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Sentralen by Metric Design, Norway

Opinion by Josh Nychuk.

Brand identity for Oslo-based cultural centre and co-working space Sentralen by Metric Design, Norway

The former building of Norway’s first savings bank, which began as a social initiative to serve the working class people of Oslo, now houses Sentralen, a mixed-use cultural centre. Sentralen continues in the traditions of the bank, functioning as a hub for innovators concerned with and looking to address present day societal issues.

The centre houses over 350 tenants working in cultural production, while also accommodating business needs through small meeting spaces and venues for conferences. It also intends to bring the neighbourhood to life with activities throughout the week in one of its six performing arts venues, a classic cocktail bar and restaurant with a menu of contemporary Norwegian dishes.

Scandinavian studio Metric Design was responsible for the visual identity design of Sentralen (main entity), Sentralen UNG (youth) and Sentralen Restaurant (plus bar & cafeteria), as was well as way-finding program and website which connects guests with all there is to experience at the centre. While a comprehensive project, this article focuses on visual identity and way-finding components, and was kindly written by New York-based Canadian freelance designer, writer and educator Josh Nychuk.

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Solrug by Bielke & Yang, Norway

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Package design for Solrug by Bielke & Yang, Norway, featuring illustration by Rami Niemi, Finland

Solrug is a high-quality, ready-cut, Finnish sourdough rye bread created for the Norwegian market by Magnus Högnäs, a Finnish expat living in Norway, and in response to the county’s poor wholemeal choice. The bread is dense with a strong flavour, low in sugar and salt but high in fibre and protein, and produced by Finnish bakery Leipomo Rosten Oy using only natural ingredients. Solrug’s packaging, designed by Oslo based graphic design studio Bielke & Yang, draws on and plays up to the bread and brand’s Finnish origins, through a bright panel of Finnish stereotypes, drawn by Finnish illustrator Rami Niemi.

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Altaskifer by Neue, Norway

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity and business cards for Alta Quartzite mining and sales business Altaskifer designed by Neue, Norway

Alta Quartzite is a natural building material quarried from the mountains of Norway’s Alta region with a unique green/grey colour, fine texture and hard wearing non-slip properties. These make it a good choice for both interior and exterior applications, from roofing, paving and staircases, to roads and walkways. Although it is material with a long history of use it is being utilised in increasingly more innovative ways, and on an international scale.

Working on the mountainside of Peska, Norwegian company Altaskifer mines Alta Quartzite using traditional methods, and is a joint sales and marketing company for the entire slate industry in the Alta region.

Altaskifer worked with Scandinavian graphic design studio Neue to develop a brand identity that would run across a variety of touch points. These are now linked by the concept of “rough beauty” and the history of the material, from the hard manual labour and functional focus of the past, to today’s modern design and crafted contexts. This is visualised through a bright but simple colour palette, typographical contrast and the meeting of organic and geometric form across business cards, tote bags, brochure and soon to launch website.

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