1–2–3–Helsinki ! Design en Seine

From 31 May to 4 June 2012 the Finnish Institute in Paris presented 1–2–3–Helsinki ! Design en Seine, a unique pop-up event in Paris. The event was curated and the exhibition architecture was designed by Esa Vesmanen, visual identity and branding was made by Werklig.

The event took place during a city-wide design festival Designer’s Days. Two small villages of shipping containers were built on the riverbanks of the Seine, located at the Port de la Tournelle in the immediate vicinity of the Notre Dame cathedral, and the Port de la Gare, buzzing with a young Parisian crowd.


The two spots were connected by riverboat Montebello, an extension of the riverbank exhibitions loaded with design.

The visual identity system was designed to invite Parisian passer-by to discover a series of mini exhibitions of current Finnish design trends, participate in weekend workshops for children and grown-ups alike, and enjoy impromptu concerts.

Seine and it’s riverboats gave the event a boating flair. Event’s logo has a double wave form in it: one wave representing water and the other (upside down) representing three steps or jumps (1–2–3).

Marine theme was extended by bringing marine flags to the play. Marine flags have very constructivist colours by default and that fitted the theme very well.

Typography was built on two iconic French typefaces from totally different eras: Didot and Antique Olive.

All applications from containers, exhibition signage, leaflets, brochures to press releases and advertising were fully branded. Each of the applications were totally unique and hand-sampled from brand key elements.

Strong constructivist colours with simple geometric forms really stood out from the Parisian surroundings. The exhibition was visited by approximately 5700 visitors during three days.

The event gained a lot of attention and was mentioned in French media and magazines such as Vogue, Beaux Art Magazine, Le Monde, La Gazette and Marie Claire Maison.

The event was an official satellite event of World Design Capital Helsinki 2012.

Kuura Cider

City of Helsinki



Kyrö Distillery Company

Hernesaaren ranta

Jonas Granfors

New School Helsinki

Helsinki City Museum

Suomen Jäätelö

EMMA – In Search of the Present





Parliament of Finland

Victor Vasarely


Senate Properties

Masters of Aalto 2014

ERC 2014

Finnish Design Yearbook 2014–2015

1–2–3–Helsinki ! Design en Seine


Susanna Vento

Helsinki Food Company