Category Archives: Design

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.

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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?

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Tankar bakom (the work behind

For our international readers: 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 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.

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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

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Designing for China’s web in the mobile age

When in May 2010 the Swedish Institute launched, 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.


Four years on, the Swedish Institute is revamping, 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,, 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.


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…

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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.

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Sweden Sans, the “Lagom” typeface

Sometime after Söderhavet started working on the new global brand identity for Sweden, we started thinking about designing a custom typeface for it.

We had already decided on incorporating the Swedish flag into the identity, as well as using a local-language textual mark. But we still needed to find a unique identity carrier that could be used in widely diverging contexts. Because the client preferred a fixed-cost solution for typeface use, the idea of designing a custom typeface was mooted early on — and Sweden Sans was born.

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