Swedish Design in the ’30s

Sleeve 1 small

Sleeve 1b small

In 1932, Erik Ljungberg established a record label, AB Sonora, produced entirely in Sweden. Sonoras were sold originally at 2 krone but the price was reduced to 1.65 krone during 1933. Ljungberg sold the label to Philips in 1958. The company also produced a portable gramophone.

Although all that’s interesting, what really grabs my attention about this record sleeve is the fabulous design. There are two fonts in classic black and red. I particularly love the uppercase E & S and lower case f & r of the script font. The contrasting blocky font has just a few subtle serifs and is mainly used in uppercase. One text block reads “Giv arbete åt svenska arbetare” which translates as “Give work to Swedish workers”.

And just look at that great little logo at the foot of the sleeve. Feet like musical notes and a disc-shaped body – but what’s with the little flag apparently flying from the bridge of his nose? Who cares when it’s designed with such flair?

[More information on Sonora can be found here.]

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2 Responses to Swedish Design in the ’30s

  1. Ceints de bakelite December 3, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    That’s a classy website ! I just discovered it thanks to your page on The Retronaut. I went to Stockholm a few months ago and found several Sonora records on the flea market at Hötorget. I recently posted one of this recording on my blog, a kind of exotic Hawaiian track of the late 40’s. If you’re interested, you can listen to it here : http://ceintsdebakelite.com/2012/11/26/oea-oea-an-exotica-track-by-dick-elgg-and-his-tahitians-on-78-rpm-record/
    Congratulations for your website, I hope you will post other sleeves on the Retronaut ! (I’d be glad to contribute with you, as I own many 78rpm records).


  1. Oea-Oea, an Exotica track by Dick Elgg and his Tahitians on 78 rpm record | Ceints de Bakélite - December 3, 2012

    […] (Dec. 3rd, 2012): I just discovered this classy website, where you'll find more information about the Sonora label] Share this:FacebookTwitterGoogle +1Like […]

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