It takes a certain degree of gusto to start any company, let alone a design company, and especially not a design company in the 20's if you're a woman. Yet that's exactly what Estrid Ericson (1894-1981) did when she set up Svenskt Tenn, the company she run and oversaw as managing director for over 50 years.
Her position in the elite of Sweden's design legacy was cemented not only for the company which still ranks among the must-see's of Sweden's design landscape but for embracing the bold graphics of (honourary Swede) Joseph Frank.
With Frank, Ericson set a framework for a more expressive form of design; based largely around his pattern and use of colour but enabled thanks to her attention to detail. A simple elegance which was more inclusive than what was entering the market at the time.
It's feasible to think of Svenskt Tenn's founder as a character who could easily be working today; mixing new and old, high-brow with lowest common denominator pieces to create a fresh, exciting and definitely marketable brand. This pioneering, strong business woman deserves her place in our classic section.
images: top, Estrid Ericsson by I Nilsson from Svenskt Tenn. Bottom, Ericson with Frank source unknown.