In a world where visuals shape perceptions, Metsä Group, a forestry company, asked us to revitalise and expand the brand through illustration. The mission was clear: craft a distinct yet accessible style which vividly communicates the essence of Metsä and its sustainable forestry practices.
The task was to create an in-depth illustration style and guideline to reflect Metsä’s evolving forestry practices. Covering the different forest species and natural biodiversity, depict their industrial scale machinery and materials, to the products and people. The work would need to incorporate crucial technical and environmental nuances, while laying the foundation for a more relatable and approachable brand. Importantly, this new illustration style would need to be user-friendly, not exclusive to a single illustrator's craft, but allow anyone working with the brand to create scenes or build their own stories in the future.
The approach is rooted in Metsä's brand attributes of clarity and closeness, it was created to embody an ease and to feel accessible for any audience. Designed with a simple and expandable system rooted in the brand's characteristic moosehead logomark. The form language blends angular shapes from the antlers of the mark with softer, rounder shapes, to represent the natural and more personal side of the brand. This system of hard to soft shapes becomes the foundation for everything. A broad colour palette was carefully selected allowing for a richness and diversity of the forests and ethnicity of the people to be represented, while retaining close ties to the Metsä brand core colours of green and white.
The easy-to-use system was carefully guided and documented to empower others, and a large library of scenes and individual elements such as face features, workwear and tree-types were created so that users could pick and choose parts like Lego bricks to build their own creations.
This work creates a lasting impression and a unified visual language across touchpoints, establishing a cohesive identity resonating with a wide audience. It simplifies the complexities of the forestry product journeys, fosters trust and transparency among customers.
Brand DNA built-in
Driven from the moosehead logo antler, a distinct form language becomes the foundation for the illustration style. More technical, sharper forms to softer circular forms give variety but retain a core DNA throughout objects and elements.
Tools for new stories
The broad library of assets we created, together with the design style system, empowered the brand team or other creatives working with the brand to freely create new stories and scenes.
Giving it life
Images and examples of the illustrations in use act to inspire users. From product brochure’s to packaging applications. Animation was also considered to convey the theme of Growth, created to feel a effortless as paper unfolding.
Guidance and instruction on how to use the design system was documented in a guideline to make future use and reference easy.