*It’s all fantasy

*It’s all fantasy

*It’s all fantasy

There is an asterisk for a reason:

There is an asterisk for a reason:

There is an asterisk for a reason:

Don’t believe a word,
it’s all made up.

Don’t believe a word,
it’s all made up.

Don’t believe a word,
it’s all made up.

Emma is the imaginary girlfriend from the 1970’s animated Swedish children’s TV show Kalles Klätterträd, made famous across generations by its iconic theme song by artist Jojje Wadenius.

She is the perfect girl for Kalle, a young boy with a vivid imagination. Perched on top of an apple tree, with his grandfather heavily snoring beneath him, Kalle daydreams about Emma.

Emma is the imaginary girlfriend from the 1970’s animated Swedish children’s TV show Kalles Klätterträd, made famous across generations by its iconic theme song by artist Jojje Wadenius.

She is the perfect girl for Kalle, a young boy with a vivid imagination. Perched on top of an apple tree, with his grandfather heavily snoring beneath him, Kalle daydreams about Emma.

Or as the song goes: “Emma is all just fantasy, but she’s fine, in Kalle’s mind.” (“Emma finns bara i fantasin, men hon är fin, tycker Kalle.”)

Calle—or Kalle—grew up with the song in the schoolyard; every time an Emma was around, jokes were made. Emma is the Juliet to Kalle’s Romeo, the Daisy Duck to his Donald, and so on.

In a world of creative power couples—Victor and Rolf, Simon and Garfunkel, you name them—Calle was looking for his partner. While studying at Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts, and Design, he decided to temporarily “borrow” Emma. He came up with the company name calle&emma, and because Calle is a very nice person, Emma acted as the bad cop of the outfit; Calle could say, “Oh sorry, I have to talk to Emma and call you back tomorrow”, “Emma says the estimate I sent you yesterday is too low”, or just plain “Emma says no”.

It stuck, and the beauty of it is that Emma can be anyone, a creative partner in a agile network of collaborators, tailor-made for all specific needs.

In 2005, this playful madness culminated in Calle’s MFA project Emma, who are you?, a twenty-week-long search for a very real Emma. The idea was to start a design project where the final outcome in no way could be predicted by Calle: Can I provoke her to exist? What if I find her, or more likely, don't? Being the main protagonist of the story himself made it personal, and the stakes got higher.

Everything was carefully documented; e.g., hand-printed posters with a custom-made font, stamped messages on bills, ads in the contact section of newspapers, intercom call-outs for Emma at the local supermarket, search results and messages on dating sites, visits to a couple's therapist, and eventually a trip to Venice for a romantic reenactment/dream with a photographer also named Calle and a model named Emma.

The story and images were collected in a short novel; part diary, part street art project, part unexpected love story. It was self-published in 500 copies and was awarded the distinction Svensk Bokkonst, and Gold for the Best Graphic Identity Work by Swedish design awards Kolla!. The book was later picked up and published in a special edition paperback by the Swedish publishing house Månpocket, and reached a wider audience.

Calle—or Kalle—grew up with the song in the schoolyard; every time an Emma was around, jokes were made. Emma is the Juliet to Kalle’s Romeo, the Daisy Duck to his Donald, and so on.

In a world of creative power couples—Victor and Rolf, Simon and Garfunkel, you name them—Calle was looking for his partner. While studying at Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts, and Design, he decided to temporarily “borrow” Emma. He came up with the company name calle&emma, and because Calle is a very nice person, Emma acted as the bad cop of the outfit; Calle could say, “Oh sorry, I have to talk to Emma and call you back tomorrow”, “Emma says the estimate I sent you yesterday is too low”, or just plain “Emma says no”.

It stuck, and the beauty of it is that Emma can be anyone, a creative partner in a agile network of collaborators, tailor-made for all specific needs.

In 2005, this playful madness culminated in Calle’s MFA project Emma, who are you?, a twenty-week-long search for a very real Emma. The idea was to start a design project where the final outcome in no way could be predicted by Calle: Can I provoke her to exist? What if I find her, or more likely, don't? Being the main protagonist of the story himself made it personal, and the stakes got higher.

Everything was carefully documented; e.g., hand-printed posters with a custom-made font, stamped messages on bills, ads in the contact section of newspapers, intercom call-outs for Emma at the local supermarket, search results and messages on dating sites, visits to a couple's therapist, and eventually a trip to Venice for a romantic reenactment/dream with a photographer also named Calle and a model named Emma.

The story and images were collected in a short novel; part diary, part street art project, part unexpected love story. It was self-published in 500 copies and was awarded the distinction Svensk Bokkonst, and Gold for the Best Graphic Identity Work by Swedish design awards Kolla!. The book was later picked up and published in a special edition paperback by the Swedish publishing house Månpocket, and reached a wider audience.

“It’s all fantasy” is a creative reminder that playfulness, spontaneity, and disruptive thinking carry great potential.

“It’s all fantasy” is a creative reminder that playfulness, spontaneity, and disruptive thinking carry great potential.

“It’s all fantasy” is a creative reminder that playfulness, spontaneity, and disruptive thinking carry great potential.

Bokk cover, Orrefors 1898-1939
Bokk cover, Orrefors 1898-1939
Bokk cover, Orrefors 1898-1939
Bokk cover, Orrefors 1898-1939
Bokk cover, Orrefors 1898-1939

*It’s all fantasy

calle&emma

*It’s all fantasy

calle&emma