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The Swedish Dala horse

Much-loved gee-gees from Nusnäs Every Swedish home has a Dala horse on the shelf. Not a prize specimen, but perhaps a little knocked about, and probably painted red. There are white, green, blue and black horses too, but warm red is the commonest colour. Black is uncommon, green is almost a rarit...

Hedberg bindings

"It's meant to look as if it has been bound in Paris and not in Sorunda." It should be right first time A Hedberg binding is the Bentley among bookbindings. The row of beautiful bindings in ESSELTE's company library, now in the Swedish Centre for Business History's archive, originates from the...

Katja of Sweden

Katja Geiger, under the brand Katja of Sweden, became world-renowned for her clothing designs characterised by elegant simplicity, in keeping with Scandinavian design culture. Her collections were greeted with great enthusiasm by both the press and customers. She also achieved huge success on the...

Baby Björn 30-million club

What is it that unites 30 million children around the world? They have all been carried in baby carriers from Swedish company BabyBjörn . The idea of developing products for young children actually came about by chance when BabyBjörn's founder, Björn Jakobson, travelled to the USA in the early...

Klässbols linneväveri

Klässbols Linneväveri is known throughout Sweden nowadays, courtesy of Nobel banquets and Royal banquets. Of course, this hasn't always been the case. For a long time members of the Johansson family toiled away at their weaving mill in a remote village alongside a stream in western Värmland. It's...

Otto Meyer – Art caster

During the first half of the 19th century it was common for artists to have their bronze sculptures cast abroad. Swedish art casters were lagging well behind in technical terms. However, by the end of the century the situation had changed, and several innovative Swedish casters were able to...

Falu Red - Sweden's Own Colour

Despite its reputation for 'natural finishes,' Sweden is a very switched on country where colour is concerned. For starters, it's got its own colour system - a unique facet that only Germany can claim to match (with its RAL industrial design-focussed system). Affectionately called NCS ( standing...

Excellent Swedish Design 1983-2002

Before the Swedish Design Awards (Design S + Ung Svensk Form) there was Utmärkt Svensk Form; roughly translated as Excellent Swedish Design. The award ran from 1983-2002 and was instigated by Svensk Form's then-chairman Hans-Christer Ericson to give credit to smaller designers in Sweden and to...

History of Svensk Form part 2

More Beautiful Everyday Wares Articles for everyday use needed to be given an artistic appearance, be practical and be easy to look after. “Artists to industry” became the aim of the employment agency founded by the Society in 1914. The home exhibition at Liljevalchs in 1917 became the breakthrou...

Estrid Ericson - The Founder of Swedish Tin

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 ove...

Absolut Vodka - an absolut classic

Like many of the greats, the iconic Absolut Vodka bottle came about by chance. Gunnar Broman was strolling Stockholm's Gamla Stan (Old Town) when he chanced upon an old medicine bottle standing on the shelves in an antique shop. This bottle was nothing particularly special; its form, while simple...

A Stamp in Time, Form 2/2012

On the 10th of May, 2012 the Swedish postal service released a series of new stamps with Swedish typefaces. Form magazine, being immensely interested in typefaces, was naturally excited to hear of this, so Boris Vasic popped out to meet with the designer behind the stamps, Gustav Mårtensson. Here...

The Helsingborg Exhibition 1955

Helsingborg Exhibition 1955, or H55 as it is sometimes known was a BIE (Bureau of International Expositions) recognised world's fair held in the town of the same name, in southern Sweden. The theme of H55 was primarily arts and crafts, curated with the aim of showing the many ways in which modern...

Excellent Swedish Design Awards

Around the halls of Svensk Form there hangs a spectre, a name still uttered with reverence and passion; Utmärkt Svensk Form (Excellent Swedish Design), an award Svensk Form handed out from 1982 through until the start of the new millennium. It's existence began as a way to highlight the importanc...

The Stockholm Exhibition 1930

Perhaps one of the most influential exhibition of the 20th century (in Sweden at least), the Stockholm Exhibition (1930) opened the world's eyes to the Scandinavian approach to design and functionalism. The fair itself was sculpted into reality by the City of Stockholm and Svenska slöjdföreningen...

Svenskt Tenn - Swedish Tin

Svenskt Tenn was founded in 1924 by designer and drawing teacher Estrid Ericson (1894-1981). In 1934, she began her lifelong collaboration with Josef Frank, already a well-known architect, urban planner and designer, who had recently left Austria to take up residence in Sweden. Together, the two...

CfN Online

Browse classic Swedish design material at CfN Online, a research database showcasing some of the design material archived at the Centre for Business History. Log on to the site using the following details:

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The material is viewable as Individual documents under the Search the archives-tab you will access after logging in.

Visit CfN Online here