Inspiration – Designer and Illustrator Olle Eksell
I am constantly trying to keep my eyes open to designs that inspire me, and I am very partial to looking back to mid-century designers and illustrators whose work I find endearing and elegant. I think this aspect of design history is important to new designers and artists.
Recently, I stumbled upon the design work of Olle Eksell, one of the most respected and distinguished Swedish graphic designers. He passed away in 2007 at the age of 87, leaving a legacy of advertising posters, logos, postcards, illustrations, products and more – all charmingly beautiful and interesting. A book celebrating his work was just published in April, 2011.
He is most famous for his iconic Mazetti Cacao Eye design, a pictogram for the chocolate and confectionery manufacturer:
Olle Eksell was born in 1918 and he became a member of AGI (Alliance Graghique Internationale) in 1952 in New York. Some of his many awards include the Advertising Association of Sweden’s Platinum Egg in 1985, and an Honorary Professorship from the Swedish Government in 2001.
You can check out more of his work in the book Olle Eksell: Swedish Graphic Designer. I am definitely adding this book to my wish list and hope to frame some of his work.
In the book, see Eksell’s letterhead and advertising posters, as well as some truly breathtaking works—a point-of-sale tool with a boy’s and girl’s smiley face, and a package with a drawing of a reindeer for Christmas. The book also includes private works such as postcards created before he became a professional designer, paintings as gifts for his friends, and drawings of the places he visited for holidays with his wife. This book covers his comprehensive work, and is the most definitive visual collection ever seen of this talented artist.
Eksell himself wrote a book in 1967, called Corporate Design Progams, which is sadly out of print right now, originally printed in the Netherlands by N. V. Drukkerij Koch en Knuttel, Gouda.