Klaus Haapaniemi created a new visual image for the Finnish Institute


2008 has been a busy year for Klaus Haapaniemi. Internationally successful designer and illustrator Haapaniemi has worked with many big names in fashion and design - Diesel, Levi’s, Dolce & Gabbana and Cacharel, to mention a few. This year he was chosen as the Finnish Graphic Designer of the Year – and there is no end at sight for his many design commissions. Haapaniemi created a new special edition gift box for Paulig’s Juhla Mokka coffee, his well-loved polar bear design for Marimekko has been reproduced after many years, and Iittala started producing his famous Taika series also in black & white and red. Haapaniemi still found time to create a new visual identity for the Finnish Institute – and came up with an interesting and timeless design to represent the Institute’s national identity.

- I didn’t want to think about the website and the format of this job too much when designing the pattern. I just went with what felt right. I approached the design process artistically and wanted to give the design slightly folklorist feel. The pattern had to also be classic – and I wanted to use colours that weren’t really typical brand colours, but more muted and natural, Klaus Haapaniemi says.

Emmi Salonen founded her graphic design practise 2005 in an old gun factory in East London. After studying graphic design in Brighton, where she graduated in 2001, she moved to Italy to work at Fabrica, Benetton’s controversial but prestigious studio for young designers. Emmi went on to earn more professional stripes back in London and New York, where she worked with karlssonwilker - a company known for its witty and clever designs. Salonen’s style is Nordic, clean and simple and - besides working for commercial clients like Artek - her studio specializes in designs for art, culture and charitable organisations.

-Putting together the new identity for The Finnish Institute differed slightly from the usual commission. The institute already had a logo and what was needed was an overall 'new look', incorporating Klaus Haapaniemi's illustrations. Working together with Klaus and Animaya in bringing a structure and clarity to the identity, whilst maintaining a sense of inspiration and feel of excitement, has been a pleasurable experience. The solution works well across the board, contrasting Haapaniemi's rich illustrations with a clear, clean information design.