Ilmiö Culture & Art Magazine

  • Concept
  • Visual identity
  • Magazine layout
  • Magazine production
  • Project management
  • Web design and development
  • Article editing

Kulttuurilehti Ilmiö is a magazine covering artistic and cultural events of the city of Seinäjoki: theatre, music, visual arts, museum and literature. The challenge was to create a scalable visual and thematic concept that would gather all the different fields and events into a solid, logical but fun to read magazine. The concept was also requested to be somehow linked to Seinäjoki’s slogan, which is ”Avaruuden pääkaupunki”, ”The Capital of Space”. (Just to clarify, Seinäjoki quite literally has a lot of space.)

The project was managed, designed and carried out by me from concept to both a paper and an online magazine. The magazine is now being published twice a year, and is distributed free of charge to all the inhabitants of the whole province. It has found its audience well, especially as a physical publication. 



The City of Seinäjoki & Art Seinäjoki Network






Art is refined expression of human imagination. Art can as well be a physical object as, for instance, some theatrical, musical, literatical or interdisciplinary piece. Whether art imitates nature or consists of abstract elements, it’s created to be perceived and interpreted by an observer.

The subject can be approached by reviewing the senses needed for observing the piece. Art can be experienced in several ways: a painting is seen, a book is read, a composition is heard, a play is seen, heard, smelled or even felt. No matter what the medium, art evokes sensations and feelings, which lead to an interpretation.




As something meaningful, a piece of art needs an interpretation. All art can be interpreted, and every interpretation is a chance for a different conclusion. No matter what the conclusion, a piece of art is perceived as a meaningful phenomenon.




The magazine’s name Ilmiö means ”a phenomenon” in Finnish. A phenomenon is something that can be experienced through the observers senses, just like art needs a perceiver to interpret its meaning. When people gather together, it’s also a phenomenon, whether it be a concert, exhibition, performance or any other event. No matter what it is, a phenomenon can be experienced. A phenomenon is something unusual, interesting and meaningful.





Light can mean immediate feeling and experiencing. Light connotes as well to creating, knowledge as realization. In numerous cultures our main source of light, the Sun, symbolises immortality, which can refer to art as a way to reach immortality, as art can live on after the artist has passed.



A star is an appealing and extremely common symbol in numerous cultures. Stars twinkle inspiration and realization, and they are truly creators: they create energy, light and life.



A pentagram is a five-pointed star, a closed figure that can be drawn with one stroke. Nowadays it’s usually linked to occultism, but it’s an ancient symbol which can be found from the Egyptian hieroglyphs, Christian iconography, alchemy and the symbol of the Pythagoreans, just to name a few.

The dimensions of a regular pentagram follow the golden ratio, which has undeniable importance not only in mathematics, but also in aestethics and art.

A pentagram has a beginning and an end, just like art: art begins as an idea and ends to the interpretation of its perceiver.

A pentagram also symbolises microcosm, the inner cosmos of man. The idea of macrocosm and microcosm reflecting one another originates from Ancient Greece, more specifically Pythagoras. The concept travelled through the writings of Socrates and Plato all the way to the Renaissance, when alchemy was becoming popular.

The European alchemy was not only about the transmutation of more common metals into noble ones, but more and so a philosophical theory about refining and perfecting the human soul and the connection of microcosm and macrocosm. Alchemy recognizes the classical elements of the Ancient Greece: earth, water, air, fire, and the fifth element aether – the element from where all spiritual and creative actions originate and thus of course art as well – and the symbol of these five elements is a pentagram.


Kulttuurilehti Ilmiö: GemstoneGEMSTONE

Gemstones are hard minerals, that can be cut and polished: like art, they are carefully crafted and refined. A gemstone doesn’t shine on its own, not until light pierces it, just like (yes, you guessed it) art needs an observer to decode its meaning.


Kulttuurilehti Ilmiö: Taide Seinäjoki



There’s a symbol for each cultural field with which every page is marked: visual arts, literature, theatre, music and museum. Under each field there are subcategories to indicate what kind of an event the article is about: painting/sculpture/photography…, novel/poems/philosophy…, musical/comedy/drama…, classical/jazz/rock…, exhibition/educational and so on.

The basic idea for the subcategory icons is about what sense is needed to interpret the piece of art or event. The visual system can however be used in more concretical way as well, if it illustrates the subject better.

All icons are paired with titles for clarity.

Kulttuurilehti Ilmiö: Icons

Kulttuurilehti Ilmiö: Icons


Colors and graphics

Each issue has one main color. The color system consists of three shades of the same color: light, medium and dark, which can be used in combination with black and white to create structure and tension to each issue.


Kulttuurilehti Ilmiö: Typography


Ilmiö 1/2019

Ilmiö 1/2019 Ilmiö 1/2019 Ilmiö 1/2019 Ilmiö 1/2019 Ilmiö 1/2019

Ilmiö 2/2019 Ilmiö 2/2019 Ilmiö 2/2019 Ilmiö 2/2019 Ilmiö 2/2019 Ilmiö 2/2019 Ilmiö 2/2019 Ilmiö 2/2019


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