Helly Hansen

From their home in Norway, Helly Hansen has been making professional grade gear to help people on oceans, mountains and worksites around the globe stay and feel alive for almost 140 years. Apropos- was invited to join the new international design team working to develop product and communication campaigns with the team in Norway and the new wintersports office in Seattle.

Our brand work began in 2002 but this was the first of the full visual languages produced for Helly Hansen. The marketing team wanted to shift customer understanding of the company, as it made the transition from a technical to a lifestyle brand. Our brief was to appeal to a youth market without alienating the traditional client base. We based our proposals around a story with the working title of “Modern Craft”. Modern Craft simply meant “the best of the old with the best of the new.” It was a response to Helly Hansen’s innovative manufacturing tradition. Graphics included abstract patterns, derived from the construction/weave of textile materials both traditional and contemporary.

Visual language explaining key graphic themes

Summer design meeting, Portovenere

Wintersports range graphic

Series of illustrated label designs

Graphic experiment describing "Modern Craft"

Cropped seasonal signature

Base layer magazine advert

W03 advertising campaign, following Modern Craft style with cropped HH signature. Designed by Cinco.

The Winter 2002 magazine campaign was built around the wintersports pro-team. Designs were produced for 5 skiers and 5 snowboarders. Photographer Ray Watkins was commissioned to produce a series of images in a documentary/reportage style. Riders are captured in their homes and other familiar locations, doing what they like to do out of season (campaign had to be created during the Summer). Portraits are accentuated with smaller an snow details. Helly Hansen is an authentic brand and we wanted to reflect this within the design. There is no copy line, just the rider name and brand. The images were combined in a layered style referencing photographic accidents and double exposures.

For the summer sailing campaign we worked closely with the Marketing Department at Helly Hansen’s head office near Oslo, mixing dramatic action photography with a second colorised image to create an energetic aspirational message. The Spring/Summer 2002 Sailing campaign was run in core market magazines, lifestyle titles and point of sale.

W04 / S05 Communication visual language, explaining the 'field frame' device

W04 / S05 Product graphic guidelines

The Summer ’04 / Winter ’05 seasons used a new graphic theme – the “field frame”. A field frame is a rectangular window cut into a piece of paper, which helps an artist concentrated on an isolated area. Initially derived form the HH logo, the device was extended to circles, squares, triangles and other geometric shapes, suitable for use in communication and on product. As last year, Apropos- developed a visual language for product and communication which included a seasonal logotype, type style, photo brief and layout examples. Print graphics were developed by Cinco incorporating the elements described in our visual language guide. Simple graphic shapes were developed into repeat patterns for fabric prints. Elements from patterns were isolated and developed for use as product feature icons.

Graphic experiments visual language development

Runic patterns used to create product icons

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