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Artek Helsinki by Tsto, Finland

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity and shopping bags by graphic design studio Tsto for furniture and homeware store Artek Helsinki.

Artek is a Finnish furniture and product design business and retailer with a flagship store in Helsinki. It was founded in 1935 by architect Alvar Aalto and wife Aino Aalto, the arts promoter Maire Gullichsen and art historian Nils-Gustav Hahl.

Artek grew alongside and shared many of the qualities of the  20th century modernist movement, blending art and technology, and making the most of improved technical expertise in mass manufacturing to produce well-crafted and functional products from good quality materials for everyday living. The company has remained true to these values, and its 2nd cycle initiative, a platform for reselling Artek furniture, is a testament to the aesthetic and material longevity of its products.

Artek worked with Scandinavian graphic design studio Tsto to build out the visual identity system of their flagship store, Artek Helsinki. The studio’s approach layers this system with additional type, illustration created from the partial forms of Artek’s product range and establishes a new set of visual guidelines. This runs across and links tags, stationery, business cards, packaging, magazine covers and shopping bags.

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Well Coffee by Bond, Finland

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity and coffee cups by Bond for Helsinki-based vegetarian café Well Coffee

Well Coffee is a new vegetarian café in the centre of of the Finnish capital of Helsinki. It has a distinctive interior of steel frames and wood surfaces, exposed concrete walls, drilled and CNC cut panels of circles, large menu board, marine lamps and potted plants. These blend the current and utilitarian with the more welcoming. Scandinavian graphic design studio Bond worked with the café on brand identity. This included illustration and custom typography, implemented as signage, across packaging and throughout website. These are linked by wave-like elements, inspired by the symbol associated with cafe’s location in Kaivopiha, and recurring circular detail that makes a connection with interior design.

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Modern by Dwell Magazine by Collins, United States

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Branding and packaging design by New York studio Collins for product and furniture range Modern by Dwell Magazine, a collaboration with Target.

Modern by Dwell Magazine is a new range of home decor products, tablewear and furnishings for those who want to create a welcoming space with a modern aesthetic. It is a collaborative project between design and architecture magazine Dwell, designers Chris Deam and Nick Dine of Deam+Dine, and the American retailer Target.

The range features over 120 products. From chairs, tables and glassware to kitchen utensils, bowls and cocktail shakers. These all balance an everyday functionality with what is described as a high-quality material beauty and share a modernistic design foundation, good design for everyone, only truly made a reality with more recent improvements to mass manufacturing.

New York-based design company Collins, working with the Target Creative Team, drew on a similar modernistic approach taken by Modern’s designers to create brand identity and packaging. This can be seen in structure and high quality materials, and throughout the range’s graphic expression, a balance of high-impact colour, typographical detail and a practical grid-based layout.

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