Designer Focus: Olle Eskell

Olle Eksell was born in 1918 in Kopparberg. Sweden. When Olle was 14 years old, he decided that he wanted to become an advertising illustrator. During WW II from 1930 to 1941, Olle studied illustration and graphic art in Stockholm where his main teacher was Professor Hugo Steiner-Prag. He later worked at the Ervaco advertising agency in Sweden and that is where he met his future wife and life companion, Ruthel Eksell. Ruthel, who worked as a fashion designer had come to Stockholm from Gothenburg for a quick visit and it was love at first sight. In 1946, the newly married couple sailed with the Drottningholm ship to USA to continue their studies at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. This was the year right after the war when the borders had newly opened up for travelling.

In the US, Olle came in contact with contemporary designers among who were Paul Rand, Alvig Lustig, and Lester Bell. A close friendship developed between Paul Rand and Olle that lasted throughout their lives. They visited each other frequently and often discussed new ideas, innovations, and design processes.

¨Good design is not just aesthetic – it is also good economy. Good design is not just cool – it is bloody serious!"


Designs featured on The Swedish Fabric Company include Italiensk Blomsterhylla (also available in oilcloth) and Faglarna.