Jakob Nielsen: Tälja

Work / Product Design

Jakob Nielsen’s Tälja wood carving kit helps make modern life less rubbish

Many a blue-sky-thinker and envelope-pusher has been extolling the virtues of meditation and mindfulness to pseudo-spiritually swell their business jargon lately. So it’s refreshing when a beautifully branded, creatively-minded product emerges that promises to offer that lucrative “pause from modern life.”

Tälja (Swedish for woodcarving) is a sweet little kit comprised of a knife, sandpaper, wood and oil. The product looks to help spread the joys of woodcarving, and in doing so, to help people to “calm down and do something real,” according to its creator Jakob Nielsen.

The kit and boxes are handmade at a workshop called Norrmalms Kartongfabrik, and all components are of Swedish origin. The Tälja identity, which was also created by Nielsen, is typically Scandinavian in its understated, yet playful approach, using simple type, a pared-back colour palette and a chatty tone-of-voice.

Nielsen describes it as "a creation with a purpose. To get people to spend a little less time in front of a small (or big) screen, and to enjoy the rewarding feeling of creating something physical with your bare hands, something real. We see it as creative meditation.”

As if to kick-start such a meditation, the brand video sees our protagonist making his way through tall grass to a sun-dappled clearing, before settling down on a rock, wistfully whittling his own little wooden creation. Which is rather calming in itself – even as a viewer in front of a screen.


Jakob Nielsen: Tälja


Jakob Nielsen: Tälja


Jakob Nielsen: Tälja


Jakob Nielsen: Tälja