official talks based on the book, one press meeting with the minister of industry and one in a conference on The Source of Wealth in Small States, claiming design as an important source for business.

The first edition of the book is finished and now there are talks about making revision for a second edition.

Lectures introducing the book:

May 07. Along with Halldór a Press Conference with the Icelandic Minister of Industry.

Sept. 07 On a conference called “The Source of Wealth in small States.” (Podcasts on:

2005 – 2006

Research on Design Innovation

I was a researcher for The Icelandic Academy of the Arts, design faculty. A Nordic/Baltic Project on Design and Innovation sponsored by The Nordic Innovation Center. The project title is “Nordic/Baltic Innovation network for Creative Industries – Focusing on Design”. A link to the report:

2005 – 2007

In combination with the research work I have attended various conferences on Design.

Oct. 2007: Intersections. Design know-how for a new era. Newcastle, England. An event by dott07 and University of Northumbria.
Cumulus conferences (International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media):
Oct. 2006: New Situation, New Reality. Warsaw, Poland
June 2006: Ethics: Design, ethics and humanism. Nantes
Mai 2005: In the Making. The First Nordic Design Research Conference. Copenhagen, Denmark.
Oct. 2004: The Zone: An Area of Transition. Utrecht, The Netherlands



I worked on an anniversary project for UNIFEM (The United Nations Development Fund for Women) redeveloping their communication strategy and presentation. Their annual magazine had been a simple publication with little design involvement. On the 15th birthday of the Icelandic organization it was decided to design a new identity, campaign material, including a strong magazine that could communicate the important work done by the organization. The aim was to increase funding substantially, both by creating growth in the supporting membership and to gain larger funding from the Icelandic government.

The work involved the accumulation and verification of material for publication, both textual and visual. The aim of gaining an increased support from the government was certainly achieved. According to the financial bill of 2008 the annual sponsoring from the government will be 30 times what it was in 2003, it has gradually gone from 3 million isk. in 2004 to 87.5 million for 2008.



Worked as a project-leader developing an exhibition called Gardarsholmi, in a small fishing village in the North of Iceland. The exhibition is about the Swedish viking, Gardar Svavarsson who by several old Saga references was the first to sail around Iceland, taking land in Húsavík erecting a house there. The exhibition idea was to explore the results of human settlement on the environment. In Iceland there is great opportunity to examine how settlements affect the environment, as the settlement in Iceland started around 870 in a pretty well documented time. The project got to the stage that the Icelandic president and the Swedish king were the protectors of the exhibition.


A summer research project, funded by The Student Innovation Fund.

“Visualization of the Icelandic Mountain Lady: the use of Graphic Design and Symbolism in Image Creation.”

Looking at the women symbols of nations, like Britannia in Britain, and how they are used as national propaganda tools. The Mountain Lady (Fjallkonan) is a symbol of Iceland, still in use. Every national day a woman in her costume gives a speech to the nation and land.

2000 – 2001

Worked as an assistant in the design department in the Icelandic Advertising Agency, one of the largest agencies in Iceland.


RIKK; The Women and gender Reaserch center in the University of Iceland. Part time work running the office, organizing the lecture series and meetings and more.

A summer research project, funded by The Student Innovation Fund.

“Representation of Gender in Children’s books and its effect on children.”

The work included taking interviews with children to get ideas about their understanding of pictorial material. Then working on the results using Michel Foucault discourse theories and Judith Butler’s theories on performance and gender.