Image from article Funkis

As part of VSCO Originals, we are happy to introduce Pieces. A series of collaborative art projects where artists and makers explore an individual theme.

First out is Funkis, a collaboration with type designer Göran Söderström, founder of the renowned type foundry Letters from Sweden, based in Stockholm. The result is a beautiful display typeface influenced by the aesthetics from the early years of Scandinavian functionalism.

On the same theme, we invited Norwegian artist Oscar Grønner to bring life to Funkis through a series of artwork that captures the aesthetic essence of this era.

Image from article Funkis
Image from article Funkis

Functionalism is a radical style that rejected traditional theories of architecture to embrace design based on functionality. It took shape during the 1920–30s in Europe and is characterized by simplicity, minimalism, and accessibility. In Scandinavia, pioneers like Alvar Aalto, Arne Jacobsen and Josef Frank have created iconic landmarks and design classics in this style.

Image from article Funkis
Image from article Funkis
Image from article Funkis

Funkis is a display typeface drawn for bold lettering and signage. It comes in three different weights of capital letters only. The digits are inspired by the characteristic number signs, commonly used on functionalist buildings and houses.

Image from article Funkis
Image from article Funkis
Image from article Funkis
Image from article Funkis

The characters are heavily inspired by the letters that Sigurd Lewerentz made for his poster for The Stockholm Exhibition in 1930, an event that had great impact on architecture and interior design in the years to come, and is considered the breakthrough of functionalism in Scandinavia.

Image from article Funkis
Image from article Funkis

Funkis is available for purchase through Letters from Sweden.

Type design: Göran Söderström

Illustrations: Oscar Grønner

Creative direction: Fredrik Gruber