Rasmus Snabb
Graphic Design *
Aalto University
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Since 2009 I have been responsible for the design, implementation and direction of the visual identity of Aalto University, which was created in 2010 from the merger of three Finnish universities in the fields of technology, business, and art and design.

The initial announcement of the creation of a “Innovation University” was met with overwhelming scepticism and resistance. In this situation, any visual representation that would impose predefined ideas about the would-be university’s identity would have had a polarizing effect. My solution was to create a neutral visual canvas which in time would be attached with meaning – the true identity of the university created and experienced by the students, researchers and employees. It does not define the identity of the university but is an open question directed at the recipient. The logo is an invitation to discuss, evaluate and participate.

The visual identity was created before the university had been inaugurated. To deal with unexpected demands and create resilience in a changing operating environment, the foundations of the visual identity were created to be flexible and adaptable. A continuing challenge has been to create a coherent visual identity while maintaining the ability to meet the varied requirements of the university’s wast array of materials.

The visual identity is based on a layered approach to visual identity design, where “fast-moving layers” provide adaptability and “slow-moving layers” ensure stability. In this way, the visual identity attempts to provide both functional visual tools and deeper principles that help both designers and non-designers apply the identity appropriately to different tasks.

 

Photography by Johannes Romppanen — Illustrations by Vesa Sammalisto

Finlands kulturinstitut i Danmark
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The Finnish Cultural Institute in Denmark promotes Finnish art and culture in Denmark. The institute functions as a mediator and catalyst, bringing together Finnish artists and Danish cultural institutions.

The visual identity is based on a direct visual representation of the activities of the institute as a “connecting” force. This concept is the basis of an adaptive and flexible visual identity that is coherent but playful. The visual identity is very adaptable to different media (digital, motion, print) and can evolve over time.

The identity shown here is a proposal. In the end the institute opted for an update of their existing logo.

Aivan
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Aivan is an industrial design agency consisting of five (three at the time of design) designers. Each person has their own strong profile and expertise, which they bring to the collective whole. This is translated literally into a visual system where the collective name is combined with the individual surname-initials to form the building blocks of the visual identity, mirroring the makeup and unique aspects of the company. In time as new individuals join and leave aivan, the visual identity will be a record of the evolution of the company.

Tapiovaara
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Branding concept and visual identity for family of furniture designed by Ilmari Tapiovaara. The products are Finnish design classics designed around 1930 – 1950, and were relaunched in 2009.

The different personalities of the products and the human names given to them by Ilmari Tapiovaara become the concept of the visual brand: the Tapiovaara Family. The visual identity is contemporary yet reminiscent of the time when the products were designed. It is based on the use and combination of specific materials and techniques: recycled paper, brown cardboard or paper, white silk-screened elements, and gold printing.

Done with Aleksi Perälä

SIS. Deli + Café
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Visual identity for a chain of delicatessens. The deli chain was founded by two sisters, thus the abbreviation “Sis.” as the name and the image of two girls in the logo. In finnish “Sis.” can be read as “contains:”, which becomes the starting point for the typographic identity.

The goal was to create a strong identity for the chain’s stores that would be both highly recognizable but flexible enough to give each store a unique feel. The visual identity would have to be sophisticated in order to position the company as the “smart” deli.

Special attention was given to the systematic use of the elements, in order to ensure their appropriate application to different touch points. The checkered pattern for example, is rarely used inside the delis due to its visual intensity, but becomes a strong recognizable element in the city through its use on coffee cups, bags, and facades.

Done at Muotohiomo together with Noa Bembibre, Aleksi Perälä and Aki Suvanto

THE TYPEFACE ON THIS WEBSITE
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An experiment in designing a typeface specifically for digital rendering. The typeface has several features that improve the clarity of the rendering: truly circular curves, diagonals at certain length and height multiples, “digital ink traps”, distinguishable letterforms etc. As a bonus, basing the letter on the constraints of digital rendering resulted in a quite characteristic typeface that also works when printed in very small point sizes.

About

I’m a versatile visual designer with a wide experience of different assignments. Through 13 years of experience I have gained skills and experience in most areas of graphic design for print and digital media. I have also lectured on the subject of visual identities, judged awards, and my work has been featured in several publications.

I specialize in the design and direction of visual identities, where my versatility allows for the creation of practical solutions that build coherent visual wholes in a variety of different media and contexts. I have experience in creating, developing and managing visual identities for both large and small organizations, creating processes and systems for successful implementation, and creative direction at large.

I work in a pragmatic, analytical and systematic way in order to create effective strategies, methods and tools for visual communication. I believe that an idea-driven approach to visual design enables the creation of unique, adaptive and coherent visual identities that evolve with the organization and its operating environment.

Contact
rasmus™rasmussnabb.com
+358 40 715 4093
Helsinki, Finland
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