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20/11/2013 by
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Global Brand Sweden – Because Countries Are Brands Too

Like it or not, but nowadays almost everything is or becomes a brand, even countries.

Global Brand Sweden Because Countries Are Brands Too 500x238 Global Brand Sweden   Because Countries Are Brands Too

And as every brand, also countries need visual and brand identity, something that consumers can be reminded about and describe. Because honestly, what are the three things that pop-up in your mind when someone mentions Sweden?

For me it’s IKEA, Stockholm and long dark days. Oh and also a great horror movie, Let The Right One In (recommended).

But the Swedish government takes the presentation of the country seriously and approached Söderhavet, a digital agency with an integrated approach to designing brand identities and digital services.

The brief was to replace the many fragmented organizational identities of Swedish ministries, agencies and corporations with one integrated visual brand identity system, to unambiguously represent Sweden in the world.

logos2 Global Brand Sweden   Because Countries Are Brands Too

“During the design process, we grappled with many questions, including: Which symbols best represent a country? How do we design a unified identity for use in extremely divergent contexts and on wildly different scales? Which parts of an identity should always be used, and which parts only in the right context? And how do we clarify when an organization is speaking on behalf of Sweden?”

Sweden swedensans 500x325 Global Brand Sweden   Because Countries Are Brands Too

The solution was to create a hierarchy of identity carriers: The Swedish flag and the textual mark ‘Sverige’, accompanied by a local translations, 
a specially commissioned font face, Sweden Sans; also an Official Anglemaker – a tool for converting a location’s compass bearing to Sweden into a abstract angled shape.

Direction Sweden 500x289 Global Brand Sweden   Because Countries Are Brands Too

Apart from all the above, Söderhavet redesigned Sweden’s official website, Sweden.se and created tablet and mobile versions.

Sweden tablet and mobile apps 500x516 Global Brand Sweden   Because Countries Are Brands Too

My Opinion?

I really love the simplicity and the design of Sweden’s brand identity, Söderhavet did a great job.

Let’s see if it brings more tourist and changes the perception of this beautiful Nordic country.

It already changed mine.

What About You?
What do you think of this new branding and visual identity? Looking forward to read your ideas.

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Comments (2)

  • Igor Beuker 20/11/2013, 21:07

    Very interesting story and angle. It really made me think and look deeper…

    Yes countries are indeed brands Martin.

    When I looked up how important travel and torusim are for each countries’ GDP, you will be shocked as well I guess..

    Here we go:
    Travel & Tourism’s importance to the wider economy continued to grow in 2012. Its total contribution comprised 9% of global GDP (US $6.6 trillion) and generated over 260 million jobs – 1 in 11 of the world’s total jobs..

    Each country’s GDP is much depending on travel and tourism. So marketing each country like a brand is crucial.

    More info in this WTTC report:
    http://www.wttc.org/site_media/uploads/downloads/world2013_1.pdf

     
  • Laurens Bianchi 21/11/2013, 13:09

    Nice article! Love the website!