The making of the Finlandia Script typeface

Overview   Process  

Roughly forty kilometers away from Helsinki quiet Finnish lakes form a backdrop for Ainola, house museum of the composer Jean Sibelius (1865–1957). These picturesque views are especially beautiful in spring when the days are longer, the snow melts in the sun and the ice on the lakes comes alive cracking.

Much has been written on Sibeilus’s love to the local nature and his unique way of reflecting moods, sounds and fragrances of different times of the year. For many people the composer and his music became the symbols of Finland, primarily thanks to his famous symphonic poem which was written in 1899 and has since became the country’s unofficial anthem.

“Why does the public like it so much?” Sibeilus wrote later, “It must be due to its plein-air character. Indeed, it is made of tunes sent from above. Pure inspiration.”

Getting inspired by the nature of Ainola, the music and the manuscripts of the composer while trying to avoid direct copying.

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The original, the first draft and the elaboration of the letter J.

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Creating Frost, a special display style. It will capture the morning ice, frost flowers, snow-covered grass—all the manifestations of frost that are so typical for the Northern nature.

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Adding more than 1,100 ligatures to the regular and bold styles to enliven the typeface.

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Working on the OpenType code.

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