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Ekta Sketchbooks Vol. I–III by Lundgren+Lindqvist, Sweden

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Ekta Sketchbooks Vol. I–III by Lundgren+Lindqvist, Sweden

Ekta Sketchbooks is a three volume book collection dedicated to the work of Ekta, the moniker of Swedish animator, sculptor, designer and illustrator Daniel Götesson (b. 1978). Limited to 300 copies and available from ll’Editions these present—through pages thickened by collages, drawings and layers of paint and tape—moments of creative relief, and represent the context for the endless experimentation that characterises Ekta’s process and output. What is particularly distinctive about Ekta Sketchbooks is that many of the pages have the quality of original works. These reference the past, and offer glimpses into Ekta’s future output, and have been bound into three volumes with embossed and gold stamped covers, and united in a personalised fabric covered box, designed by Scandinavian studio Lundgren+Lindqvist.

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Vestre Anniversary Book by Snøhetta, Norway

Opinion by Richard Baird

Folk+Form, a book designed by Snøhetta celebrating the legacy of Norwegian furniture manufacturer Vestre

Vestre is a Norwegian, family-owned and run, furniture design and manufacturing business celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. Vestre’s extensive catalogue is characterised by an intersection between convivial colour detail, modern forms and long-lasting build. Snøhetta, who previously worked with Vestre on the development of a production facility in 2013, and the refurbishment of the company’s headquarters and showroom in 2017, continue to work with the business, this time on Folk+Form, an exhibition and two-volume book that intends to bring to life the Vestre family legacy.

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Carlsberg Black Gold by Kontrapunkt, Denmark

Opinion by Richard Baird

New minimal packaging design by Danish studio Kontrapunkt for Carlsberg's Black Gold

Carlsberg is a Danish beer brand founded in 1847 by J.C. Jacobsen. It is part of the Carlsberg Group portfolio which also includes Tuborg, Kronenbourg and Somersby cider, as well as Carlsberg Export and Carlsberg Black Gold. Carlsberg has a significant heritage. And, like many other beer brands, has largely conveyed this using the visual language and associated legacy of the beer bottle label, which then made it on to cans.

Carlsberg has begun a steady move towards a more current visual expression. This is characterised by a concise communicative intention and a stylistic minimalism. This can be seen, initially, in the packaging design of the Carlsberg can for the German market, created by Copenhagen-based studio Kontrapunkt, and in the redesign of Carlsberg Black Gold, also by Kontrapunkt. Black Gold is a dark pilsner, brewed in the same manner as Carlsberg’s premium variety, only for longer, giving it a richer flavour profile and higher alcohol content. This difference is conveyed immediately using a black and gold print finish.

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