Sweden

Lets all call Sweden and ask them something.

I’ve always wanted to go to Sweden, and since my passport just got renewed I might have to start planning a trip. So, what to do in Sweden? Where to go? What to see? What should I pack? Are they on the Euro? So many questions, and now I can get answers.  How? By calling Sweden and talking to a Swede.

This has got to be one of the better tourism ad campaigns to surface in quite some time. No cheesy landscape shots with beautiful people doing all sorts of touristy things. With this campaign you can really call Sweden, and speak to a real Swede and ask them anything you want about their country. I know what I’ll be doing this weekend. I’m going to call Sweden and ask them anything and everything I can think of. Wanna ask Sweden something yourself? You can do it right here at Sweden’s dedicated Swedish Number website.

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More Than Just Vodka.

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Swedish Vodka maker Absolut has tapped into the “Maker” movement with a new mobile innovation lab built from shipping containers and other recycled materials. The Absolut Creative Space  was designed by architects Astrid Skog and Charlotte Stuveback for Abslout earlier this year as a venue for creatives and innovators to produce unique with tools they might not have access to, in a collaborative environment. Inspiration was taken from Absolut’s production process and applied to each of the four individual spaces. The goal was to inspire and enable different types of work with limitless variations on the creative process.

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Creative Space was first placed outside Färgfabriken in Stockholm Sweden. The containers occupy enough space to hold all four containers and create a common area in between. That space is a “Semi-Official Zone” according to the architects that designed the Creative Space, which is designed to welcome visitors and encourage them to come closer and get involved. In addition the area was softened with landscaping creating an even more relaxed and inviting space for the creatives using the space as well as guests.

creative_space_bar-610x408 I really hope Absolut brings this to the USA for a tour. I think it would be a blast to participate. The first link above takes you to the Absolut site with case studies of projects already completed.

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An area of pallets with plants with meeting places surrounds the four containers.

When One Door Closes…

They say that when life closes one door it opens another. This has truly been the case for me this summer, what with having my job eliminated at Hallmark, and landing a steady design job before my last day at the big H. With that said, here is a video about doors. Shot entirely on an iPhone 6 with Hyperlapse and Cameo by  in Stockholm. It’s Friday. Enjoy.

ABSOLUT Glass.

ABSOLUT VODKA commissioned Designer Thomas Feichtner to design of a new vodka glass to compliment their new hand crafted small batch vodka , ABSOLUT ELYX. The vodka is distilled from wheat that is grown within a few miles of the distillery, in the original copper kettle from 1921 used by ABSOLUT.

Drawing inspiration from other design projects he has been working on, Feichtner created a three leg glass that is produced by hand with the highest quality workmanship of which was key to this vodka’s concept. The glass picks up formally on many of his previous works while retaining an independent character.

“I’m fascinated by the formal alternation between positive and negative, between sine and cosine. And here, I absolutely wanted to separate the glass’s body from the surface upon which it stands and thereby also create a visually independent and self-sufficient object,” Thomas Feichtner

To compliment the glass, and the special vodka ABSOLUT and Thomas Feichtner have created a unique cocktail to go in it. The “Absolut Feichtner” which is comprised of a bit of wheat syrup and lime juice, and a shot of Peychaud’s syrup and a dash of Angostura Bitters. I haven’t tried it yet, but the ABSOLUT web site describes it as “rather light in body with floral aromas, supporting the vodka’s natural taste. The soft coppery hue that refers back to its origin: The nearly 100-year-old copper kettle No. 51 in Åhus, Sweden.

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Friday Inspiration. “Tussilago”.

Talk about a great look. This 13 minute film from  has it. There is really solid blend of 2D, and 3D animation with live action footage, animated stills, and graphics. The film is in Swedish, but it is subtitled so you can follow along with the story. I have to say I ended up watching it a couple of times, and I found myself pausing the second time around to actually read the subtitles. On the first pass it was just to easy to get lost in the look of “Tussilago”. In the post before this I talked about the kind of crew you sometimes need to get a short film produced. The credit list to this is below the film, and it is a perfect example of how complex making even a short film can be.

Directed by Jonas Odell
Produced by Linda Hambäck & Niklas Adolfsson
Interviews by Richard Dinter
Director of Photography Per Helin
Music Martin Landquist
Sound design Fredrik Jonsäter
Production manager Malin Marmgren
Hair and make up Rebecka Rissanen
Animation Per Helin
Marcus Krupa
Johan Sonestedt
Martin Nyberg
Susanne Sturesson
Mikael Lindbom
Jakob Bastviken
Lindor Tidäng
Kaspar Christophersen
Produced by Filmtecknarna F. Animation AB in coproduction with Film i Väst and Sveriges Television AB, with support from the Swedish Film Institute, Andra Lasmanis and Nordic Film and TV fund.

Cut It Out. Paper Illustration by Fideli Sundqvist.

Recent graduate of Konstfack in Stockholm, artist, illustartor, and designer Fideli Sundqvist creates some beautiful sculptural paper illustrations. While these could be easily modeled on a computer and rendered out, there is something quite refreshing about the tactile objects she creates.

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Sundqvist grew up in a creative environment in Uppsala. Her mother is a ceramicist and her father a historian. In the family home there was a small area in the kitchen that had been set up as a printing space where Sundqvist could be creative, and let her imagination grow.

“During one period in my life, I was completely engrossed by album-cover art,” she says. “I particularly remember one cover that was made from a linoleum cut, it was a real eye-opener to discover that art form.”

After high school Fideli moved to Stockholm to study at Nyckelviksskolan, and then at Konstfack graduating in the spring of 2011.

By her second year at Nyckelviksskolan she had already started cutting paper silhouettes using a scalpel, fascinated by all the possibilities paper art gave her. At first she worked mostly two-dimensionally but has increasingly switched to constructing and building three-dimensional paper objects that are then photographed. In 2011 Sundqvist published her first book “Birre, where are you?” which won first prize in publishing house Opal’s contest for picturebooks.

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Simplify to Clarify. BVD Redesigns/Repackages Food for 7 Eleven.

Earlier this year BVD did a rebrand for 7 Eleven that introduced a fresh updated look tot he convenience store chain in Sweden. BVD is back again, extending the look of the new branding to packaging designs for 7 Eleven’s food line.

The packaging is built around a simple clean look featuring easy to read editorial that lists the ingredients. More importantly, in many cases the packaging allows the food to be seen so the consumer can tell if it healthy, fresh, and appealing.

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The packaging reflects the re-brand from the store, but varies slightly going with a more muted color pallet that won’t detract from the food itself. A sans-serif font that is very much from the “International Style” of design. And a simple grid layout that structures all of the packaging with the same visual voice. I think it is a winner, and something 7 Eleven should consider bringing to the rest of their store world wide.

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