Scandinavian/Nordic Design

For my research and design project, I have decided to focus on Scandinavian Design. This topic would include, as a first step, a lot of research, and can later result into own creations of Scandinavian-inspired designs. In this project, the term Scandinavian design may include several aspects like: interior, print, product design, brand design, package design, etc.

Some of the research questions which will help to analyze and understand Scandinavian design are:

  • What is the essence of Scandinavian Design?
  • Which colors, patterns are used? Where is the inspiration taken from?
  • What does Scandinavian design tell us about the culture, mindset?
  • What is the theme of Scandinavian design? What emotions does it evoke at the end-user?
  • What does Scandinavian design communicate?

Master’s thesis

This topic also has the potential to become a master’s thesis. Some research points might be:

  • Analyzing Scandinavian design in all aspects and explain if/why people are drawn to it
  • Background of Scandinavian design
  • What is the essence of Scandinavian design? Does it attract people? – Why? What is the idea behind it?

As the topic “Scandinavian design” is very broad, it can be broken down into several focal points like:

  • Scandinavian illustration
  • Scandinavian brand design
  • Scandinavian product design/ package design

Research on Scandinavian/Nordic design

Scandinavian design can also be referred to as Nordic design. Nordic countries include Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and, Iceland  (Design, 2020).

Scandinavian Design

Some very crucial aspects of Nordic design lie in a deep respect for functionality, clean lines and longevity. Also, white walls, neutral-colored furniture made of natural materials and, minimalistic décor are crucial elements. Scandinavian design is created to be in harmony with its environment. The minimalist approach of Nordic design is not only for aesthetics.  Less furniture helps to let light and air circulate in the rooms freely. The Nordics also believe that things are bought or made to last instead of being tossed after some months. That is why Nordic design makes use of materials shaped in classic ways to please one’s eye long lastingly (Cruz, 2018).

It is also important to mention the terms “Hygge” and “Lagom” in conjunction with Scandi design. Hygge is a purely Nordic word that cannot be translated into English. It is a practice and a feeling. The word is used to express the mood for comfort, cosines, contentment and well-being. The Swedish ethos of Lagom is what accurately defines Scandinavian lifestyle. Lagom focuses on moderation, frugality, simplicity. It can be translated as “enough”, “sufficient”, “adequate”, “just right” (Design, 2020).

Characteristics of the Scandinavian mindset and way-of-living also find themselves in Nordic illustrations, patterns or logos. Those are often inspired by nature, modern, minimalistic and have a clean composition. The color palettes are always consciously chosen and either consist of lighter and more neutral colors, sophisticated and elegant colors or colors with high contrast and brightness. As Nordic design has a minimalist and modern touch, sans serif typography is often used (Lant, 2017).

Works Cited

Design, L. T. (2020). Scandi Design: Why the Hype? Retrieved November 2021, from Love That Design:

Cruz, C. (2018). A Brief History of Nordic Design. Retrieved November 2021, from Tales by Trees:

Lant, K. (2017). How to bring the flair of Scandinavian design to your design project. Retrieved November 2021, from 99designs:

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