The Scandinavian rule that every designer should follow

I have been living -and working as a designer- in Scandinavian countries (Denmark and then Sweden) for the last three years. Scandinavian culture is unique and distinctive on many levels. But if there is one thing that I consider to be the key to decode and understand the weirdness of Scandinavian culture, from the traumatic high tax system to the ultra-minimal design approach, It would be the Janteloven or The Law of Jante (pronounced: Yante).

Jante law was first introduced in the novel A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks (En flyktning krysser sitt spor, 1933) for the Danish-Norwegian writer Aksel Sandemose. The novel takes place in the fictional Danish village of Jante. The law was the author’s sarcastic way of describing a prominent attitude of Scandinavians.

The law consists of 10 points. But they are basically revolving around one idea:

Be humble. Don’t think or act like you are special or better than anyone else (even if you actually are).

Janteloven. written on Aksel Sandemose’s childhood home in Nykøbing Mors, Denmark.

Author: Ahmed H. Aly

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