The Platinum Egg 1992: Johan Sten.

“An art director, but according to him, not an ‘adman’. Views himself as an artist working in an industry powered by the art of communication.” Thus reads Lars Falk’s apt description of Johan Sten. Born in 1939, he grew up in Malmö with an artistic mother and a father who was a well-known cartoonist at Sydsvenska Dagbladet, the region’s major daily paper.... Johan Sten went to art school at Skånska målarskolan and debuted the same year as Ola Billgren at Malmö’s autumn salon. He opted out of a fine art career, however, in favour of a more secure life. He was a student at Svenska Telegrambyrån in Malmö — where John Melin was creative director — and Telegrambyrån in Gothenburg (at 450 kronor a month), as well as taking evening classes at the city’s leading crafts and design associations. Then it was three years at Beckmans in Stockholm. One of his teachers and role models was Carl Fredrik Hultenheim, who later recommended the gifted art director to Leon Nordin. At Arbmans, Johan Sten became one of the “angry young men” who dared to stand up even to Leon. Throughout his career, going against the grain and constantly calling things into question, especially with clients, ended up being one of the keys to his capacity to innovate. Arbmans was also home to Jan Cederquist; their advertisements for Swedish State Railways Freight were visual and beautiful – something new for B2B advertising at the time. Seven years at Arbmans in Stockholm was followed by seven years at Arbmans in Malmö, but then newly started Hall & Cederquist brought him back to the capital. Johan Sten served as a kind of creative hub for many years, especially for younger copywriters such as Christer Wiklander, Jan Swift, Michael Hjärtsjö, Sven Beckman, Lars Forsberg, Christina Knight and the undersigned. His collaboration with Lars Forsberg in particular was prolonged and fruitful. Their campaigns for the Federation of Swedish Farmers reached far beyond the world of advertising, becoming hot topics of debate and influencing election results. Johan Sten’s distinctive, artistic design idiom lent extra power to the content and the messages. A signature element of all of his many Golden Egg-winning campaigns.

After the Platinum Egg: Johan Sten left Hall & Cederquist in 1993 to spend a couple of years at Boisen & Partners. Worked as a freelancer until he retired. Reunited with Lars Forsberg for jobs in the culture sphere. He had come full circle.


More projects that Johan Sten contributed to.