Kalevala Jewelry is one of the most iconic brands in Finland. Named after Finland's national epic, the story of the company has existed since 1941 and has given platform for generations of talented jewellers.
The rebranding required a thorough reformulation of the brand strategy and visuals, and collaboration between the BOND team and Kalevala.
As part of the BOND team, I worked closely with the art director to craft the craft and presents different concepts and routes along which the brand could be developed. Eventually, we decided to pay homage to the legacy of Kalevala by making a nod to its first ever blackletter logo, but update it so it feels relevant and contemporary.
The project was awarded:
ADCE Awards, 2x Silver, 2021
Dieline Awards Silver, 2021
Best of Finnish Advertising and Design, 2x Silver, 2020
The Type Directors Club Certificate of Typographic Excellence, 2020
I further worked on testing and developing branding components and motion graphics for the outdoors advertisements which were shown around key points in Helsinki.
My main task, however, was to create the visual concept and UI for Kalevala's new website. Working closely with the art director and the Kalevala team, we designed the pages to be spacious in order to provide enough air for the brand elements, photography, and, most importantly, the jewelry to stand out.
The layout had to facilitate a message and feel of timelessness. Not only the brand had a long heritage of existance, the jewelry itself has been inspired by ancient jewelry finds.
The modular component of the layout were also created to be simple and reusable for the future needs of the brand's communication.
A simple 12-column grid was used for the desktop to facilitate the information. The main functionality was in the shopping experience, which was built on top of a customised Shopify theme. For the mobile, we used a 4-column grid wtih generous margins for the main information blocks. The navigation margins were marrower in order to provide more space for the logo and more flexibility for the longer list of menu items.
The translation of the brand on mobile was key to the digital experience that Kalevala was aiming to craft. They needed not only for the webstore to function, but also for the distinctive features of the brand to stand out. The frames that were key visual components of the brand were incorpotated into the "story" elements, and the texts were condensed and given generous space to convey a sense of luxury and air even on the small screen.
For Kalevala's new logo and for the headlines on their digital and print materials, BOND commissioned type designer Teo Tuominen to design a neo-blackletter typeface Kalevala Display. Consisting only of lowercase glyphs, the typeface stuck that fine balance between timelessness and modernity.
It was then paired with Studio Feixen's Sans and Serif typefaces that translated that elegance to the body copy and narrative elements of the redesign.
A crucial element of the brand communication were the frames, inpired by old-time photos. The frames provided a system for creating bold visuals, but also one which would be easy to repoduce and keep consistent when given to the Kalevala team. It was also designed to fit well with social media communication channels.