We strive to simplify design around us. It applies to us as individuals, to organisations and society as a whole. Sustainability and quality are close to our hearts, and we believe ideas are enhanced through dialogue and by constantly pushing ourselves beyond the limits.
To everyone that follow us on a regular basis you might have noticed that our website has been rather quiet lately. This is not because we have been lazy. Quite the opposite! We just have been super busy with exciting projects AND developing a new website! So please be patient for another week. Then hopefully we can delight you with a brand new digital platform, manifesting how our simplifying approach could clarify your life.
We are happy to announce our new collaboration with Electrolux. Together we will develop a new packaging design strategy for the leading global appliance company. The legendary Swedish icon brand Electrolux celebrates 100 years in 2019 and with additional brands like AEG, Anova, Frigidaire, Westinghouse and Zanussi they sell more than 60 million household products in more than 150 markets every year.
Since I started at BVD in November last year I have gotten the question several times ”What’s an engineer doing in this context?”
It might sound like a drastic change, moving from a huge manufacturer in the forest and paper industry to a simplifying agency in the design world. An engineer may also look like an odd bird in this context. But after my first months, I can surprisingly enough conclude that there are more similarities than differences.
“Engineers like numbers, make sure you put a graph in there” is something I have overheard in many contexts. And it is true, engineers love numbers, facts, graphs, statistics, well basically anything you can “prove”.
But fundamental to engineering is also creativity. Engineering is about taking on the big questions and see if we can do something new and something better. It is about picking things apart, figuring out how they work, and putting them back together in a more efficient way. Talking to my newfound colleagues at BVD, this is very similar to how they describe what they do.
There have absolutely been some “aha-moments” as well. Like that time I couldn’t understand why had to change from blue to red or why it I wasn’t allowed to put the word “exponentially” in my header. But since I started I have also seen the impact these types of decision can have. Design that makes you feel something, think something or act – design that has an impact – is a truly powerful tool.
Because even if I love the numbers, the facts and the logical reasoning, I am also calculating enough to understand that unless you are able to convey this to others, they won’t matter anyway. A fundamental rule is that you won’t change anything unless people understand why it needs to change.
So when I get the question “what does an engineer do at a design agency?”, my reply is “BVD is a simplifying agency, isn’t it obvious?”.
Almost there! New project for Hallarna includes branding and identity for newborn mall of the future, just outside the Swedish city of Halmstad. Opening party October 26. See you there! Full case coming soon.
It was a grey painting, two graphic designers and a common vision, that out of clutter found simplicity. This was the starting point of BVD Stockholm. The year was 1996. Outside the new office window in Stockholm, Christmas decorations lightened up the city streets. This podcast episode takes us back to the year of 1996. The founders, Carin Blidholm Svensson and Catrin Vagnemark, are describing the start, early projects and what they are expecting of the forthcoming future. Listen to Carin and Catrin in our Podcast where they will take you through the start of BVD Stockholm.
What a start, to say the least, Carin and Catrin, whom still are Creative Directors at BVD Stockholm, started their new agency with the two clients, IKEA and H&M. One of the first projects was Startboxen at IKEA. Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA, came up with the great idea; two different boxes filled with kitchen utensils and named it Startboxen. But despite the clever and simple idea, the sale numbers didn’t result as expected. The challenge was to make the box effective in cost, visual attractive, useful in 28 countries and easy to use in store. Catrin and Carin took on the challenge and found a solution.
The result was groundbreaking. The fact that some of the best symbols are simplified images on the package instead of words in 28 different languages was a clever and effective way of applying a simplistic design strategy. It reduced the cost to handle different languages and was also visually effective. Therefore it saved both money and gained a higher sale result. The sales went rooftop and gave 100 % in value. And to top it up they received a design award.
H&M, back in 1996, the stores was cluttered with brim-full clothes racks. Different countries used different sizes and designs on the H&M packages, which were cost inefficient and unclear. Catrin and Carin implied their philosophy and method, Simplify to Clarify, to reorganize the store and packaging system. They cleaned up the campaign materials, simplified the packages and clarified the stores.
Listen to the podcast to hear how they solved the challenge and the results.
Our founders emphasize the fruitful combination of simplicity, creative problem solving and an embodiment of form and function. But also as they both say, every project need to be an integration of what’s beautiful and useful to be able to achieve clarity and interest. All this is in the heart of BVD Stockholm today.
With this it’s time to leave the teenage years behind and walk into a new age with curiosity and energy of change. Hope you will be around in the future.
How certain can we be about the future of retail? We hosted a seminar for Marknadsföreningen i Stockholm, The Stockholm Marketing Association, about future scenarios of the retail industry. A lot of questions and insights were shared and discussed. Thanks all for attending and contributing! Are you also interested about the future of retail? Please do not hesitate to contact us!
Again, we are nominated in the Swedish Design Award, Svenska designpriset. This time with our work for MTG, the typeface MTG Sans. The typeface was created in collaboration with Göran Söderström, Letters from Sweden.
Keep your fingers crossed!
Nominated! Swedish Design Award! Vote! We are nominated for the Swedish Design Award in the ”Information – Print” category with our work for Skogsindustrierna (Swedish Forest Industries Federation). Make our day by giving us your vote at http://
Wow! Hurra! We have been awarded a Red Dot for our work together with Skogsindustrierna. We became the winners in the Communication Design category for the story about the future, sustainability and the Swedish forest. We are super proud that we together with the client achieved to create and design a communication platform that challenged the complicated tonality. The result speaks for its self, it is clear, approachable and intriguing!
Our earth and way of living is in danger and the climate is shifting fast. It is time for action. BVD have signed the Fossilfritt Sverige to give our small share in the fight for a healthier earth and a more sustainable society. Sustainability is a natural part of everything we do. We are devoted promoters of a more sustainable business climate and more sustainable design thinking. Our mission is to simplify to clarify to make the world easier to grasp. Sustainability can and should be a natural part of your business model to drive growth, both for your company and nature.