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How a small tech-savvy country redefines its brand?

Brands are not only for companies: countries need to work on them as well. As such, a team is actively working on trying to define what Estonia is, what we look like and what we worship.

To one day reach the goal of having a coherent brand, a visual language and an understanding of what we are and what we do, Enterprise Estonia has assembled a team to create a cohesive brand and visual language for Estonia.

The EDM. No, not the jumpy, dance music, but the Estonian design team, is tasked with developing the brand of Estonia. By the end of 2016, a digital environment will be ready, where one will find extensive materials through which you can introduce Estonia. One will find messages, facts, slides, videos and an extensive photo library, along with recommendations on how to best use them. The site is meant for everyone, who needs to introduce Estonia or e-Estonia.

Technology makes us better

A study conducted recently tried to find out how Estonians themselves see their country and their people. It was discovered that Estonians see themselves as inspiring, clear and straight to the point in addition to being authentic. However, they feel that they are by no means formal, theatrical or full of adjectives.

The study found that Estonians like to think on their own: they do not like to be told what to do, nor do they have trust in orders from “somewhere above”. They believe that technology helps them become better and everyone could be a part of it. And maybe the most important thing about Estonians: we like to do things together. Give us a problem, we’ll solve it together.

As a whole, e-Estonia appears to be Estonia. People understand that the electronic solutions developed by their country make them who they are.

Technology acceptance is at the core of Estonian identity and the Estonian brand. Doing things fast, doing things together, in a smart and efficient way, saving nature and most importantly – doing it our own way.

Digital identification is commonly accepted with the use of the ID-card and Mobile-ID and digital signatures do not only save 2% of the GDP per year but also a pile of paper the size of the Eiffel Tower. Voting from your own kitchen and receiving prescription medicine after a phone call to the doctor is just the top of the iceberg of Estonian efficiency.

This also translates into the visual style of Estonia and its digital appearance. The visual style of Estonia should be Nordic: clean, natural, and not too colorful. In addition to that, it should be human-centric, meaning that technology is not a virtue on its own but we need to show that people can benefit from it. We also can’t forget that quality is important. Visual tricks get old fast and in the end, will only tire us.

As such, the brand of Estonia needs to reflect who we really are. This means that it needs to clearly show that technology flows through our bodies and e-solutions are the core of who we actually are.

Turning ideas into a reality

Translating all this into an actual visual language is one of the main goals of EDM. They need to take this group of abstract ideas and definitions and somehow show them visually. And they are doing just that. Every day.

They’re meeting with people, trying to define the undefinable and find the best solution for seemingly impossible problems. For example: what is the name of Estonia. In English it’s Estonia, isn’t it? But in Estonian it’s Eesti while yet in Finnish it’s Viro.

You can keep an eye on the workings of EDM in their blog or on Facebook.

The Estonian brand is the essence of Estonian identity, a small brave nation doing, thinking and dreaming of its own way!

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