Finland has been known for its designers in the past, and to be honest we’re still riding the fame of the Scandinavian design legends, such as Alvar Aalto, Eero Aarnio, Tapio Wirkkala, and Eero Saarinen.
Everyone has been waiting for a new wave of Finnish designers to come and continue the legacy. Yet, apart from maybe Harri Koskinen, we haven’t seen any big international breakthroughs, but perhaps we’ve been looking into a wrong direction. There’s now a new school of illustrators and graphic designers that are making a name for Finland internationally.
Interestingly, where Scandinavian products and furniture design was clean and simple, the new illustrator school goes all out with colors, shapes, and boldness of interpretation – and they haven’t gone unnoticed. Klaus Haapaniemi, Pietari Posti, Janine Rewell, Jesse Auersalo, Sanna Annukka are among the top illustrators in the world at the moment. Finland has a something to be proud of again.
Pietari Posti’s illustrations have recently decorated the pages of The New York Times, The Guardian, The Fortune, The New Scientist, The Washington post, and Wired. He’s also done illustrations for companies such as American Express, Nokia, and British Airways.
Klaus Haapaniemi was one of the first names of the new school to break through internationally. His resume is impressive: garment prints for Diesel, Levis, Marimekko, Dolce & Gabbana, and Cacharel. He produced illustrations for The Observer as well as Vogue newspaper. The international WGSN trend analysis service has called him as one of the most important rising stars in illustration and design.
Janine Rewell is a young up and coming talent, who’s already won a lion at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival 2009 and been recently nominated by Print Magazine as one of the twenty hottest new visual artists of 2010. Her work has been seen in several most prominent design magazines, and she’s done work for companies such as Nokia, Qatar Airways, and Marimekko.