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Pentagram

‘Fäviken: 4015 Days, Beginning to End’

Book Design

A book created as an homage to Magnus Nilsson's mould-breaking restaurant.

Pentagram has designed ‘Fäviken: 4015 Days, Beginning to End’ a book created as an homage to the mould-breaking restaurant of the same name by chef Magnus Nilsson, who featured in the Emmy-Award winning US PBS series ‘The Mind of a Chef’ and the Netflix docuseries’ Chef’s Table’. At the end of 2019, when Fäviken was at the height of its success, Nilsson decided to close it and move on to pursue other projects.

Awarded two Michelin Stars during its eleven-year tenure, Fäviken Magasinet was a remote 24-seat restaurant in Jämtland, central Sweden. It showcased the chef’s remarkable approach to sourcing and cooking with ingredients grown and caught in the immediate vicinity of the restaurant, and his skill in using them to create exciting, seasonal menus. 

Created as a celebration of everything that the exceptional restaurant represented, the book (which is published by Phaidon) is a beautifully composed commentary on contemporary food culture. 

‘Fäviken: 4015 Days, Beginning to End’ includes essays by Magnus Nilsson on a variety of subjects (including imitation vs plagiarism and the importance of craft over innovation), as well as a chronological list of every dish ever served at the restaurant. Nilsson’s essays punctuate the 100 featured recipes—these are accompanied by archival photographs and newly-shot images showing the unique dishes, as well as the restaurant, its staff, and the expansive surrounding countryside.

A tactile cover made of blue cloth and red paper with a wood-grain effect reflects the craftsmanship that is evident through Nilsson’s approach to food and cooking. The front and back covers also reference the iconic shape and colour of the building. They are an interplay of ‘beginning’ and ‘end’, and ‘north’ and ‘south’, echoing Nilsson’s next move to the South of Sweden to take care of an apple orchard. 

The design is understated and elegant throughout, with all of the elements treated with the same hierarchy. All the text is set in Ivar, a warm and contemporary serif font designed by type foundry Letters From Sweden.

A small graphic device in the form of a nordic arrow (which references the door of the famous root cellar where vegetables were sometimes stored for up to eight months before being used) features on the continuation pages. 

Although Fäviken Magasinet has closed, its legacy lives on and Magnus Nilsson remains one of the world’s most revered and creative chefs. Nilsson made Fäviken into a world-class destination, and Pentagram has created a suitably special publication to mark his extraordinary restaurant.

Client
Phaidon
Sector
Publishing
Food & Drink
Discipline
Book Design
Office
London
Partner
Astrid Stavro
Project team
Susanna Foppoli
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