Sweden launches a national typeface

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All countries have national anthems and in some cases national dresses and culinary dishes – but Sweden have taken their identity one step further by creating their own typeface.

Sweden Sans, a typeface commissioned by the Swedish government, has been designed as part of the country’s brand identity in order to give a consistent voice to its visual communications such as posters, signs and websites. The design has been influenced by vintage Swedish signs of the ‘40s/‘50s and the national flag.

Created by Stockholm design agency Soderhavet and font designer Stefan Hattenbach, Sweden Sans is a modern geometric typeface that encapsulates the Scandinavian ideals of progressivism, authenticity, and lagom (Swedish for “just the right amount”). The result is a basic sans serif font with some modern tweaks which will represent the country in a “fresh and dynamic way”.

Soderhavet’s Erik Lidsheim said that Swedish Sans “was designed both from practical and emotional perspectives. We wanted a distinct typeface that can stand alone, but which also works well with a broad range of other typefaces, in digital as well as analog channels. We decided to go with the feeling of old signs, of mono, of a classic sans serif with a Scandinavian heritage.”

The font is being rolled out across all government ministries and agencies. A brand guidelines website, called Identitytool, has been created to ensure all aspects of the design, from colours to typography, remain consistent across all communications.

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