Hello! My name is Aleksi and I'd like you to get to know me a little...

First things first

Basic info

Full name

Aleksi Tapani Kortesoja

Sex

Male

Nationality

Finnish

Date and place of birth

November 4. 1980 in Kerava, Finland


Language skills

Finnish

Native

English

Very good command (oral and written)

Swedish

Basic communication skills


Education

2004

Bachelor of Culture and Arts
Tampere Polytechnic, School of Art and Media, Tampere, Finland
Major in Interactivity Design

1999

Finnish Matriculation Examination (High School Graduate)
Nikkarin lukio, Kerava, Finland


Work experience

2004 - 2016

Graphic designer / User interface designer
Abako Oy, Tampere, Finland



Things I've done


Some clients I've worked with (as an employee in Abako Oy)...

Abako

Naturally. Layout and interface design for Abako's website (not the current one though), Intranet, Extranet and company's main product Stato. General graphic design such as business cards, presentation templates and so on.

Anttila

Promosites, web shop layout and more.

Ikaalisten Matkatoimisto

Layout and interface design for the client's internal booking system.

Instrumentarium

Layout and interface design for Instru / Keops / Nissen -web shops.

Oikeusministeriö (Ministry of Justice)

Layout and interface design for the whole Oikeus.fi -portal including dozens of sites and sub sites and more. Colors and graphic guidelines. Some admin tools and so on...

City of Seinäjoki

Layout and interface design for Seinajoki.fi.

+ many more...

The starting point

The beginning

When I graduated from high school in 1999 I had a clear idea what I would like to do when I grow up. I applied to Tampere Polytechnic, School of Art and Media and got in. The school was a nice starting point to start building a career.

After the school was over I straight away got a job from a Tampere based IT-company named Abako Oy. Their method for training newcomers was called “Abako’s swimming school” where they figuratively put you on the end of a pier and push you to the water. Then you quite quickly learn how to swim by yourself or drown. I didn’t drown. At the beginning I did quite a different kind of jobs including html, very basic-level coding and project management, but then after a short while found my place as a graphic and user interface designer, which were the positions I was aiming for at the first place.

Abako

My career in Abako lasted for about 11 years and for about half of that time I was the sole graphic designer for the company. Over the years I did graphic and user interface design for many Abako’s clients such as Coxa, Ikaalisten Matkatoimisto, Intersport, Instrumentarium, Oikeusministeriö (Ministry of Justice), former RAY (which is now part of Veikkaus), many Finnish cities and so on. The projects included Internet-sites and portals, intranets, extranets, webshops and booking systems and also some more specific browser-based applications for enhancing the clients internal workflow. All of these were built over the companys main product Stato, which is a multiportal content management and publication system among other things.

Unfortunaltely due to frequent updates and redesigns of those Internet-sites the designs I made are all long gone now. And because of the sensitive nature of those non-public applications I don’t have the rights to show them off. Still I hope you can get an idea of my work from Abako’s website, which is my design and of course from this personal site you are in right now.

Unfortunately for me, Abako's website has been recently redesigned, so I can't show that off either.

Especially for the few last years, my main focus was to design and develop the user interface and usability of the Stato-product itself. Part of the job was team work - naturally, but when I moved to Helsinki and later on to Kerava, where I currently reside I started working remotely from my home office, permanently. This arrangement worked well for me and also for the company.

Last year

In spring 2016 when I was supposed to return to work for paternity leave the company’s current state of product development would have required me to commute between Kerava and Tampere (about 160 km one-way) almost daily. That wasn’t possible at the time with small children at home and with my wife’s inconsistent working hours. So, I stayed home with the kids and started to think of other ways of employment.

At first I thought of to be a gardener, but their employment rate isn’t that good so I moved on. I then applied to pilot training (which is a childhood dream to me), but unfortunately didn’t get through. Also one of my goals has always been to be able to employ myself in my own company, but the thought of that is still in progress.

All of this has taken some time, but I think it’s been good for me to really stop and be forced to think what I want to do next. I’ve also been fortunate to spend a year with my kids and see them grow up. Not all of us have that possibility.

Fact


If there's a job you think would fit me even if it has nothing to do with my past career, don't hesitate to contact me.

I'm not afraid of new challenges.

Sum-up

To sum it up, the last year has done good to me, but now I’m eager to get my hands dirty again. I love to design and I love everything visual, but I've decided not to instantly rule out any possible offers that are somewhat within my area of knownledge. so, if there's a job you think would fit me even if it has nothing to do with my past career, don't hesitate to contact me.

I'm not afraid of new challenges.

One thing I must say is that I value my personal time, whether it is spending time with my family or by myself. I don’t like those job advertisements where they say the person they are looking for must live-and-breath this-and-that. To me that sounds like you don’t ever get off of work. I don’t do extra hours unless it’s a real neccessity, because I know by the experience that it’s not benefical for both me nor the job itself. That being said, it doesn’t mean that I don’t do my job well. Not at all. For me work isn't the most important thing in the world, but when I work I focus on the work and get it done. After that it’s my time to do something else.

Something more interesting

What I've done

As you know by now, I’ve been working in the digital field for over a decade. I said digital, because that’s what I’ve mostly been doing. Websites, browser-based applications and systems. Besides that, I’ve also had my share of interacting with clients. As I mentioned before I was in a position of project manager for a while, but that wasn’t what I was aiming for at that time. I get along with people quite easily and meetings, negotiations, selling and working with clients is no strange thing for me even though most of my work has been in the background.

Besides web design I’ve done some prints, such as cd-covers, t-shirts, few flyers and business cards, but those have been mostly for my personal projects or for my friends. Unfortunately nothing professional yet, but wouldn’t mind to fix that in a near future.

Photography is also one thing I truly love. I am definitely no pro, but I believe that I have a quite good understanding in compositions, colours and settings. Whenever possible, I like to use my own photos in my web designs, because that way the photos have a meaning and they are not just another stock photo without a purpose. A clean design with meaningful graphics along with nice and readable typography and the contents laid out so that one can find the exact information one was looking for is the way to make a great web site, application or what ever in question.

What comes to tools I use, I’m not going to bore you with the details. I know my Photoshop and HTML pretty well for my needs, but I’ve always thought that tools are just tools. You can always learn the tools and you can always learn another tool, but creativity and ideas to use the tools for, you cannot learn. And what goes to learning, I consider myself a quite quick learner.

What I'd like to do

What I would like to do is to combine my existing skills and knownledge with other things I love. As I said before, I like to do layouts, but I wouldn't mind getting my hands on something even more creative. Or something completely different. When I was still studying I spent a summer or two in a warehouse collecting items. Even though it wasn't that challenging or demanding it was fun and I really enjoyed it. What I'm saying is that diversity is good and all jobs have both good sides and bad sides.

My time

My true passion is music. For as long as I can remember music has played a big role in my life. I love to listen to music as much as playing it. As a kid I played the piano, like almost every other kid, but at the age of 13 I found drums and later on also guitar. In my head I constantly write new songs an lyrics and whenever I have time, I try to bring them to life. Unfortunately the recent band I played drums in, is now a hiatus for a while, but the one I play guitar in is well alive. Playing has always been a good counterbalance for work and a brilliant way to reduce stress and also just something I really need in my life.

 

Music is one thing, but I also love everything visual, whether it's drawings, paintings, tattoos, buildings, magazines, films, fabrics, hand crafts or just nature on it's own beauty.

As a family of two little children, three cats and a dog it's quite obvious that we spend a lot of time outdoors walking, cycling and just hanging out. As a home owner we have naturally quite a lot of things to do in our house and garden and so for the last few years we've been renovating the insides and shaping our garden. All of this is fun stuff and I really like building things with my own hands. Whether it's storage boxes for our kids toys or pots for plants or even our own vegetable garden, it's refreshing and just soothing.

Me

As a person I'm quite laid back and I don't tend to stress too much. I like to keep work and my personal time apart. I don't want to be defined by what I do, but instead of by how I do it. When I work I'm hard working and I hate to leave things unfinished, but not at the cost of excessive hours.

Not only because of my previous job, but also because I am a father of two, I have a plenty of experience in dealing with unexpected and sometimes nearly impossible situations. Although focusing on one job at the time would be ideal, I am also getting pretty good in multitasking and prioritising.

I like to keep things simple and I guess you could call me a common-sense minimalist. The neccessary and a little bit of something extra is good way to go. I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, whether it's counting pixels or hanging a painting on the wall and getting it straight, but with age I've also learnt not to tweak the little pixel too much if no one can even see it.

I like people around me, but I also like being on my own. I've been said to be an easy person to work with.

And I'm always up for a good cup of coffee.
Or a pint.
Depending on the situation...

Next steps?

So by now, you should have learnt a few things about me.

Repetition is the key, so allow me to remind you once more, that I'm open for any kind of job opportunities* even if they have nothing to do with my past career. I'm up for new challenges!

Now, ideally you would do one or more of the following:

  • immediately call me and offer me a job of my dreams
  • tell me that the job in question lets me combine my existing skills with the other things I like and haven't had a chance to show my talent in yet
  • contact me for more information

But if the ones on left don't apply, I would also more than appreciate if you would do one or more of the following:

  • give me any feedback you think would be useful to me
  • hint a job elsewhere
  • share this site to others

* except for anything gross, illegal or just plain stupid