In the outskirts of Oslo, Norway, the world’s largest indoor ski resort is currently under construction. With its vision of sharing the joy of winter sports, the ski resort, dubbed Snø, will be a year-round destination for enthusiasts and professionals of downhill skiing, snowboarding or cross-country. To give life to its vision, the resort commissioned Snøhetta to create a visual identity for this ambitious destination.
Snø strives to create an authentic outdoor-feeling to indoor winter sports. By ensuring the same outdoor qualities as one would experience during wintertime, ski enthusiasts should find they are in their element. Playing on this notion of element, the visual identity references the classical element water and its transformation into ice and snow. This allusion of the cold is woven into all aspects of the design, from the color palette through digital design and analog communication.
Inspired by the complex, yet simple nature of snow crystals, the identity is molded out of an uncomplicated, repetitive grid. This framework is used to develop pictograms for signage, navigation and communication. Expanding from the center of the grid, the potential grid variations are endless, allowing for exciting combinations. The same concept is applied to the logo, where the letters grow out of the same continuous grid.
The typeface draws inspiration from the well-known signage by The Norwegian Trekking Association, which guides people through the Norwegian nature all around the country. The traditional signage uses a standard neo-grotesque typeface, but milled into wooden signs, the type is given a round finish. The typeface for Snø embraces these curves, making for good, legible type that pairs well with the other identity elements.
The color palette is characterized by a crisp blue tone, primarily used in combination with white or black. A secondary palette of bright colors adds additional functionality and vividness to the identity. From sharp blue to a warm yellow, the color scheme references change in temperature and can, among other, be used to distinguish warm and cold zones within the resort, such as the cafeteria and the ski slopes. The energetic color choices underline the focus on activity and sports that lies within the DNA of the resort.