Sweden Sans: National Font of the Swedes

Photo Courtesy of architecturaldigest.com

Sweden, known for it obsessions for purposeful design, has designed its own font called “Sweden Sans” that will be used for communications on behalf of the Nordic nation, from press releases to tourism brochures states www.arcitectualdigest.com.

“It is a very clean font, a very airy font, and I think one of the strengths is its capability to adapt to different types of communication,” said Söderhavet creative director Mattias Svensson. “It’s a modern typeface, but it’s designed to be long lasting,” according to npr.com.

The commission went to the Swedish design firm Söderhavet where type designer Stefan Hattenbach gathered all kinds of Swedish designs from street signs and branding logos to furniture and wallpapers.

The final alphabet takes on elements from the text of  classic street signs, blended Monotype and added sans-serif accents. A few fun details are put in this font such as a slash through the zero and a straight line that cuts through the bottom of the “Q”.

“Aesthetics are very important in Sweden and we have a long tradition of great architecture, furniture and design – so this was the natural next step,” said type designer Stefan Hattenbach  who worked on the font. “It was a big responsibility to be representing our country, but we were really proud to be asked,” according to guardian.com.

Serifs are semi-structural details or small decorative flourishes on the ends of some of the strokes that make up letters and symbols. Sans serif does not have these details or flourishes. Sans serif fonts are used regularly because of how clean they tend to look on main text areas like books and magazines reports www.maconprinting.com.

IKEA, the Swedish company that designs and sells furniture, has also designed its own font used in the logo itself. The company name “IKEA” originates from the three initials, namely, Ingavar Kamprad, the founder’s name, Elmtaryd, the farm where the founder grew up, and Agunnaryd, the founder’s home village states www.fontmeme.com . The IKEA logo was designed using Ikea Sans by Robin Nicholas, a font similar to serifed Futura. The Ikea Sans is not available for the public.