Sweden Sans is now a dance

Sweden Sans, Sweden’s official typeface designed by Söderhavet and Stefan Hattenbach has now started to influence other art forms than design and typography. This time dance.

Romanian choreographer Alex Mirutziu has created an art dance piece called ”but as a document” based on Söderhavet’s work with the typography, that is being performed at Museum of Modern Art in Bucharest in 2015.

Continue reading

How to choose your brand design agency in the age of digital transformation

Digital transformation – the buzziest term in any business press worldwide these days. The reason being that industry after industry is being disrupted at a speed unseen. Examples: Spotify for music, Uber for transportation, all of the travel industry and all of the media industry etc, etc. Any sensible big company board of directors these days are painfully aware of this and by the fact that 52% of the Fortune 500 companies in the year 2000 no longer exists.

Who’s going to disrupt my business and be the next ”Uber of my industry”?
We or someone else?

Does the choice of brand design agency matter?

Continue reading

Tankar bakom Land.se (the work behind Land.se)

For our international readers: Land.se is a new digital service addressing rural interests. Söderhavet made strategy, concept, design and the brand identity. (The rest will be in Swedish. Sorry).

Idag lanserades den digitala publikationen Land.se i sin första version. Traditionellt hade den nog etiketterats som en beta-version, men det tycker vi är fegt. Vår grundsyn på digital produktutveckling är att det är bättre att snabbt komma ut på marknaden och låta den återstående utvecklingen och prioriteringen ske tillsammans med läsarna – eller användarna som vi föredrar att kalla dem.

Continue reading

How to design a brand identity in 2014 – Part 3 to 5

Part 3 to 5: Just contact us.

Part 2 in this was series published about 6 months ago. Since then, we have been up to our beards in super exciting brand work with our beloved clients. We still are. Requests for continuation has been dropping in, “when is part 3-5 coming?”.

Well, they aren’t. Not right now anyway. Clients first, then family, then health, then blog posting. A poor excuse for laziness? Probably. But on the other hand – I would be happy to tell you the rest of the story face to face. So for the content of part 3-5: e-mail me at erik@soderhavet.com. Sorry.

Continue reading

How to design a brand identity in 2014 – Part 2

Part 2: What is required of a brand in the new reality?)

What can you as a brand manager or CMO do to manage in a society of emerging digitization and constant change, what does it require of your brand and what can you do to turn the threats into benefits? A lot of things, probably, here’s a few tips from Söderhavet:

  1. Focus on usable strategies
  2. Act nimbly in all aspects of business
  3. Position the brand more clearly
  4. Think integration, but act digitally first
  5. Turn design into a competitive strategic tool

Continue reading

Designing for China’s web in the mobile age

When in May 2010 the Swedish Institute launched Sweden.cn, the official website of Sweden in China, we had gone out of our way to localize the design so that it would present an aesthetic familiar to Chinese users brought up on the busy portals and bulletin boards that typified the Chinese Internet. Numerous workshops and a local design team had ensured that the overall user experience would be seamless for visitors arriving from QQ or Sina.

swedencn

Four years on, the Swedish Institute is revamping Sweden.cn, and now our methods couldn’t be more different. This time, we’ll begin by copying wholesale the design used for the English version of Sweden’s official site, Sweden.se, launched to acclaim late in 2013. Then, once the Chinese-language content is in place, we’ll start user-testing, and tweaking, and testing, until enough iterations convince us that the site can stand proud also in China.

swedense

What has motivated our changed approach to China-facing web design in the intervening four years? In a word: Mobile. For a fuller explanation, read on…

Continue reading

4 reasons why Google’s Lego-Maps is not your average tech demo

Today’s extraordinary new time-sink is Build With Chrome, a collaboration between Google and Lego that lets you claim a spot in Google Maps and then build on it with virtual Lego blocks. We at Söderhavet spent some time this morning playing with this impressive new tool, and have some first impressions to share about what happens when you marry Lego with Google Maps in the browser:

1. Welcome to the WebGL wars: Google is using this project to promote Chrome’s superior support of WebGL, a web standard for 3D visualizations in the browser. But whereas all the main desktop browsers today support WebGL to some extent, the real differentiation occurs on mobile devices: Android’s Chrome browser supports WebGL whereas iOS browsers do not. Although iPhones are technically capable of running WebGL, Apple has chosen not to deploy the technology. Continue reading

Watch Söderhavet on Swedish national television discuss typography

This week, Söderhavet’s typography work on Sweden’s new official typeface, Sweden Sans, is a discussion topic on the culture program Sverige!, which runs on Sweden’s national TV channel SVT.

The program is in Swedish, but if you understand the language you can follow the episode online on SVT Play until mid-July 2014, regardless of where you are in the world.

We’re featured for the first five minutes of the program, where you see Söderhavet’s Jesper Robinell and noted Swedish typeface designer Stefan Hattenbach discuss the intricacies of typefaces and the challenges of having a font represent a nation.

 

Sweden’s global identity – reactions

When we launched Sweden’s new global identity a little over a month ago, we were eager to know how it would be received, especially abroad, among the target audience, and with our peers in design circles. So we ran some metrics on reach and sentiment. How did we do?

News of the identity made it into the social news feeds of at least 2.6 million people, via at least 31 web publications, the overwhelming majority of which were positive, both in their coverage and in the comments they generated. For those interested in the raw numbers, here’s the data as a spreadsheet.

Continue reading