Posts Tagged ‘svenskt tenn’

Josef Frank_Textile Manhattan 315 Linen

Josef Frank “Manhattan” textile on Linen (above).

Today I bring you my third (and final) post in a series about Scandinavian textile designer Josef Frank. Originally I’d intended to release these posts back to back (to back) but work got a little crazy, so better late than never! As my other posts focused on nature/plants and bird motifs, this post contains some of Frank’s more unique patterns. “Manhattan” is one of my favorite Frank patterns, partly because I live in NYC, but also because how graphic it is. The way it repeats is also pretty inventive. From 1942-1946, Josef Frank lived and worked as a visiting professor at the New School for Social Research in New York. Frank found Manhattan’s city plan so interesting in its brutal simplicity that he created the Manhattan design which includes a map of the island. Frank designed similar patterns in this style for Stockholm, both of its city grid and another depicting its architecture. I hope you enjoy this final look (at least for now) of one of my favorite textile designers, Josef Frank. If you see anything you like, check out Svenskt Tenn‘s website, or Just Scandinavian here in NYC to see Frank’s work in person.

Svenskt Tenn Josef Frank Textiles_Manhattan

Frank’s “Manhattan” textile in person at Svenskt Tenn in Stockholm (above) from my study tour of Sweden. As you can see below, this pattern has been applied to several products at Svenkst Tenn including coasters, laminated wooden trays and pillows. I have one of the small trays, but would love the Manhattan print on just about anything.

Joes Frank Svenskt Tenn Manhattan Birch Tray Josef Frank Svenskt Tenn Manhattan Coasters Josef Frank Svenskt Tenn Manhattan pillow

Josef Frank_Textile Terrazzo PillowJosef Frank “Terrazzo” pillow (above).

According to Svenskt Tenn’s website, of Frank 160+ patterns, only two varied from nature motifs, “Terrazzo” is one of such prints (below). This print was sent to Estrid Ericson as a gift on her 50th birthday in 1944.

Josef Frank_Textile Terrazzo 315 Linen

Svenskt Tenn Josef Frank Textiles_Terrazzo

I was lucky enough to see “Terrazzo” in person during my visit to Svenkst Tenn in 2011. This pattern also comes on everything from pillows to plates (below).

 Josef Frank_Textile Terrazzo Plate


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Josef Frank_textile_closeup

Close up view of a Frank textile at Svenskt Tenn in Stockholm, Sweden (above).

Continuing in my week of posts devoted to Scandinavian textile designer Josef Frank, today I bring you a new series of patterns. While compiling patterns to share from Svenskt Tenn‘s website (a great resource for all things Frank, and beautiful interiors) I noticed many of Frank’s patterns depict scenes with animals. I enjoy Frank’s creative approach to drawing animals, and especially birds. It’s clear nature played a huge role as inspiration for the designer. Interestingly enough, in this post I’m sharing both the FIRST and LAST patterns Frank ever created (with an artistic output of 170 patterns, these two patterns are then quite special). Hope you enjoy Day 2 of Josef Frank (check out Day 1 if you haven’t already), and of course, get into it!

Josef Frank_Textile Anakreon 315 Linen

  “Anakreon” textile by Josef Frank on Cotton. Anakreon was the first pattern that Josef Frank designed for Svenskt Tenn. The pattern, completed in 1938, originates from a 3,500 year-old fresco from the palace in Knossos on Crete. It is named after Anacreon, the Greek poet from 500 B.C. who was famous for his songs about love and drinking. Available in two colorways (above and below).

Josef Frank_Textile Anakreon Black Linen

Josef Frank_Textile Gröna Fåglar 315 Linen

“Gröna Fåglar” (or Green Birds) textile by Josef Frank on Cotton (above). A Frank classic.

Josef Frank_Textile Italian Dinner 315 Linen

“Italian Dinner” textile by Josef Frank on Linen (above).

Josef_Frank_Textile Butterfly 315 Linen

“Butterfly” textile by Josef Frank on Linen (above).

Josef Frank_Textile Himalaya 315 Linen

“Himalaya” textile by Josef Frank on Linen (above). Josef Frank designed this pattern, which would be his last, in 1950. Looking back on his life‘s work, he summed it up in a culmination which he named Himalaya. In the pattern, a paradise on earth is drawn against the backdrop of rounded mountains in dramatic colours; the bounty of autumn and the pleasure of spring.

Sad this was his last pattern, but how lucky are we that his legacy endures and is thriving after all these years?

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Interior by Svenskt Tenn (above) – the Stockholm-based store producing Frank’s textiles

Almost 3 years ago, I blogged about the amazing architect turned textile designer Josef Frank during my study tour across Scandinavia. Since it’s been so long I thought I’d refresh everyone’s memory this week with a series of posts devoted to this wondrous designer. For those that don’t know, Josef Frank (1885-1967) is very famous in the Scandinavian design (and especially textile world) but I hadn’t heard of him until studying abroad in 2011. During his long career, Frank designed 170 patterns for printed fabrics, about 125 of which have been printed at least once. Roughly 40 of them are classics, most of them floral patterns, which although more than fifty years old, have not lost their freshness. These fabrics were produced exclusively for Svenskt Tenn, the modern day gatekeeper of Frank’s legacy. Today his fabrics are applied to everything from curtains, pillows, wood trays, handbags and furniture. Visiting their store was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to go back!

Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite floral motif patterns. It’s clear nature served as a hugely inspiring source for the designer. Many of these prints are considered “classics” and are printed on just about anything today. What I love so much about these patterns is that despite having a narrow focus (plants, flowers, etc), each is illustrated so differently. Some prints are very realistic, a few look like botanical specimens, while others are fantastical imaginations of exotic botanical scenes. I hope you enjoy this trip down (blogging) memory lane as I once again share the beautiful work of Josef Frank. Get into it!

Josef Frank Textile La Plata 315 Linen

“La Plata” by Josef Frank on Linen (above).

Josef Frank Textile Loops 315 Linen copy

“Loops” by Josef Frank on Linen (above).

Josef Frank Textile Milles Fleur Cotton

“Milles Fleur” (the French translation for a Thousand Flowers) by Josef Frank on Linen (above). I love in this pattern, none of the flowers touch, each is an individual precious illustration instead of an all-over pattern repeat, less intertwined and complex, but still beautiful.

Josef Frank Textile Primavera 315 Linen

“Primavera” by Josef Frank on Linen (above).

Josef Frank_Textile Brazil 315 Linen

“Brazil” by Josef Frank on Linen (above). One of my favorites – look at the amazing colors!

Josef Frank_Textile Celotocaulis 315 Linen

“Celotocaulis” by Josef Frank on Linen (above). This pattern was originally designed by Josef Frank in the 1920s. Caulis is the Latin word for flower stalk and Celoto comes from an Asian flower species characterized by a plume-like flower cluster. This pattern is very different in style and repeat as you can see above with only slight pattern shifts.

Josef Frank_Textile Djungel 315 Linen
“Djungel” (or jungle) by Josef Frank on Linen (above).

Josef Frank_Textile Nippon 315 Linen

“Nippon” by Josef Frank on Linen (above).

Josef Frank_Textile Notturno 315 Linen

“Notturno” by Josef Frank on Linen (above).

Josef Frank_Textile Drinks 315 Linen

“Drinks” by Josef Frank on Linen (above). Also one of my favorites, love how this pattern looks like botanical illustrations, and how each plant is surrounded by black, making the illustrations look like cutouts. Super graphic!

Josef Frank_Textile Poisons 315 Linen

“Poisons” by Josef Frank on Linen (above).

Josef Frank_Textile Tulpan Cotton

“Tulpan” (or Tulips) by Josef Frank on Linen (above). Huge Frank classic.

Josef Frank_Textile Vegetable Tree 315 Linen

“Vegetable Tree” by Josef Frank on Linen (above).

Hope you enjoyed Day 1 of my Josef Frank series, tomorrow I’ll be sharing more of Frank’s patterns, but with a new theme. Stay tuned.

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Today brings us to the final 7 designers in 7 days post – though don’t be surprised if a few other designers pop up on my blog in the coming weeks. Today’s post is about Svenskt Tenn – an ANAZING furniture/interior design store in Sweden – and the home of Josef Frank’s textiles. According to their website, “Svenskt Tenn is an interior design shop located on Strandvägen in Stockholm, Sweden. It was founded in 1924 by Estrid Ericson, who recruited Josef Frank to the company 10 years later. Together they created the elegant and boldly patterned personal interior design style that continues to pervade the collection to this day” Josef Frank is the designer I talked about in my first “7 designers” post, so it’s fitting we start and end with him.


On their website, Svenskt Tenn talks about their design Philosophy, which I think is great and applicable to all types of designers:

Josef Frank’s vision of humane, soft modernism and Estrid Ericsson’s artistry are the foundations of Svenskt Tenn’s interior design philosophy. Together, the duo created a highly personal style with a combination of Viennese elegance and Swedish functionalism. Brightly coloured patterns went completely against the ideals of the day, as did unabashed borrowing from both high and low cultures and eras.

They called it “Accidentism” or “The Happy Chances Philosophy.” In 1958, Josef Frank wrote in the magazine Form: “There’s nothing wrong with mixing old and new, with combining different furniture styles, colours and patterns. Anything that is in your taste will automatically fuse to form an entire relaxing environment. A home does not need to be planned down to the smallest detail or contrived; it should be an amalgamation of the things that the owner loves and feels at home with.”

Always current.

That such a way of thinking is applicable even today is something that many can attest to. Josef Frank is held in great repute, not the least among today’s young designers. His National Museum Cabinet has received a number of design accolades and his textiles are a source of inspiration for many young textile designers today.  

Estrid Ericson and Josef Frank have succeeded in creating that timelessness which so many strive for but few manage to achieve.

While touring the store we saw all the beautiful Josef Frank couches, many were oversized (see above) and looked so comfortable, but we were afraid to sit on anything. Our tour guide told us to not be silly, and that anything they made was to be used and enjoyed. How great is that? And how untypical for a design store. I especially love how they mix all the different textiles together and don’t try to be matchy-matchy. Many of the combinations I would never dream of, but somehow they work together. One their website there is a great Inspiration section with decorating and design ideas. After printing textiles by hand and mixing colors for the last two weeks, I have a new found respect for all the work that goes into creating these textiles. It baffles my mind how beautiful and vivid their colors come out on such thick upholstery furniture.

Took this in their showroom – they’re building a new one, so their temporary space is an old movie theater.

Great example of how their patterns look together – applied on lampshades.

I’m obsessed with these plates!

Great right?

Love the green, glass, and golds in this picture, from their Inspiration page.

Pewter oddities.

I want to live in this world! One day I’ll have a Josef Frank chair to read in.


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One of the first “new” textile designers I discovered on our trip was Josef Frank. I use the word new loosely as Josef Frank (1885-1967) is wildly popular in the textile design world, but his work was new to me! On Monday we visited the Svenskt Tenn store in Stockholm, which houses all Frank’s textiles today. Frank’s textile patterns span his entire career as an architect and designer, providing us with glimpses into his varied life; of Vienna in the 1920s; of his collaboration with Estrid Ericson at Svenskt Tenn in Stockholm; of his wartime exile in Manhattan; and of his last years in Stockholm after World War II. Of Frank’s approximately 170 patterns for printed fabrics, about 125 have been printed at least once. Roughly 40 of them are classics – most of them floral patterns – which, although more than fifty years old, have not lost their freshness. It was so inspiring to be in the Svenskt Tenn store and see all the modern applications of these classic fabrics. One could buy his textiles by the yard as one might expect, but they applied his patterns to everything from furniture, sketchbooks, serving trays, pillows, plates, and matchboxes. I took a bunch of photos in the store, and bought a book about him (pictured below).

I was lucky enough to grab one of the few copies in English!

A collage of several of Frank textiles.

The store carries a large variety of his textiles, all hand-printed I believe, for sale by the meter.

A close up – aren’t the colors beautiful?

They brought out any roll of frabric we wanted to see and we got to touch everything.

Frank’s Manhattan print! I bought a small serving tray with this design. LOVE!

Love the blues in this nautical print. So vivid!

Here’s an example of Frank’s pattern applied to a chair. The store carries a large variety of upholstered furniture with Frank’s textiles. I was particularly in love with this chair, but the picture doesn’t exactly do it justice. Their upholstered furniture is made to order so nothing is mass produced. In that way, everything you buy is unique and made especially for you, and therefore incredibly expensive, but you get what you pay for!

A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

I love a good thesis tie-in when I can find one. I wish I came across this quote before my thesis exhibition/defense … but I’m sure I’ll use this quote in the future. I’d love to redo that pillow with more beautiful type! 😉  I think my good pal Betsy and I agree on the value of beauty in design, and why it’s so precious. Sadly, it’s not always valued in our field, especially in design education. While I agree beauty on it’s own isn’t always enough, there’s something to be said for the makers of beautiful things. It takes a special sensibility; an emotional awareness combined with the ability to design and communicate. Someone at my thesis show said my exhibition was beautiful, and honestly I think that’s one of the best compliments a designer can receive. I was so touched.

Just tell me something I design is beautiful and I’m yours.

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For the next 7 days I’m going to feature one designer from my whirlwind study tour of Scandinavia.

Sunday to Sunday, seven designers, seven days.

I hope you enjoy their work as much as I did!

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