The Platinum Egg 1976: Leon Nordin.

Leon Nordin was born in 1930, and when he walked into the AHA agency, it was as if the water was breaking for a new age of Swedish advertising. At the time, agencies lived on commissions from the ads they placed in newspapers and magazines. Now they would start charging for their creative output. Leon Nordin was the innovator, the clarifier, the persuader. With frenetic physicality and snorting exertion, he overturned the tables on an existing reality in order to create another.... Along with Flemming Holst, Alf Mork and the adept employees of Arbmans agency, he kicked off the creative revolution in Sweden. A recurring admonishment in the heat of battle was, “Remember that when we’ve done everything we can do for our clients, we need to add something else that makes the world feel a little bit better.” Leon trained as a chemical engineer. He was knowledge-driven, drilling deep into sales statistics and taking an interest in product development in order to get at the core of an advertisement’s concept. Yet at the same time, he understood the power of vision and intuition, of the part of the human soul that expresses itself in images and tones, in symbols and connections. The part that can take in vague hints and insinuations and create meaning. He said, “Our rational chatterbox can organize new knowledge and add it to what we already know. It can build within the framework provided by old structures of thought. But it can never create.” Copywriter Leon thought deeply and widely – but shot straight down the middle with his copy. Take Ikea’s slogan, for example: “Not for the rich. For the wise.” Among Arbmans’ clients were Renault, Swedish State Railways (for whom Leon wrote about childhood travels), Flora, Vingresor, TT and Åke Larsson Byggare, a construction firm for whom Leon ran the gamut, serving as copywriter, project manager, AD and illustrator all at once. In 1978, he joined Hans Brindfors’ new agency Brindfors. A string of award-winning jobs followed for clients including Linjeflyg, SAS, Spendrups, Lätta and Hemköp. Throughout his career, Leon made the most of both sides of his brain. He started as a chemical engineer, later becoming an advertising creative, a cookbook author (he translated Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking), a gallerist (Boibrino), a restaurateur, a member of many boards of directors and a CEO. Leon Nordin died in 2016.


More projects that Leon Nordin contributed to.