Career. Erkki Ruuhinen (b. 1943) studied at the MG school for graphic designers in 1964—1966. After finishing his studies, he worked as an Art Director in advertising agency SEK Oy in 1968—1975 and as a designer and a partner at Anderson & Lembke Oy in 1975—1983. Ruuhinen established his own business, Erkki Ruuhinen Oy, specializing in company logo design in 1983. Ruuhinen has written and lectured about graphic design and operated as an expert in several competitions of the field. He has been setting up several design-related events in Finland. The Best Finnish Creative Design, Best campaigns of the year and the Graphic Designer of the year. Since 1966 Ruuhinen has participated in international exhibitions of graphic design, posters, typography and calligraphy, and his works can be seen in several collections of foreign museums.

Awards and acknowledgements. Ruuhinen was awarded with the Finnish State Award for Arts twice in 1969 and 1989, and he was awarded as the first Graphic Designer of the Year in 1985, awarded with the first platinum prize in the Best Finnish creative design competition in 1986 and nominated as the first art professor in graphic design in 1996. Ruuhinen has won over 150 awards in Finnish and International competition during his career. The most important awards are a silver medal in Brno poster biennale in 1970 and 1974, a silver medal in Warsaw poster biennale in 1972, a gold medal at Rizzoli Advertising Competition in Milan in 1972, gold, silver and bronze medals in Lahti international poster biennale in 1975, 1977 and 1979 and 21 awarded posters in the Poster of the Year competitions in 1968—1986 and nearly 40 awards in the Best Finnish creative design competition in 1980—1995.

Field of specialization. Ruuhinen is known as a diverse designer, whose strong texts have often evaluated the visual reforms made by foreign consultancy companies for Finnish companies. Ruuhinen specializes in business logograms, logotypes and corporate image design as well as calligraphy.

Handprint. Erkki Ruuhinen's works are bold, clear and simplified. His design always starts from the theme, not from the visual style. Ruuhinen is known especially for managing beautiful, clear, visual techniques and he is a meticulous finisher of his works. Every visual element in his production is meticulously thought, and he never leaves anything to chance.

Design philosophy. The ground for Ruuhinen’s design philosophy has been mathematic aesthetics and constructive art. Ruuhinen has drawn his way of thinking from the history of design and modern art. He is especially interested in Bauhaus’ art philosophy, Russian avantgarde, Dutch “De Stilj” and constructivism. Ruuhinen is also interested in mathematical thinking as the source of aesthetics and an accurate, mathematical structure when designing logos.

Read more about Erkki Ruuhinen’s design philosophy.

Sources of inspiration. ”I do not wait for inspiration. My method of working is that I try to familiarize quickly with the problems and I think I am good at it. When I understand the problem, I will surely find the solution. I can go to bed in peace and my subconsciousness does all the work. I might wake up in the middle of the night and the solution is ready - I have come up with the idea. I read a lot, I write down my thoughts and I try to master my elocution.”

”I am inspired by interesting assignments, solutions to difficult problems and the opportunity to help the client in developing their own business operations, an opportunity to make the world a little bit better - and an opportunity to bring some order to the chaos as well as beauty to your daily routines. If the assignments offer an opportunity for ethic discussion, it is even better.”

Idols. ”I cannot name just one person because I have worked in so many areas.” My idols of company image design, advertising and posters can be found in the United States, England and Sweden. I respect the design in these countries: advertising, marketing and company image design. My idols of logograms and logotypes can be found from among the modern art."