scandinavian design in a digital world

FORM, FUNCTION, AND...FUN?

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery, 1900

As with so many seemingly simple things, it can be hard to put a finger on precisely why Scandinavian design just...works. To call it ‘less is more’ is to miss several layers of nuance. Scandinavian design is, at its best, not minimalist, but more about the omission of the unnecessary - a perfect meeting of form and function. Uncluttered but not cold. Aesthetics in harmony with purpose.

True Scandinavian design is as much a product of a cultural philosophy as an artistic one - the principles and values that inform aesthetic choices are those that underpin society itself. A certain style, modesty and emphasis on enjoying life is woven into all aspects of life - design included.

here we explore some of those principles, looking at how they might be applied to branding and business

1

atmosphere

How sunlight hits a room or the feel of a dark theater - the way light or dark is used can define a brand. Is the feeling moody and serious? Light and clean? Bright and bold? All of these influence how a person will emotionally react to your brand - we consider this experience in every facet of every design.

READ ABOUT THE MARIADB DIGITAL BRAND EXPERIENCE

2

mutablility

Design should not be fixed, but as changeable as the weather. In Silicon Valley, companies are accustomed to pivoting - that can mean a full brand overhaul or just a subtle shift. Either way, we always have to be flexible and learn to adapt to change - fast - or be left behind.

See the Snowflake Case Study

3

domesticity

Comfort and space must be considered in both design and business. The materials we create must have a purpose. We want to take customers on a journey that respects their knowledge of the product. We should know and appreciate the difference between first time visitors and loyal users. We design the experience tailored to their needs.

READ ABOUT TERMINAL

4

engagement

A purposeful community is one that includes all. We believe the same for a brand connecting with the world. We believe in speaking to our core customers but also consider each level of connection to the product. This gives the brand a more authentic purpose, informs each touchpoint and brings a brand to life.

SEE THE FLOQAST CASE STUDY

5

functionality

Just as in Nordic design, we strive to design ‘simple, basic, and useful’. We want a user to clearly know what we’re offering and how this can help them. We do this through copy, color, shapes, illustrations and photography. These provide the groundwork for a brand’s feel and also tell a brand story.

See the Mercuri International Case Study

6

equity

Building a community where everyone is valued is the heart of Sköna. When we design a brand, we consider all perspectives. When we bring this sense of community to both the workplace and to clients, everyone benefits. Respect for one another and the audience builds brands with strong values and something to stand for. We believe in our customers. We believe in ourselves.

LEARN ABOUT THE SF-MARIN FOOD BANK

7

modernity

Embracing change is the key to staying current. While some traditions and styles come and go, the only constant is change. Design must follow this for any brand to be successful. For us, achieving best practice and following trends is not a business imperative - it’s just who we are. Our design reflects this.

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