Pentagram reveal the hidden messaging in their Fäviken cover design
How the acclaimed design agency captured Magnus Nilsson’s restaurant and career trajectory in one fell swoop
Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover. Fäviken: 4015 Days, Beginning to End, Magnus Nilsson’s masterful account of how he turned a remote Swedish hunting lodge into one of the world’s most highly acclaimed restaurants, is as considered, artful and charming a publication as the destination it describes. The book lists every dish the chef ever served at the restaurant and is also filled with beautiful photography, insightful memoirs and essays by Magnus, whose writing – like his food – is truly special.
However, the book’s design is, of course, equally considered. Fäviken: 4015 Days, Beginning to End was designed by the acclaimed international agency, Pentagram. Design partner Astrid Stavro, oversaw its conception and layout, with the help of fellow designer Susanna Foppoli. Together, they packed in just as much local detail, storytelling and finesse as Nilsson cooked up in the kitchen.
Take the book’s binding. “A tactile cover made of blue cloth and red paper with a wood-grain effect reflects the craftsmanship that is evident through Nilsson’s approach to food and cooking,” explains Pentagram. “The front and back covers also reference the iconic shape and colour of the building. They are an interplay of ‘beginning’ and ‘end’, and ‘north’ and ‘south’, echoing Nilsson’s next move to the South of Sweden to take care of an apple orchard."
And there are further Nordic design motifs inside. “All the text is set in Ivar, a warm and contemporary serif font designed by type foundry Letters From Sweden,” explain the design agency. “A small graphic device in the form of a nordic arrow (which references the door of the famous root cellar where vegetables were sometimes stored for up to eight months before being used) features on the continuation pages.”
You can find out more about the reason Nilsson switched cooking for apple farming here; and more on why the restaurant probably wouldn’t have survived Covid here; but to really grasp the book’s brilliant look and feel you should order a copy of Fäviken: 4015 Days, Beginning to End here.