The abstract elements on our packaging come from a unique piece of art, created for us by the talented Aino-Maija Metsola, a Helsinki-based illustrator and designer. With a particular interest in colour, Aino-Maija creates bold but subtle images using a diverse selection of techniques, from water colour to ink, markers and gouache. Read on to get the inside story of how Aino-Maija created our look.
I was inspired by the landscapes and details in the nature of Northern Finland. I painted rain, mist, fresh lakes, moss, pines, spruces, snow, wind, mountain brooks and northern lights. In addition to Lapland I think I also had the Finnish archipelago in mind, as it’s more familiar to me personally.
I worked quite intuitively. That is how I like to work, I try not to analyse too much. I of course always read the brief at first, but I don’t go back to it very often so that I can keep my mind open and let the process flow by itself. When I heard about this brand and the ideas behind it, I instantly felt that I knew how I wanted to interpret it in illustration.
I wanted to create something fresh and simple, but not too polished. I don’t believe in polished beauty and I really don’t like cosmetics and skincare brands that promise too much, something completely unrealistic. Obviously too often skincare brands try to make people think some kind of perfect beauty should be pursued by adapting a complicated skincare routine with a dozen different products. So I was inspired by the idea of simplicity in Laponie.
The coloor palette was already fixed when I started working on the illustration. It was very easy for me to use the colors, they felt natural and suitable for my illustration style. I wanted to illustrate simple textures like splashes of water, clouds and rays of sunlight. By combining the fresh colour palette with the textures of nature I wanted to create an atmosphere that is strong and timeless.
I used water colors, which is a technique that I love. I found water colors when I was quite young, I think it was during my high school years, and it has been my favourite medium ever since. After painting I continued the process in photoshop to combine elements and to work with the colors.
I have done some illustration for consumer packaging many years ago, it was coffee and ice cream. So the product was quite different this time. I think creating a consumer package is usually a very controlled process with several stages and testing, but I believe that as an illustrator it’s not my job to analyse the needs and preferences of the target group. I just create an image that I like and that I believe in.
Aino-Maija Metsola is an illustrator and designer based in Helsinki, Finland. Aino-Maija's background is in graphic design, which she studied at the University of Art and Design Helsinki (Aalto University School of Arts) and she completed her Master's degree in 2008. Aino-Maija works mostly by hand using different mediums such as ink, watercolours, crayons, gouache, linocut printing, paper cut and markers. Her range of work covers prints and illustrations for various surfaces, including textiles, clothing, tableware, stationery, toys, packages, books and magazines. She has collaborated with Finnish design company Marimekko since 2006 and has designed numerous prints for the brand. Aino-Maija has collaborated with UK based publishing house Wide Eyed Editions on a number of children's books, which have been published in 21 languages.
Check out how the artwork elements look on our products.