Fiskars, Red Dot: Design Team of the Year 2020


“The honorary title 'Red Dot: Design Team of the Year' pays tribute to a design team that has distinguished itself at the highest level through its continuously innovative design achievements. ”

——Peter Zec, founder and CEO of Red Dot

For the 32nd time, the Red Dot Award: Product Design has awarded a design team for its outstanding overall design achievement. This year’s honorary title “Red Dot: Design Team of the Year" goes to the Fiskars Design Team led by Petteri Masalin.

The title recognises the consistently outstanding designaccomplishments of the Creative Design Lead and his team. It is the highestaward for a sustainable design policy. The Finns’ extraordinary performancewill be celebrated as part of the Red Dot Design Week. This development seesFiskars join the ranks of Ferrari, Apple and Adidas to enter the Hall of Fame established in 1988.

the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2020

the Hall of Fame

Sensations of the ordinary

Thisyear’s winner, Fiskars, is one of the world’s oldest companies. Founded in 1649in a place called Fiskars, which gave the company its name, it can now lookback in 2020 on a 371-year history. During this impressive time frame, Fiskarshas evolved from ironworks originally to a successful, global firm thatmanufactures household scissors and gardening equipment alongside frying pans,pots, kitchen knives as well as axes and watering systems.

Thereasons for Fiskars’ success include the ergonomic nature of the products andtheir user friendliness, but also their technological innovation and pioneeringcombinations of materials. Furthermore, the appliances and tools are designedin a way that creates an irresistible attraction. Fiskars products enrich theeveryday lives of consumers sustainably. The universal scissors launched on themarket in 1967 is symbolic of this design claim. Fiskars was the first at thetime to combine plastic with metal to make the scissors, creating a light yetprecise everyday aid. The ergonomically shaped handles are described by otherdesigners as “Sensations of the ordinary”. Another distinctive feature is theFiskars Orange® colour used for the plastic handles, which has since beenpatented. The colour has since gone on to become a hallmark of the company.

Fiskars Scissor

Winning Red Dots for 30 years

Fiskars has been garnering success in the Red Dot Award: Product Design for 30 years,as Professor Dr. Peter Zec, founder and CEO of Red Dot, ascertained in adiscussion with Petteri Masalin and Michael Thomson from Design Connect London:“Fiskars is always a successful participant. There are very few companies thathave a success rate of almost 100%, but Fiskars is one of them.”

In the year 2000, the Finns received the highest distinction in the competition,the “Red Dot: Best of the Best”, for a lopper. It can be used to cut branchesat heights of more than three metres. The product’s innovative characteristicis that the head of the shears sits on a long pole and is operated using apulley system and a bicycle chain. The garden and pruning shears from the“PowerStepTM” series, which are executed in a manner that is as convincing asit is innovative, won the Red Dot: Best of the Best in 2009. These specialshears make it possible to automatically distribute the force needed to cutbranches and twigs into up to three steps. Other products in receipt of thishighest accolade include the Fiskars Waterwheel XL and the Norden axes. Thelatter marry excellent-quality wood with advanced technology and new materials:The handle is made of hickory wood and an innovative FiberComp material, makingit virtually indestructible. In the 2020 competition, an award has also beengiven to Fiskars Comfort Nozzles & Wands, which provide a well-executedconcept for effortless watering.

Fiskars Waterwheel XL

Red Dot:Best of the Best


Fiskars Norden

Red Dot:Best of the Best


Fiskars Comfort Nozzles and Wands

Red Dot:Best of the Best


Tradition and innovation excellently merged

The basis for all of these successes and for the title “Red Dot: Design Team of theYear 2020” lies partly in the inspiring Nordic countryside, from where the feelfor values like quality of life and sustainability stems. In addition, thecompany is distinguished by a high level of innovative power. To bring both ofthese together, the Fiskars Design Team led by Petteri Masalin pursues anintegrated design process.

This involves being mindful of customers and themarket, functionality and user friendliness, technology and material withoutlosing sight of where the company comes from and the brand’s tradition. “It’smy job to help the team to improve and to find a new way to incorporate the DNAand the brand philosophy into every product in the Fiskars portfolio,” PetteriMasalin tells Peter Zec and Michael Thomson. The consistently high designquality of the products bears testimony to this successful symbiosis.

Petteri Masalin

Unbridled curiosity for good design

The woods of Finland are where Petteri Masalin comes up with a lot of his ideas, ashe notes when speaking to Peter Zec and Michael Thomson. Close collaborationwith experts like gardeners or chefs also provides impetus for Masalin and histeam. They help the design team to understand how their products work.Furthermore, this curiosity means that numerous prototypes are made andintensive product tests are carried out. The entire process centres around theusers, for whom these innovative, ergonomic, high-quality and long-lifeproducts are designed and produced. “The products accompany them throughouttheir lives, maybe for 60 or 100 years,” says Petteri Masalin hopefully.

From 23 June 2020 to 24 January 2021, the Red Dot Design Museum Essen will presentthe special exhibition “Onnellisuus – designed by Fiskars”.This exhibitiondesigned by Fiskars itself will show how the designers manage to make theeveryday extraordinary. This attitude is also reflected in Fiskars’ choice ofexhibition title, “Onnellisuus”, the Finnish word for happiness.