Scandinavian Design Group balance the familiar and the unexpected for the Norwegian Health Network
Norsk helsenett, or Norwegian Health Network, has its eyes set on transforming and connecting Norway’s healthcare system, providing a secure digital space for the sector to exist within. Oslo-based design agency Scandinavian Design Group were commissioned to graphically represent this mission, working comprehensively across the company’s marketing, strategy and branding. Focusing on providing clarity to the public through meticulous attention to detail – be it SDG’s instructional illustrations that champion character and function in balance, or their photographic framework that provides warmth to the stock photographs that the company relies on.
Driven by the notion of Norsk helsenett as a catalyst, activator and interactor of connection, SDG wove this theme across the breadth of the brand; beginning with an emerald colour palette. Taking the form of a comprehensive system rather than a defined collection of tones, the colours throughout are adaptable to their specific situation or audience, allowing the brand to be both formal and lively through a select expression of colour. Leading the charge, however, is Norsk helsenett’s signature green; a colour chosen, Creative Director Nicklas Haslestad and Designer Vetle Majgren Uthaug tell us, “to set Norsk helsenett apart from its competitors,” following their analysis of the market, and finding blue and red hues in excessive use.
“As Norsk helsenett have been utilising and owning green up until the rebrand,” the duo add, “we found it strategically smart to continue owning this, but make it way more bright, bold and confident,” whilst remaining easily adaptable to different target audiences. “We feel the colour program breathes some fresh air into an otherwise predictable and outdated colour space of government agencies,” they add, avoiding industry tropes without becoming too far removed to the point of non-recognition.
Contributing towards this balance of familiarity, clarity and subversion is the introduction of Monotype’s Helvetica Now as the brand’s typeface – utilising its slick functionality to distil the typographic side of the brand with a rigorous structure and aesthetic confidence. “As most of the elements in the new identity push the client way beyond their comfort zone,” Haslestad and Uthaug recall, “we needed to hold back on some,” emphasising the explicit national use of the service, and thus the need for something reliable across physical and digital space. “With just enough flair to give Norsk helsenett a more confident and refined brand character,” the duo conclude, “Helvetica Now took care of all our needs,” taking the brand one step closer to both clarity and connectedness.