John Bengtsson

John Bengtsson
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Välkommen! I’m John, a graphic designer living and working in Stockholm, Sweden. For the past three years I’ve been working at Essen International, with clients such as Skandia and PTS. Some of my other works include the book and website for furniture design project The Kinship Method, the creative coding community Sunday Sites, a magazine for digital natives by the name of Tangents, the title design and poster for an award winning short film & AFU – a poetic archive over UFO sightings. I also like to make fonts in my spare time.


During my time at Essen, Skandia was one of my most frequent clients. Skandia was founded in 1855 and is one of Sweden’s leading players in life insurance and financial services. With a long-term perspective and focus on sustainability, they help their customers achieve their financial goals responsibly.

Working within a small team at the agency, I handled a wide range of tasks, from designing reports, brochures, and informational sheets to designing templates for print materials and ongoing visual asset development.

Product FilmStoryboard and art direction for Skandia Omtanke, an offering ensuring that customers and their loved ones can continue to live meaningful and secure lives when they need extra help in everyday situations.

Watch with sound at Skandia’s website
Initial sketches together with Frida Borgstedt
Creative Direction by Anton Gårdsäter
3D and motion by Erik Norrhede

NewsletterSkandia wanted to modernize its digital newsletter and enhance the premium feel to highlight the emphasis they place on quality in their analyses.

This was achieved by aligning the design with Skandia’s updated visual identity, and by creating a stronger visual impression through a dynamic layout and a more editorial design language.

Initial sketches together with Hong Hui
Creative Direction by Anton Gårdsäter
Design Lead by Jonathan Jervelind
Development by Matías Salinas

Post- och Telestyrelsen (PTS)

Post- och telestyrelsen (PTS) – The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority is a government agency tasked with ensuring that telephony, broad­band, and postal services are of high quality and accessible to all citizens, in an era where effective communication is crucial for an inclusive and well-functioning society.

For PTS, I served as Design Lead under Creative Director Anton Gårdsäter at Essen. I was responsible for UX, print materials, illustrations, and ongoing visual asset development.

Competition IdentitySince 2010, PTS hosts Innovationstävlingen, an annual competition supporting digital accessibility solutions, enhancing daily life for everyone.

Instead of creating new separate identities for each year’s theme, we helped PTS to create one main look and feel to be used for all future events. The new identity centers on building blocks symbolizing ideation and development stages, with a shiny diamond as the main graphic asset. All playfully floating around in a warm setting.

2D sketches from the final part of the process.

In collaboration with junior designer Joy Westerberg
Creative Direction by Anton Gårdsäter
3D and motion by Angelica Öberg

CampaignVisual concept and campaign site for PTS’s informational campaign about secure electronic signatures.

PTS launched a campaign to emphasize the importance of secure electronic signatures, and for this we created a visual concept and a campaign site with illustrations and imagery. With a focus on security and safety, we gave PTS’s illustration style a twist with slightly more depth and perspective.

In collaboration with junior designer Joy Westerberg
Creative Direction by Anton Gårdsäter

The Kinship Method

Book design, together with Samira Bouabana, and website for Margot Barolo’s project The Kinship Method.

In the project, designer Margot Barolo invited her colleagues Erik Björk, Mia Cullin, Andreas Nobel and Fredrik Paulsen to a group experiment where each designer made three chairs in three rounds – like a relay race or the game of telephone – based on the preceding group member’s creation.

BookThe book consists of photographs by Karin Björkqvist, texts written by the five designers, as well as transcripts of design therapy sessions held by Salka Hallström Bornold.

The layout of the transcript pages playfully echoes design elements found in the chairs, a theme of playfulness that extends to other parts of the book. The deliberate, almost brutalist placement of footnotes and headlines introduces a dynamic contrast to the elegant main typeface, mirroring the diverse ideas and styles manifested in the chairs themselves.

The book was among the chosen for the Svensk Bokkonst award in 2021
with the following justification (translated from Swedish):

“A sophisticated and dynamic book where the graphic design becomes an integral part of the narrative. All components of the book are activated through the graphic elements, which also serve as illustrations. The design creates entry points for interpreting and experiencing its content anew with each reading.”

WebsiteJust like how the chairs came to be, the website is inspired by, and builds upon, what came before.

The navigation, which takes its inspiration from the cover of the book, features summary- and detail elements that expand and become the sections that make up the site.

Project by Margot Barolo.
Book design together with Samira Bouabana.
The book is published by Arvinius + Orfeus Publishing.
Website design and development by me.
Photography by Karin Björkqvist.
Texts by Margot Barolo, Erik Björk, Mia Cullin, Andreas Nobel and Fredrik Paulsen.
Design therapy by Salka Hallström Bornold.
Exhibited at A House Ark in 2021, Rian Designmuseum in 2021 and Sven Harrys Konstmuseum in 2020.

Further reading:
Rian Designmuseum
Svensk Bokkonst
Arvinius + Orfeus Publishing

Sunday Sites

Sunday Sites is an ongoing project for encouraging people to explore the interconnection between art, poetry and the web.

Originating in 2020 as my bachelor graduation project at Beckmans College of Design, Sunday Sites involves virtual sessions held on Sundays, where participants and organizer spend two hours creating experimental websites using only HTML and CSS.

Each session is guided by a creative prompt, such as “Pick a song you like and make a site based on its title.”

After two hours of coding, we come together for a casual show-and-tell session, sharing and discussing our process and resulting creations. The websites are then showcased on, functioning as the information hub and gallery for the project.

Some of my own creations for the project.
Click here for the full list.

Since its inception in 2020, Sunday Sites has evolved organically, maintaining its core structure while gaining energy with a growing community. Alongside the regular sessions, I’ve had the opportunity to conduct several workshops as a guest teacher at Beckmans, all focused on the project.

In a testament to its community spirit, the project now sees its regular sessions organized by longtime contributor Tiana Dueck, while I take on a more background role as time permits.

An early version of the project website.
Promotional photo for the graduation exhibition, by Albin Händig.

The website can be accessed at
My mentors for the project were Mattias Jakobsson, Lina Forsgren & Peter Jakobsson.
Promotional photography by Albin Händig.
Tiana Dueck is the current organizer of the sessions.

Further reading:
2020 Graduation exhibition website
Interview by Glitch
MIT Technology Review


Tangents is a music magazine for digital natives. Translating the way we navigate the web to printed matter. A magazine that aims to combine seemingly different music related topics by proposing how they connect with each other.

The magazine’s look is heavily inspired by traditional large format newspapers like The New York Times. In contrast, through eliminating headlines and blurring the start- and endpoints of the pieces, the layout allows the reader to move through articles, quotes, forum posts and interviews in a non-hierarchical way.

The result is a more internet-inspired structure where the reader should be able to dive into the magazine at any page and move on from there in any direction.

By linking the texts through underlining the contact points, the connections and transitions are made easier for the reader to follow.

This first issue deals with the topics of noise, repetitive music and techno culture.

We brought some green crayons to the release party and encouraged the guests to draw anything they wanted on the cover. An homage to all those mindless scribbles people have done on newspapers through the years.

Made in collaboration with Sara Dunker, Måns Peterson & Reidar Pritzel.

Printed at Newspaper Club, London, in broadsheet format with an edition of 50.


Poster and title design for Gustav Bondeson’s short film Wasteland.

In collaboration with Måns Peterson.

Wasteland won the award for Best Drama at Chicago CineYouth Festival 2019 and it’s available for streaming here.


Website with an interactive map over alleged UFO sightings in Sweden.

While searching the Archives for the Unexplained, we came across an Excel document titled ScanCat, which consists of thousands of UFO reportings, most of them from Sweden. We decided to make that document more fun and engaging by bringing the data to life and focusing on the vague, abstract, almost poetic quotes from the reports.

Concept, design and some development together with Måns Peterson, Anna Febe Knutsson & Adam Siversen Ljung.

The project was part of a design relay where the whole class worked on repurposing existing digital archives in teams of four. More credits can be found on the site.

Two typefaces in progress

1 Björkis is the working name for this typeface inspired by political posters from the 60’s and 70’s.

2 This is Äsch, or Aesch. Either one is fine – it doesn’t mind!


2017 — 2020
Beckmans College of Design, Stockholm

2014 — 2016
Södra Vätterbygdens Folkhögskola, Jönköping

2013 — 2014
University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg

2012 — 2013
Hellidens Folkhögskola, Tidaholm

Lund University, Lund


2021 – 2024
Essen International, Stockholm

Lundgren+Lindqvist, Gothenburg

Ritator, Stockholm