In 2015, there was only one Fenno-Swedish publishing house active in Finland – Schildts & Söderströms. Förlaget was founded to form a better dialog between publisher and writer and to provide an alternative choice to writers and illustrators. Over 30 writers moved from Schildts & Söderströms and found a new home at Förlaget. This was before the news of the new publishing house had gone public.
The fledgling publishing venture approached us to create its visual identity. We wanted to create an identity that would connect Förlaget to the cultural heritage it promotes and that would work as a platform for their mission of sustaining and elevating the Fenno-Swedish literary culture. We wanted it to feel established. It also needed to accommodate the publishers both classic and modern publications and to have a perfect balance of light-heartedness and business in its visual language.
A Jugend/Art Nouveau style logotype is combined with the owl symbol. The typography in the logotype anchors it to a past time and place. As said, we did not want the logotype to look too modern or ‘brand new’, instead, it should feel something with a history and legacy attached to it. For the symbol we wanted to create something that would be highly approachable and memorable – an animal motif was chosen. The fact that the owl motif has a long history related to literature further helps the reader validate and internalise it. The square shape makes it easy to use throughout different applications from book spines to digital platforms and connects it to the text logo.
Förlaget’s light and earthy colour palettes are based on the colours used in old Finnish landscape paintings from the turn of the last century. This further deepens the identity’s connection to a certain era, art and culture.
Since the writers and illustrators play a key role in the existence of any publishing house they were elevated to a highly visible level in the communication. Instead of a studio setup, each one of them is photographed in a meaningful location to the writer/illustrator.
Brand photography: Niklas Sandström