Global brand Sweden -case

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Integrated identity, Nation branding

2013-11-04 - 2013-11-04

The brief – Sweden’s government asked us to develop a new identity for the country, to be used when communicating on behalf of Sweden. Our brief was to replace the many fragmented organizational identities of Swedish ministries, agencies and corporations with one integrated visual brand identity system, to unambiguously represent Sweden in the world.

The process – During the design process, we grappled with many questions, including: Which symbols best represent a country? How do we design a unified identity for use in extremely divergent contexts and on wildly different scales? Which parts of an identity should always be used, and which parts only in the right context? And how do we clarify when an organization is speaking on behalf of Sweden?

The Solution

We developed a hierarchy of identity carriers. We placed two obligatory elements at the apex: The Swedish flag, in the exact proportions and colors used since the 17th century, and the textual mark 'Sverige', accompanied by a local translation for the country's name.

 On the second rung we placed those elements which should be used if the medium allows it: A specially commissioned font face, Sweden Sans, to further differentiate the textual marks, and two principal colors — the gold and blue found on Sweden's flag.

Identity carriers

The third rung holds a toolbox of optional identity carriers — creative tools available for use by designers depending on the context. One example: A tool for generating colored geometric shapes derived from the compass bearing between Sweden and a location on the globe. The final rung holds individual organizations' own identity carriers, for use when the originating organization's identity is important to the message. The system's flexibility comes from its focus on compatible, universal elements, with simple rules for their use in combination. When needed, the system can scale up to a full brand identity program — one with a minimalist, Scandinavian edge.

01. Stationery.
02. Sender system, including the logotypes of the organisations.

Direction Sweden

Official Anglemaker is a tool for converting a location's compass bearing to Sweden into a abstract angled shape. This shape is unique for every location, and represents the direction to Sweden, symbolizing the many relationships Sweden has with the world.

03,04. — Using Official Anglemaker, several locations can be combined into one. The end result is an abstract template that is fresh and dynamic, yet part of a well-defined program. This example shows a template for an event spanning five locations.

Sweden Sans

We wanted a distinct typeface that can stand alone, but which also works well with a broad range of other typefaces. Early designs were kept rough, so that we could iterate quickly.

We decided to go with the feeling of old signs, of mono, of a classic sans serif with a Scandinavian heritage. In collaboration with Swedish font expert Stefan Hattenbach, we then engaged in a long process of polishing the font.

05. – Evolution of the Sweden Sans Regular and Bold.

06,07,08. – Sweden Sans used in a brochure for 'Swedish Design Goes Milan'.

09. – Sweden Sans used in a brochure urging an international audience to 'Study in Sweden'.

 

10. — Sweden.se, Sweden's official website.

11,12,13. — Mobile version of Sweden.se.

14,15. — work.sweden.se.

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