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Amanda & Erik: Welcome to Sweden

Work / Graphic Design

Swedish design studio Amanda & Erik avoid the tropes of minimalist, Scandinavian design in their practice

Swedish-based duo Amanda Berglund and Erik Kirtley have been collaborating for almost a decade on their graphic design and illustration practices. Currently, the studio is working on a variety of projects including a community-based project designing vinyl wrap design for a mini-van, this will function as a mobile youth centre in a nearby rural municipality. Amanda & Erik spoke to It’s Nice That about their vibrant design practice, discussing two, recent print-based projects that showcase the studio’s intellect and innovation.

The studio was commissioned to design a chapter of A New Type of Imprint, a Norwegian publication dedicated to creative culture and design. The studio designed the chapter dedicated to Swedish creatives titled, Welcome to Sweden, and based their design concepts around their native country. “Our design concept consisted of three ideas, we took inspiration from the phrase ‘I vårt avlånga land’ meaning ‘in our elongated country’, referring to the oblong shape of Sweden — which is reflected in the very condensed typeface for the headlines”, explains Amanda & Erik. The second idea involves graphic elements that are inspired by ‘Sol, vind och fatten’, a pop song from 1972. The Ted Gärdestad’s hit is commonly associated with the Swedish summer and its influence is seen in the vintage, 70s aesthetic. “The third idea is in the warm colour palette inspired by the Swedish flag and nature. We covered all surfaces with these colours in an attempt to avoid Scandinavian design tropes such as lots of white space and sparsely placed details and typography”.

Amanda & Erik designed the book, Skapa drömmar med Samir Alj Fält documenting a residency in Falkenberg; Erik’s hometown on the west coast of Sweden. “The book is meant to serve as a sort of inspirational manual for how design can be used as a pedagogical method”, relating to teaching, the designers tell us. The residency featured local creatives and schoolchildren, collaborating on creating “a modular set of shapes and textures relating to dreams, places and materiality”. Using a photograph of archeological finds from the rural community as a starting point, the collective explored differing design processes documented through the lighthearted design of the book. The publication’s thematic colours come from the colours seen on building materials for the project which further adds to the whimsical nature of the design reflecting the creations made by the local schoolchildren. Additionally working across disciplines such as type design, zine-making and animation, Amanda & Erik will undoubtedly continue to gather international design recognition for their dynamic outputs.

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Amanda & Erik: Skapa drömmar med Samir Alj Fält

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Amanda & Erik: Skapa drömmar med Samir Alj Fält

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Amanda & Erik: Skapa drömmar med Samir Alj Fält

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Amanda & Erik: Skapa drömmar med Samir Alj Fält

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Amanda & Erik: Welcome to Sweden

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Amanda & Erik: Welcome to Sweden

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Amanda & Erik: Welcome to Sweden

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Amanda & Erik: Welcome to Sweden

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Amanda & Erik: Jazz Along

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Amanda & Erik: Skapa drömmar identity