Sweden has designated an official national font, the Sweden Sans, in an attempt to streamline and strengthen the country's brand internationally. Design firm Soderhavet created the typeface, which type designer Stefan Hattenbach describes as slick, geometric and modern. It reflects the clean, spare aesthetic typical of traditional Scandinavian design. For inspiration, the team also looked to vintage Swedish signs from the mid-20th century.
"We have an expression in Swedish, 'lagom,' which means it's not too much and it's not too little," Hattenbach tells Public Radio International (PRI). "It's something in between. Every Swede knows the expression. It means 'you're happy with the thing, it's not exaggerated, but you're still very happy with it, content with it. That's some of the feeling we wanted to incorporate in this typeface."
One of the typeface's most distinctive elements is the uppercase letter "Q." The tail points straight down, rather than angling out to the right, as it does in most designs.
Some Swedish officials hope that ultimately all government agencies will use Sweden Sans in all international correspondence and marketing collateral. Much like a global corporation, they want their country to have a clear brand that is recognizable anywhere in the world.
Sweden Sans is a good reminder that consistency is key when it comes to building a brand, whether as a country, company or individual. Give some thought to which typeface best advances your message and try to use it regularly moving forward. You should do the same when it comes to card stock, selecting a 100 percent cotton paper to represent your professional interests. We recommend Reich Paper's popular, high-quality Savoy series, now available in grey and several shades of white and cream.