Anja Snellman

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HELSINKI POSTERS

Impressions of Helsinki

Many of Anja Snellman’s books take place in Kallio, the traditional working-class neighborhood of Helsinki where she grew up. Kallio later developed into a trendy, colorful area favored by students, young adults, and the “creative class” in particular.⁣⁣

Despite its rapid progress, Kallio has never lost its soul: its history is still present and visible in many ways. 

THIS RUGGED CHARM attracted Lina Leden, the founder of Helsinki Posters, to Kallio five years ago.

“I’ve lived in Helsinki all my life, and I spent my first five years in Alppila, the neighboring area, which has a character similar to Kallio,” Leden says.

“When I needed to find a new apartment five years ago, I had been living for several years in the Töölö and Punavuori neighborhoods. I decided it was time to try something else—to return to my roots.”

LIKE MANY OTHERS, Leden found herself with a lot of spare time during the first wave of the pandemic in the spring of 2020.

“I’ve always had a love of photography, and I had just had Kallio-themed photos printed for my own walls. It occurred to me that perhaps others who love Kallio would also be interested in such posters,” Leden explains.

She decided to order a test run of twenty posters and made a post in a local Facebook group, offering to deliver posters to the homes of Kallio residents interested in buying them.

THE ENTHUSIASTIC response took Leden by surprise.

“The interest in the posters was much greater than I could have expected, and I stayed up most of the night answering messages. I had to call the print shop the next day and place a new order. Twenty posters were far from enough.”

Since then, Leden has gradually expanded her selection of Helsinki-themed posters, which now covers eight city districts. The posters are printed by a small family business in Helsinki.

HELSINKI POSTERS is a hobby for Leden; at her day job she works in corporate communications, focused on sustainability projects.

Although Helsinki Posters is a small enterprise, she brings to it the same focus on sustainability: the posters are printed on paper manufactured from certified wood from sustainably managed forests, and the company seeks to minimize its use of packaging material and to source as locally as possible.

“Helsinki Posters has given me a creative outlet and the opportunity to take more photos than ever before, which I love.”

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