Cased 2015 winner: Saastamoisen säätiö

Filed Under: Inspiration Tags: Competition , Case study , Cased
Saastamoisen Säätiö
Project Title
Saastamoisen säätiö
May 2014–April 2015

The Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection is one of the most significant private collections in Finland. The central role of the foundation is to develop and showcase the collection consisting of 2,500 works. Although founded in 1968, the foundation lacked a visual identity. Our task was to design it.

The Saastamoinen Foundation is a renowned authority in the fields of science, culture, and art. Deeply devoted to Finland, the foundation is strongly invested in the country’s future. We designed a visual identity that embodies its international and contemporary scope. The visual identity is inspired by the golden ratio, a divine proportion that often manifests in art, science, architecture, music, and nature.

We created an adaptable logo within the Foundation’s black and white identity that follows the golden ratio. The letters in the logo are not fixed; they can randomly switch places and form abstract combinations. The logo works especially well in animations, where it forms an infinite number of different letter combinations. Because of the logo’s rectangular dimensions and ever-changing combination, the golden ratio template creates beautiful patterns to support the identity.

Project brief

The Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection is one of the most significant private collections in Finland. It represents a broad cross-section of Finnish paintings, spanning from the early 1900s to the present. Since the 1980s, the collection has also acquired international—though mainly European—contemporary art.

The central role of the foundation is to develop and showcase the collection. Although established in 1968, the foundation lacked a visual identity that addressed their audience: foundations, trusts, donors, artists, researchers, art museums, art aficionados, galleries, universities, and scholars. The foundation operates as a silent patron who prefers to stay away from the spotlight. This was to be taken into consideration when designing the visual identity.


The Saastamoinen Foundation’s roots are firmly planted in Finland, but not accentuated. As an international expert and influence within the fields of science, culture, and art, the foundation is strongly invested in the future. It has a powerful desire to help advance the Finnish society, especially by supporting the internationalization of Finnish arts and sciences through various grants. Therefore, the client’s interest was to specifically communicate the foundation’s main values: openness and internationality, expertise and continuity.


Development budget: Confidential/not available
This project is: A retainer relationship
Production/execution budget: Confidential/not available
Source of funding: Client


We were inspired by the golden ratio and how it directly correlates with the client’s field of work. The golden ratio has a fundamental function in nature, art, and science, as well as in classical theories of beauty and proportion. The idea for the identity was based on and created from the logic and usage of the golden ratio, which guided us to create a rectangular logo, pattern, and a grid system.

Design solution

Keeping with the foundation’s black and white identity, we designed a logo capable of transformation following the proportions of the golden ratio. The letters in the logo can be shuffled randomly to form abstract combinations. After the client recognized the potential in an identity with a flexible logo form, they chose three of their favorite combinations to be used just as any other logo.

The logo does not need to shout. Whenever possible, it will be blind embossed or engraved. The rectangular form with scattered letters is strong enough to be recognized repeatedly, but those with an eye for detail will be able to spot the subtle differences from one iteration to the next. Being able to change the position of the letters inside the rectangle affords limitless possibilities to create beautiful animations.


A flexible graphic design can allow one to be creative, but is also very risky when someone who’s not invested in graphic design starts using it. It can be a great fit, depending on company size, the amount of users, and the frequency of logo and identity visibility in different media. Flexible corporate designs benefit greatly from an amazing idea that comes with simple guidelines.


As the project is new and ongoing, it is difficult to measure its effect at this time.

Comments from the Jury

“Glorious tension between extreme structure and perceived chaos.”—Sara Frisk

“This identity is like a dance, where the use of positive and negative space is traded back and forth in what might seem like chaos but is actually a crafted choreography. It works cohesively from a small piece of paper like a business card, to a museum wall.”—Bryony Gomez-Palacio