Timo Sarpaneva (1926-2006) was a Finnish designer who contributed to making Finnish design well-known in the world. He graduated from the Institute for Industrial Arts (the forerunner of the University of Arts and Design Helsinki) in 1948. Even though he was trained as a graphic designer, he spent the majority of his life working as an industrial designer.
He is famous for his glassware – glass was his favourite material but he was also a master of materials such as porcelain, cast iron and textile – as well as graphic art. For Iittala he designed for instance works of art such as the collection of Claritas vases (1983) and the Orkidea vase (1953). Other products designed for Iittala are, among the others, his famous cast iron pot and Festivo candleholders, and in 1956 he designed for Iittala the company’s famous i-logo. He worked for Iittala until his death on 6th October 2006, aged 79. For his works Timo Sarpaneva received many prestigious awards, including the Lunning Prize, the Pro Finlandia medal and the Grand Prix at the Milan Triennale. His works are represented in several museums’ collections worldwide.