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Branding > 10.1 Company Logo

Samsø Bær

by Gudbrandsdóttir & Itkin

Feet in the soil, berries in the heart.
As designers, we love Nordic simplicity. But for this project, we turned to craft and nature.  
Samsø Bær (‘Samsø Berries’) is a local, family-driven company. A group of Samsø farmers began  producing together. First, they created an award-winning jam, and then juice, oil, and liquor as well. All main ingredients come from the fields of Samsø, a Danish island with a slightly milder climate than the mainland, and a history of both environmental entrepreneurs and Viking raids.  
Our design research took us back 1000 years to the jewelry, coin motives and, carvings of that time. We also turned to the ceramics, silver works, and graphic prints of the early 1900th century – an era where nature had its own voice in design.  And we decided to make a complex yet raw stamp-like logo for Samsø Bær. A modern logo rooted in history with many layers of meaning and imageries of growth.  
Every lover of Samsø will recognize the island’s silhouette as a central figure in the logo – maybe not the first time, they look, but at a second glance. Surrounding the island is a wave that connects a hovering sun to the soil below with three berries nodding richly.   Close to the company’s main farm lies a beautiful bay. On the logo, we altered the shape of this bay slightly to create a fourth berry – a strawberry – as a negative shape in the middle. And if you focus on the logo’s negative form, you see something entirely different. To the left is a rhubarb leaf or a furrowed field, depending on the angle. On the right, some will see a figure with its arms open wide. We call it the spirit of Samsø.
The company’s name contains two words: ‘Samsø’ (the location) and ‘Berries’ (the raw material). This proved to be a strength as well as a challenge. A strength, because the name instantly describes the company and connects with the strong brand of the island. And a challenge because the word ‘berries’ is superfluous when used on products also containing the word (“Samsø Berries Raspberry Juice”). And a few products don’t contain berries, which makes the name confusing (“Samsø Berries Walnut Liquor”).
We solved the challenge by creating three versions of the name:  
1. Full company name, simple version. Mainly to be used with the logo  
2. Full company name, intertwined with a berry stem. One berry replaces the Danish letter ‘Ø’ in ‘Samsø’.  
3. A short version of the logo mainly for product branding: ‘Samsø’ + the berry stem. It still says 'Samsø Berries', but without the word berries.
Less is not always more. Together these elements make up a versatile identity that both brands the company and simplifies communication, as well as making space for multiple product identities.

  • Creative Directors Sigrún Gudbrandsdóttir & Sara Itkin
  • Art Directors Sigrún Gudbrandsdóttir & Sara Itkin
  • Designers Sigrún Gudbrandsdóttir & Sara Itkin
  • Illustrators
  • Photographers Jeanette Philipsen
  • Editors
  • Copywriters Jacques Rahr Knudsen
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