Designer Profile

Johanson Design



In 1953 when Börje Johanson came up with the idea to sew cushions, and then began a company. Through the years, we have reached an international audience by focusing on Scandinavian design and sterling furniture craftsmanship. Public spaces worldwide are our home territory.

We are expanding our collections in close collaboration with some of Europe’s foremost furniture designers. Their ideas combined with our handicraft tradition from Småland imbue our products with a truly special style and feel.

Virtually all of our production takes place in our modern production plants in Markaryd. As a result, we have total control over frame manufacturing, cutting, sewing, upholstery, assembly, and metalwork. We also offer an enormous selection of upholstery designs and 399 different RAL colors for our furniture’s metal parts. Together, this gives our customers wide freedom of choice, short delivery times, and most importantly, high quality.

Quality and environment are important keywords for us. That is why our company is certified according to ISO 14001, and the criteria for Möbelfakta are fulfilled. We also meet the highest EU standards for testing and sustainability in public spaces. Sound-absorbing properties are tested according to EU standards and all our products are durability tested by RISE Research Institute of Sweden AB.

Today, Johanson is an international company with 60 employees and annual sales of SEK 170 million. Our timeless Scandinavian designs are in high demand worldwide, and we have faithful customers in the US, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Our goal is to grow while maintaining quality and delivery performance – with the same dedication and service that we give our customers today.



Bröderna Johanson’s Fåtöljindustri (“Johanson Brothers’ Chair Manufactory”) began life in 1953 as an upholstery workshop housed in simple premises in a cellar. The new company’s first product was a pouf built around a core of wood wool, padded with cotton wadding and covered in artificial leather, with triangles in different colors arranged to resemble a star. It was an immediate success.


For Johanson Design the 1960s are inextricably linked with the classic egg-shaped Venus chair, one of the company’s all-time best-selling items of furniture. Even today Venus remains a much-loved feature in countless bars, restaurants, nightclubs, cruise ships, offices, and private homes around the world.


After some years of falling sales for the industry in general, Börje Johanson and his brothers succeeded in breathing new life into the business. In 1972 manufacturing was moved to new premises with more modern production facilities.


Sales now totaled approximately SEK 15 million a year, compared with today’s figure of almost SEK 200 million for the group as a whole. Designs such as Barstol 10, Largo, and Amigo TV chair were among the bestsellers. With all manufacturing taking place in-house in Markaryd, management was now able to assure the right quality by maintaining full control over every stage in the production process.


Since the mid-90s Johanson Design has been wholly owned by the brother’s Dan and Paul Johanson. They quickly realized the need to implement two key changes: to overhaul sales and marketing, and to initiate collaboration with external designers. Mattias Ljunggren was one of the first to team up with the company, and the result was his Sputnik bar stool, which remains very much a part of the range today. The next breakthrough came with Leo Thafvelin’s Snaps bar stool, which gained iconic status and achieved huge success abroad.


The company commenced collaboration with Alexander Lervik, a designer whose contributions have subsequently come to play a key role in the development of Johanson Design. The following year saw the launch of his Cuba easy chair, and shortly afterward his Studio chair.


Johanson Design moved to the company’s current large, purpose-built premises, which would later be extended with 13,000 square meters of additional warehousing facilities in 2020.


Johanson Design has now taken up residence in new showrooms in Stockholm (Blekingegatan 22) as part of its commitment to a more sustainable future. Today the company works closely with several of the industry’s most prominent designers.