During a backpacking trip in Asia in 2001, I decided to learn everything about the web. The goal was to be able to work anywhere from the earth, to become a digital nomad. In 2004, I had digitized my life as much as possible. Also my livelihood. In 2005, I settled in Bangkok, a city of 10 million people.

Own project

2002 – 2012

  • Digital nomad
  • Sell ​​my services and those of other international graphic designers online.

Project: Digital Nomad

2001–2002. Idea and decision.

During a backpacking trip in Asia, shortly after the IT crash and when modems and dial-up Internet were still common, I had an idea. Shouldn’t it be possible to work with graphic design over the internet remotely? Most people I mentioned the idea to laughed and thought it sounded silly. But I couldn’t let go of the thought. It should work…

A year later I read an article about a graphic design teacher who lived in the US and made logos online in his spare time. Soon I also found some American websites where you could order logos online. In Sweden there was nothing similar, which made my old idea bloom. The goal was set. I would build Sweden’s first service for ordering logos online in package form. And I would be geographically unbound! Show the skeptics that it was possible to work remotely.


2002–2005. The implementation.

I started working together with a frontend developer and on May 1, 2003 we launched logofabriken.se. The service was marketed through running advertisements in various start-your-own magazines. When Google started Adwords ads in 2004, I was one of the first to jump on the bandwagon with the new ad format. It gave a very good result. The website logofabriken.se was built simply, but as the business model of buying graphic material at a fixed price online was new in Sweden, the site quickly became a talking point. Several well-known internet entrepreneurs got in touch with words of praise and congratulations.

Two years after starting, logofabriken.se did so well that I could live on it. I then also built the international e-commerce site Logoking.com for pre-made logos. Then the world’s first of its kind. Even that service went very well in the first few years.

While my online services were going brilliantly, I started preparing for life as a digital nomad. I stopped reading physical magazines and switched to only reading digitally. I also trained myself to use Skype which had just been launched (2003). Among other things, I went around Asia and test called home to Sweden from Skype. Then asked the receivers to tell how the sound quality was.


2005–2007. The move from Sweden.

At the end of October 2005, the time was right and I left Sweden. In the luggage I had two e-commerce sites and a newly started blog (so customers could follow my adventure), also the 45 kg portable office which consisted of a laptop, portable screen and Skype headset, etc. The blog from that time (built as hardcoded HTML) http://www.ostenhallberg.se/old/blogg/index.htm

I rented a large apartment right in the center of Bangkok which I set up as an office with the fastest internet I could get (ADSL modem). Incoming physical mail was forwarded from Sweden, while outgoing mail went with 48 h DHL once a week. The customers were mostly in Sweden but also internationally. But also at the local market in Bangkok. I spent a lot of time developing and marketing my own projects during this period. I also worked with a company in India that I bought SEO services from.

I traveled from time to time to different places in Asia and worked from different hotels and other premises. Often with the help of modems and dial-up Internet. My portable special monitor in a bag also had to come along.


2007–2012. Everyday life, downssizing and moving home.

After a while, everyday life began to creep into life in Bangkok. Also began to feel that there was a risk of missing the train in Sweden when you are away for too long. Also, I was very dependent on the Google search engine. When the algorithms changed too much, my business was shaken and the income stream was affected. It created concern. The international competition also intensified every year. Among other things, the auction site 99design appeared and took a lot of my customers. It became difficult to fight alone against the new services that both had large teams and a lot of venture capital behind them.

Eventually I switched to working from Bangkok only during the winter and the rest of the year in Sweden. In 2012 I moved back home full-time but with a wealth of experience richer…