Studio Chris Bolton’s identity for a Finnish shop is all about circles

Created pro-bono, this project shows what can be achieved by focusing on a simple but impactful visual concept.

9 July 2024

Måll is a new space in Karjaa, a small town a short drive from Helsinki in Finland, that prioritises a circular economy – a system of upcycling, in which materials never become waste. Taking over a lot that lay long-empty, it now houses a clothing and furniture vintage shop, cafe and gallery. Studio Chris Bolton, who created the identity for the space, saw the circular economy as a good springboard, and set himself on incorporating circles into the design – wherever possible.

Chris is friends with one of the owners of Måll, and so worked on the project pro-bono. At first, Chris was only briefed to create the logo for the shop, but the project grew “organically”, ending up a broad identity with lots of applications. As well as helping out a mate, as the shop owners were so open to Chris’ vision, it became a way for him to have some fun and create outside the usual rigid structures of client work. “It was purely about creating something impactful and finding the joy within the process,” he says. “On top of that, I’m a keen vintage furniture and clothing person, so it was the perfect opportunity to be involved in the store.”


Chris Bolton: Måll (Copyright © Chris Bolton, 2024)

The identity assets all feature circular illustrated elements, and Chris’ aim was to create something you could “play around with”. Throughout, they’re layered upon one another, placed in unison to create a sort of pattern, or chopped in half – creating a vast amount of visual diversity with just one shape. The wordmark is also suitably rounded and buoyant, creating a simultaneously bold and compact feel, but the workmark also has strong references to 60s and 70s design, a conscious decision of Chris’ to reflect that much of the furniture in the shop comes from those two decades. Quite serendipitously, the word for Måll in Swedish (which the majority of Karjaa inhabitants speak) also features a circle above the ‘å’. “The circle-like dot over the 'å' was used in a more playful manner in the logo by making it larger than usual,” says Chris. “So the name is also a reflection of fitting into its location in a respectful way.”

When it came to the colour palette, Chris wanted to capture a sense of positivity and vibrancy, reflecting the breathing of new life into an empty space. Each of the colours used – blue, creamy yellow and orange – represents a different part of the shop. Moreover, as two different vintage shops exist within the vintage section of the space – Fruit Market (clothing) and Roomage (furniture) – Chris created two different logotypes, to give them their “own voice” while still maintaining a sense of unification under the Måll universe.

Måll had almost a “non-existent” budget for communication and promotion, and so like many new startups, it has taken to Instagram to shout about the shop. To account for this, Chris has created a poster-like layout that fits into the Instagram stories layout, which can be altered in-house to create weekly posts to update the Måll community. Chris’ work for the new venture is a clear example of what can be achieved on a low budget when you’ve got an open brief and a strong visual concept.

GalleryChris Bolton: Måll (Copyright © Chris Bolton, 2024)

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Chris Bolton: Måll (Copyright © Chris Bolton, 2024)

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About the Author

Olivia Hingley

Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English Literature and History, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.

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