client
Helsinki Book Fair
service
Brand Illustration

Sofia’s swan illustration was selected as a winner of 2017 campaign picture competition organized by Helsinki Book Fair, the largest book event in Finland. In the competition brief the vision for the project was to find an illustration that would be topical, insightful, capture attention and include books. The theme of the book fair in 2017 is Finland and that’s why the whooper swan, the national bird of Finland, was chosen as the illustration topic. 

The whooper swan is featured in Finnish folklore and culture as an animal which connects the afterlife with the living creatures on earth. As the book fair introduces Finnish authors as well as the history of Finland, the idea behind the illustration was to highlight the power of literature in building bridges between past and present and in fact, building up a whole national identity. The bird theme also points to freedom of speech which is a topical issue, also in Finland.

In addition, the swan refers to the popular fairy tale The Ugly Duckling. Racism and xenophobia have been increasing globally and empathy is now needed more than ever. In the fairy tale the Ugly Duckling realises that he has grown into a swan when his wings have become strong and big. Then he also gets accepted for who he really is. In the illustration the wings of the swan are formed of a book. Literature has the ability to express different experiences of reality and that way improve empathy and understanding of those who are different from ourselves – literature has the power to turn an ugly duckling into a swan.

Sofia Pusa Studio
client
Helsinki Book Fair
Sofia’s swan illustration was selected as a winner of 2017 campaign picture competition organized by Helsinki Book Fair, the largest book event in Finland. In the competition brief the vision for the project was to find an illustration that would be topical, insightful, capture attention and include books. The theme of the book fair in 2017 is Finland and that’s why the whooper swan, the national bird of Finland, was chosen as the illustration topic.

The whooper swan is featured in Finnish folklore and culture as an animal which connects the afterlife with the living creatures on earth. As the book fair introduces Finnish authors as well as the history of Finland, the idea behind the illustration was to highlight the power of literature in building bridges between past and present and in fact, building up a whole national identity. The bird theme also points to freedom of speech which is a topical issue, also in Finland.

In addition, the swan refers to the popular fairy tale The Ugly Duckling. Racism and xenophobia have been increasing globally and empathy is now needed more than ever. In the fairy tale the Ugly Duckling realises that he has grown into a swan when his wings have become strong and big. Then he also gets accepted for who he really is. In the illustration the wings of the swan are formed of a book. Literature has the ability to express different experiences of reality and that way improve empathy and understanding of those who are different from ourselves – literature has the power to turn an ugly duckling into a swan.
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