Like it or not, but nowadays almost everything is or becomes a brand, even countries.
And as every brand, also countries need visual and brand identity, something that consumers can be reminded about and describe. Because honestly, what are the three things that pop-up in your mind when someone mentions Sweden?
For me it’s IKEA, Stockholm and long dark days. Oh and also a great horror movie, Let The Right One In (recommended).
But the Swedish government takes the presentation of the country seriously and approached Söderhavet, a digital agency with an integrated approach to designing brand identities and digital services.
The brief was to replace the many fragmented organizational identities of Swedish ministries, agencies and corporations with one integrated visual brand identity system, to unambiguously represent Sweden in the world.
“During the design process, we grappled with many questions, including: Which symbols best represent a country? How do we design a unified identity for use in extremely divergent contexts and on wildly different scales? Which parts of an identity should always be used, and which parts only in the right context? And how do we clarify when an organization is speaking on behalf of Sweden?”
The solution was to create a hierarchy of identity carriers: The Swedish flag and the textual mark ‘Sverige’, accompanied by a local translations, a specially commissioned font face, Sweden Sans; also an Official Anglemaker – a tool for converting a location’s compass bearing to Sweden into a abstract angled shape.