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What Iceland can teach us about Graphic Design

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Chris loves Iceland. He has visited four times since 2005 and considers it his spiritual home. So, there’s no real surprise that he takes a lot of inspiration from the Land of Fire and Ice regarding all aspects of his work.

You’re probably wondering what the heck that has to do with Graphic Design, but they’re more connected than you might think.

Graphic design is a powerful medium that communicates ideas, emotions, and information visually. While Iceland is renowned for its stunning natural landscapes, it also offers valuable lessons for graphic designers:

Vik Black Sand Beach Iceland
  1. Simplicity and Minimalism: Iceland’s landscapes are often characterised by vast open spaces, clean lines, and minimalistic beauty. Similarly, in graphic design, simplicity and minimalism can create impactful visuals. Less clutter allows the message to shine through.
  2. Inspiration from Nature: Iceland’s unique geology, glaciers, and volcanic formations inspire awe. Graphic designers can draw inspiration from nature’s textures, colours, and patterns. Incorporating organic elements into designs can evoke a sense of wonder.
  3. Contrast and Balance: Iceland’s stark contrasts—between ice and fire, light and darkness—teach us about balance. Balancing contrasting elements (such as colour, typefaces, and negative space) creates harmony and visual interest in graphic design.
  4. Typography: Iceland’s runic inscriptions and ancient manuscripts highlight the importance of typography. Choosing the right typeface and arranging text effectively can enhance readability and convey the desired tone.
  5. Storytelling: Icelandic sagas and folklore are rich narratives passed down through generations. Graphic design, too, is about storytelling. Whether through logos, posters, or websites, designers tell stories visually.
  6. Adaptability: Iceland’s ever-changing weather conditions demand adaptability. Similarly, graphic designers must adapt to various platforms, screen sizes, and user needs. Flexibility is key.
  7. Embracing Constraints: Iceland’s remote locations and harsh climate impose limitations. Similarly, graphic designers often work within constraints—a tight deadline, limited colour palette, or specific brand guidelines. Creativity thrives within boundaries.
  8. Authenticity: Iceland’s authenticity—its untouched landscapes and genuine culture—resonates with visitors. In design, authenticity matters. Authentic visuals connect with audiences on a deeper level.

Remember, just as Iceland’s beauty lies in its uniqueness, graphic design flourishes when it embraces individuality and authenticity. So, whether you’re working on creating a new logo for your business, graphics for your website or signage for your company buildings and/or vehicles, that inspiration from Iceland’s geysers, and design with purpose!