Posted in Typeface, Visual Language

Nike Custom Typeface – Oslo


“Oslo” is a new custom typeface designed for Nike Concept Store in Oslo. Can the identity of an entire city be captured in a font? And more importantly, where do you start to look for inspiration? In the streets of Oslo, of course.

Nike wanted to use a local artist to make a narrative thread through the store. The brief was to create a bespoke typeface for the word “Oslo” and the sentence “your only limit is you”. Some of the guidelines was to use Futura Bold as a reference and the type needs to communicate Nike, sports and Nordics in some subtle way that works with the boldness of the type. I also had to use objects or things that is iconic to the city Oslo, this could be a landmark or locations where sporting activities take place.

The inspiration for the new style of Nike was found at the Bislett Stadium. After much scouting and thinking, there were the characteristic lines of the running track that became decisive for the creative expression. Bislett has a central place in Oslo’s history as an international venue for sports and public festivals. The lines from the running track laid the foundation for the whole style.

Some of the most exciting with typography is that it can describe a company’s values, the contents of a magazine, what the store sells or a product subconsciously, long before it has been possible to reflect on what the content is or what the store sells. The font is used on the background of a whole wall, a big installation behind the counter and graphics/shapes from the font around the store.

Motion made by Babusjka
This movie is an abstract audio-visual journey through a race from start to finish. By using design elements from the typeface «Oslo», it covers a physical outer battle with a strive to win the race, as well as a mental inner struggle against losing focus, and to stay calm.

Client: Nike
Store design – Thijs Pulles
Environmental graphic design – Joel Clifford
Shopfit company – Eyelevel
Environmental graphic design installation – Confetti Reclame
Motion: Babusjka motion studio
Typography and graphic art – Hans Christian Øren / Oh Yeah Studio / Bekk


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