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Design à la Orrefors

What you drink reveals to those around you who you are, and that makes the packaging and the design of vital importance. Runa Vodka has a character which points out the purity and freshness of Scandinavia, and we wanted the bottle to emphasize this. At the same time, we wanted it to give the image of tradition and modern design.

In order to find someone who could help us convey our message in modern Scandinavian design, we turned to Riksglasskolan in Orrefors (National Glass School of Sweden), where students from the whole world receive their training.

A very positive and constructive dialogue started as soon as we came in contact with the school. The dialogue resulted in a contest among the students, based on the history of the product and Vikings.

Ellen Marie Tomtum Runningen
Ellen Marie Tomtum Runningen
1st prize winner in the Runa design competition

From the very start, the students showed dedication to the product and the contest. Students from all of Scandinavia and the U.S. participated in the competition, and creativity flowed freely under the supervision of skillful and experienced teachers.

The students gave us many brilliant and sincere ideas, based on the feeling we wanted to convey, and deciding the prizewinners was very difficult.

The contest entries were inspected by us at Runa Vodka, independent designers and advertising agencies before a winning contribution was chosen. The winning contribution was designed by Ellen Marie Tomtum Runningen.  

Ellen Marie was born on August 25th, 1986 and grew up in the little village Svarstad in Norway. She has a 3-year Senior High School education in drawing, form, color and design/textile. At some point during her Senior High School years, she started taking an interest in glass, which made her apply to Riksglasskolan and began there fall of 2006, after having attended one year at Valdres Folkhögskule (folk high school). At the glass school, Ellen Marie has gained a lot of knowledge in working with both the warm glass and with the cold cooling process afterwards. In the fall of 2008, she will begin her third and last year at the school.

Her favorite is the warm glass, since she can convert her thoughts and ideas straight into the syrupy mass. Colors play a big part when she gets new ideas. As a glassblower, it makes it possible for her to create new objects as far as her eyes and colors will take her.

Ellen Marie is inspired by colors, preferably clear and crisp colors, and values being able to experiment her way to new patterns and color combinations.

She welcomes inspiration for new products and designs from her class mates. Perhaps a product that didn’t turn out the way it was meant to, glass already existing, but is given a new angle, or just playing with colors.