Kiira Keski-Hakuni


ALSO KNOWN AS KIPSONITE, A NICKNAME FROM HER CHILDHOOD.

 

Kiira is an interdisciplinary designer based in Helsinki. She combines her knowledge both in Visual Communication Design and in Business into a practice that values a well-planned and followed research-based process and modern craftsmanship.

 

She is working currently as a freelancer and studying master’s degree in Visual Communication Design at Aalto University.

 

Kiira is inspired by kind confidence, change, and imagination. These can be seen in her work by appreciating equal teamwork, accessibility, trust in unconventional ideas, and trying out new materials or techniques.

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Aalto Winery

ANNIVERSARY VISUAL IDENTITY AND PACKAGING DESIGN

 

Design Team: Kiira Keski-Hakuni & Sanni Wessman

Workshop masters: Janne Ojala, Hannu Paajanen, Mikko Ristimäki, Tatu Vuorio
The work was created under the supervision of lecturer Markus Joutsela

Special thanks to Eduardo Ferrin from Aalto Winery.

Aalto winery in Spain celebrates its 20th anniversary with an iconic package for collectors, wine lovers, and fans of design.
This limited edition consists of 450 bottles in a 3-liter format, created from a selection of six barrels
from different vintages.

The project is a collaboration with Aalto University and it is a small work of art
symbolizing the passion for the earth, modernity, and design.

Aalto Bodegas is a Spanish winery founded in 1999. It is based in the region of Ribera del Duero, Northwest Spain, which is a well-known and noticed area for high-quality wines. The river Duero is the lifeline for the vines and makes it possible to produce and practice wine-making in a demanding climate.

Aalto takes its name from the high location (“alto”) and also from Alvar and Aino Aalto, a respected designer couple and contemporary thinkers among the Aalto Winery business owners. It is not a coincidence that the winery contacted Aalto University for collaboration on their 20th anniversary.

They wanted to see and be involved with the Aalto University community and observe the contemporary mindset in the student design field.

I and Sanni were chosen to be a design team in this project after the first round of applicants showing their skills and interest. We were very glad of this opportunity and were more than excited to meet the client.

We had our first meeting in May 2019 in Aalto University Väre building where we met with the Winery Director Eduardo Ferring, the Aalto University Vice-president Hannu Seristö, and our Project Supervisor, Lecturer Markus Joutsela. Eduardo gave us the brief of the anniversary identity:

To design an unconventional anniversary identity for the wine industry with a sophisticated and modern touch that respects the climate, design, and contemporary lifestyle.

After a couple of months, we traveled to the winery for a site visit. There we got to know the wine-industry and how Aalto differed from the field. We shared our material research and concepts continuing to refine the needs.

The whole concept was designed to remember the end-users: the design enthusiastic wine collectors, who are already familiar with Aalto Winery and know their background and quality. Our task was to create a wow effect and show how the traditional wine industry can be seen as a work of contemporary art.

Our concept is leaning on a narrative of Contemporary Roots. It is what the winery has always been and is the key element for the anniversary celebration.

The industry depends on the environment and therefore it was evident to work with sustainable and innovative materials. We wanted to challenge ourselves by thinking about how the package can be interpreted as a piece of art while protecting the bottle inside. It was interesting to think about how it would be possible to lengthen a life cycle of a package by adding value to the design that is treated otherwise than its original purpose. A package that becomes a rare design element for wine collectors.

The concept focuses on the Aalto winery’s roots and how the process of winemaking starts from respecting the area, the soil, and the seasons. The winery differs from its competitors by adding a contemporary touch to the industry: Aalto Winery is a combination of traditional methods and technological innovations. The river Duero is a key element and a lifeline for the vineyards. The first vines were planted there over a hundred years ago. And still today the same vines produce grapes from a demanding ground.

 

 

We embedded the Aalto winery’s history, location, and modern way of working into a concept that shows how much effort one bottle of wine includes.

The design process for the package started by focusing on materials that were suitable for creating a wine package but also not yet used. We tested different kinds of materials at Aalto University’s wood workshop and tried multiple methods on the materials. We noticed quite fast that the suitable material has to be colored throughout if we want to create a unique surface for the package.

We chose Forescolor as our main material for the case. It is an MDF-based wood panel that is ecologically produced and CNC-milling this material provided us the artistic quality we aimed for. We wanted that the material speaks the language of nature, the soil, and the vines, but also to embrace the modern aesthetic of the winery. We aimed to portray the contrast of rough and sleek, the old and the modern, and to look for different materials and the ways to shape them.

 

 

In the package, our concept is shown as playing around with the contrast. It’s a combination of a sleek and a rough surface: the package is opened by sliding up and separating the sleek upper part from the organic bottom, mimicking the bark from the vines. The borderline between the rough bottom part of the package and the sleek upper half is not arbitrary but draws the true shape of the Duero River to wrap around the package.

The package is a rare design piece. It changes how we think wine bottles are transported and stored. The design tells a story, how a modern winery changes the industry. In the package, the modern shapes come together with the natural curves of the old vines in a sophisticated way to celebrate the wine’s past becoming tomorrow. The rough bottom represents the demanding ground and the soil that nourishes the grapes. The top gives contrast to the bottom with a sleek look representing how the contemporary winery operates in a traditional industry with its own rules.

The borderline of the surfaces draws the shape of the Duero River to wrap around the package. It tells the story of how the river is always attached in the wine production and thus surrounds the package and protects the bottle.

 

 

Even though the visual identity and the anniversary brand focuses mainly on the package, we wanted to make sure that the bottle is also unique with its design. The client reminded us that the bottle should look like part of the Aalto Winery brand and fit with other bottle labels they have produced. The other bottles are also red wines with either a label of white square with black and silver text or a  narrower either gray or black set square with white and silver text. The price range of the bottles starts with the Aalto white-labeled bottles. The next bottle of their prince range is the Aalto PS bottle with a black or gray label and the anniversary bottle is the most expensive.  Since the anniversary identity is about celebration, we decided to develop the brand even further by taking all of the unimportant elements away to highlight the existing brand and respect its already built visual identity.

We played around with how wine bottles are stored and decided to put the AALTO text vertically with individual letters without any background label. The Winery has a design pattern that the second letter of A is always with a different material, so we followed the guideline in the anniversary label with a combination of glossy and matte letters. Winery’s traditional silver color changed to a white gold/champagne tone and all the important information including the bottle number x of 450 is marked on the bottom label that is visually more dimmed.

Production of the wine labels and packages are made in Spain and the design and the prototypes in Finland at Aalto University. I’m thankful to everyone participating in the project. It sure wasn’t the easiest process creating something unexpected and new with unknown materials. Thank you!

 

 

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Design for Motion

AALTO UNIVERSITY MA STUDIES

 

Teacher in charge: Teemu Jäppinen

Software studies: Blender and After Effects

Design for Motion course (6 credits) consisted of lectures, storyboard exercises, illustration, or visualization work.

I haven’t used 3D software Blender before, so my main goal for the course was to understand how it operates and what kind of possibilities is there when working in a three-dimensional environment. 

My goal for this course was to understand how to do animations and stuff in Blender since I haven’t used it before. First, I did a bunch of animation tutorials on youtube (i highly recommend tutorials by Blender Guru!). I made a few tutorials on how to make a donut and a coffee set, and then I continued with animation. After the tutorials, I had learned a lot more about Blender.

Then I made a list of what kind of animations I’ve been struggling with. The first one that came to my mind, was folding items, especially brochures in 3D. I started to study armatures and how to animate a folding effect. After that, I rendered out a simple folding animation. The rendering part was also quite different from After Effects and it took a lot more time compared to what I had been used to.

The final art piece animation is a combination of three different renders that took more than 30 hours of time to render. Maybe it’s also because I used cycles instead of Eevee and I also removed noise from the PNGs and put a bit of motion blur there. After the Blender rendering, I put all the PNG sequences into After Effects, reduced layer opacities, and made a composition that has a bit of effects such as animating hue values and contrast. I wanted to make an animation that has a calming effect and repetition.

Hope you like it and thank you Teemu for this course. My plan is to continue studying Blender in this period too with Visual Narrative Studio. Let’s see what I’ll come up with 🙂

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Loci Landscape Architects

ART DIRECTION & VIDEO EDITING

 

Drone video, photographer: Dominik Fleischmann

 

A brand video for Loci Landscape Architects of their award-winning park Åvik.

Loci Landscape Architects is a Helsinki-based Landscape Architecture office. I helped Loci to make a video for their park Åvik, which is an area in Tikkurila, next to the Heureka museum. The park has gotten attention among city planning and co-designers in the Landscape Architecture field. The brief was to show the variety of the area with a happy and fresh tone of voice. The deadline was tight and it was November, the darkest and the rainiest month in Finland. I promised to help them but also warned them that the season is almost impossible for shooting outdoors fresh footage.  

We made a plan to shoot the area first during the sunrise to get as much sunlight as possible. Sunrise also helps to get the contrast to the video when the shadows are long and moving and the area is still empty when almost everyone is sleeping. The other footage that we wanted to have was during the night in order to show all the lighting in the park.

Our first tryout in the park turned to be a disaster. The weather got really bad and almost destroyed our rented drone camera. Luckily we decided to still try again and the material above is the result of the second try. Suddenly there was one day in the whole month when the sun was shining and it was amazing weather.

I was responsible for both the art direction of the film as well as going through the footage and edit the material. I also made a simple animation to the film and added the explanation text.

 

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Baby Journal Alku

CO-AUTHOR & GRAPHIC DESIGN

 

Co-Author, writer: Jussi Pekkala

Publishing Editor: Anni Moilanen, publisher: Kosmos Kustannusyhtiö

 

A Baby Journal for the little ones, who will become something bigger. 

When a child is born, the beginning goes by so fast and you might want to store your shared memories. Traditionally a baby journal is something that is chosen by gender – pink for girls and blue for boys. This baby journal does not believe in storks delivering babies into the world. It believes in the equality of the newborn and their family. This baby journal is for those, who are looking for a visually contemporary touch and modern thoughts.

The texts in the book are planned together to fit this day, where we don’t want to value what type of a family or baby is better than others. 

The design process focuses on the idea that the newborn is always in the center. The book develops into a unique piece of art when the notes are written, coffee stains are covering the book, and a baby finally understands how to hold a pen and starts to illustrate. 

Visual elements are chosen based on the idea that the book should fit a market niche, where consumers are thinking about gender issues and equality. It is quite easy to understand that the gradient color starting from light pink and ends to a light blue is a statement of fluid gender assumptions. We are not either pink or blue. 

The typographical decisions are combining traditional and grotesque typeface so the typographical outcome would be fresh and full of sensitive contrast. 

The layout is decided to guide the writer into a style of a short story. The tail at the end of every page is changing and mimicking a layout of a text block. 

Co-author Jussi Pekkala is a father for a little toddler and a copywriter. The baby journal book process started when Jussi tried to find a baby book for the upcoming newborn but didn’t find anything that suited his values and taste. So he asked me to create a baby journal together and so did we!

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