I love Scandanavian design, so much so that i married one. My designs are influenced by nordic design, but what actually is it and how is it characterised. I thought i'd have a go at drawing together some of the common traits of Scandinavian design, aka scandi or nordic design. This is by no means a definitive list but more a list of traits that i have come to associate with this style of design or designers from this region over the years as a designer and consumer of design.
Characteristics of Scandinavian design
- Dedication to minimalism and simplicity
- Uses repetitive forms
- Folk inspiration
- Depicts natural items such as plants, fruit etc
- A use of natural materials as as linen, cotton
- Are functional
- Are democratic, as opposed to high luxury (think tea pots over faberge eggs)
- Use of solid colours and neutral colours
Raija Uosikkinen (1923–2004) was one of the prominent decorators of Finnish 20th-century design. During her four decades at the Arabia factory, she crafted many legendary decors for tableware and wall plaques.
Josef Frank was an Austrian-born architect, artist, and designer who adopted Swedish citizenship in the latter half of his life. Together with Oskar Strnad, he created the Vienna School of Architecture, and its concept of Modern houses, housing and interiors. Frank immigrated to Sweden in 1933 to escape the specter of Nazi anti-Semitism in Austria, and his career flourished in Stockholm, where he became the chief designer for Svenskt Tenn, a firm founded by Estrid Ericson.
Sanna Annukka is a half Finnish, half English illustrator/print maker/product designer with a love for nature and folklore. She is highly inspired by the forests, lakes and wildlife of the region, as well as her childhood memories and her love of storytelling.Her client list includes Universal Island Records, British Vogue, Apple/iTunes, M&S and Marimekko. She also has her own company with self-styled products. Check out her Instagram page HERE
Prints of Grenoble
The designer behind this brand is Swedish born Jeanette Thyrsson who set up when she moved to Grenoble from Brighton, Uk in 2017. Prints of Grenoble is a contemporary graphic response to the modern architecture of the city. From an era of relative opulence, it hosts some remarkable examples of art déco buildings, with rich ironworks, on doors and balconies. Jeanette translates this aesthetic to a softer range of products that can be used by everyone everyday. Her instagram shows her inspiration as well as process. Her zero-waste product shop is HERE