Opinion by Richard Baird
Åhléns began in 1899 as a small mail-order business. Aside from it being one of the oldest it has also grown to become one of the largest retail chains in Sweden. By carefully collating a variety of items across brands and price categories, the retailer maintains its relevance today, understanding and responding to the many ways in which its customers have changed over its long history. Happy FB, the Scandinavian design studio behind Åhléns new visual identity, puts it simply “to Åhléns’ urbane and socially conscious patrons, shopping and sustainability are not contradictions. Inspiration and trends do not equate to use and discard. Premium can be inexpensive and cheap doesn’t necessarily mean a drop in quality”. The retailer’s new visual identity expresses this by taking the well-established Åhléns wordmark and single red and builds this out into a range of changing graphic expressions, imbuing a variety of touchpoints, material and digital, with more character whilst retaining a recognisable immediacy through simplicity.
Opinion by Richard Baird.
Den Norske Filmskolen (The Norwegian Film School) provides a broad range of practical film courses taught by a full-time teaching staff and guest lecturers and instructors with active careers in the national and international film industries. It is the only one of its kind in Norway, developed as a separate department at Lillehammer University College in 1997 and now part of Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. Courses cover film direction, screenplay, cinematography, sound and production design, digital design and documentary making.
With a desire to better articulate the “energy and vision” of the school, and to help them better differentiate themselves, foster emotions and reflect their role in producing the filmmakers of the future, Den Norske Filmskolen worked with Scandinavian graphic design studio Neue to develop a new graphic identity that would work onscreen and in print. This links a variety of assets that include posters, banners, tote bag and website.
Opinion by Richard Baird
Maldini Studios is a Stockholm-based interior design and carpentry studio made up of project manager and carpenter Rasmus Moberg, interior designer Elina Johansson and carpenter Theo Klyvar. The studio’s work often uses precise lines and geometric forms to elevate the irregular detail and texture of natural materials. There are moments of utilitarian and ornamental juxtaposition, times at which this feels subtle and transitional, others where it is more severe and abrupt. Much of the studio’s work displays a contextual sensitivity, either in its continuity with or intentional opposition to space.
Drawing on the forms, materials and woodworking craft of the studio, as well as its understanding of object and space Swedish designer Jens Nilsson, former Design Director at Snask, built an identity that explores the intersection of the functional and the sculptural, material pleasure and communicative intention. This is done through the distinctive typographical forms of a custom typeface, a material variety, and by employing letterpress as a bridge between the two. Graphic identity runs across website and a variety of printed assets, these include stationery and business cards, branded items such as tote bags and scarves, as well as signage.