Seeking inspiration from stones and sea: deputy designer Camilla Moberg shows rare prototypes – the history of Moomin mugs by Arabia, part 2

Tove Slotte started designing Arabia’s Moomin products in the late 1980s. When Slotte left on a maternity leave, Camilla Moberg, a freelance designer, was offered the opportunity to design, among other things, the four following Moomin mugs by Arabia.


#5 Mug dark blue 1991-1999

The fifth Moomin mug, Mug dark blue, appeared in stores in 1991. The mug is also known as Mug dark blue, Moominpappa. Camilla Moberg chose illustrations for the mug from Tove Jansson’s comic #12 Moomin and the Sea (1957).

“With only four Moomin mugs designed at the time, the amount of unused material from Tove Jansson’s original production was enormous. I definitely wanted to continue the style without the comic strip frames because I thought the background color accentuated the selected illustrations,” says Moberg.

“As a source of inspiration for the background color, I really wanted to use Jansson’s colored picture books so that the mugs would have as much “Moominvalley feel” as possible”, Moberg continues.


#6 Mug dark green 1991-1996

The sixth Moomin mug in the Teema series, Mug dark green, came out in 1991. The mug is also known as Mug dark green, Moomintroll. For the mug design, Camilla Moberg combined illustrations from several different stories by Tove Jansson; The comic #12 Moomin and the Sea (1957), #4 Moomin’s Desert Island (1955) and Tove and Lars Jansson’s comic #16 Conscientous Moomin (1958).

Moberg highly respects Tove Jansson and wanted to stay completely loyal to the original illustrations in her Moomin mug designs. Every detail of the mug is from the original illustrations from the Moomin comics or books. Camilla Moberg says: “The expertise of decorative designers is manifested in their skill of composing the images and finding the right colors. It was demanding to mimic Jansson’s skillful craftsmanship, copying her pen movement based on the original illustrations.”


#7 Mug dark yellow 1991-1999

The third Moomin mug designed by Camilla Moberg was launched in 1991. The mug is also called Mug dark yellow, Little My. The original illustrations in this yellow mug can be found in the novels Moominland Midwinter (1957) and Moominsummer Madness (1954) as well as Tove and Lars Jansson’s comic # 17 Moomin and the Comet (1958).

Moberg’s way of working as a decorative designer was experimental, she made a lot of variations of both the illustrations and the color options. For a functional entity, it is important to find the right tone for the background color of each mug – sometimes the color of background does not support the selected artwork and sometimes the other way around.

Camilla Moberg’s own Moomin mug collections contain several versions of the designs she tested to find the final colors. See more pictures of the color experiments from the 90’s in our previous blog post “Super rare test versions of the Moomin mugs from the 1990s”.


#8 Mug dark rose 1991-1999

The fourth Moomin mug by Camilla Moberg, Mug dark rose, also appeared in 1991. The mug is also called Mug dark rose, Moominmamma. The mug design is based on original illustrations by Tove Jansson from the novels Moominland Midwinter (1957) and Moominpapa at Sea (1965), and Tove Jansson’s comic #12 Moomin and the Sea (1957).

Camilla Moberg’s pictures below show an early layout made by using copies of the original illustrations on a colored background and the final illustrations drawn by Moberg herself.

Photo: Camilla Moberg
Photo: Camilla Moberg

Today as an artist and industrial designer, Moberg gets her inspiration for her glass art for example from natural stones and different rock formations.

“For me, rock formations represent humanity and interpersonal communication. Like Tove Jansson, I have lived in the Pellinki archipelago. I feel that natural stones are closely related to the archipelago and the Moomins, too,” Moberg says.

Perhaps it is not a coincidence that at the very beginning of her career, Moberg chose drawings from Tove Jansson’s production in which natural stones are important?


Featured image and original illustrations: Moomin Characters
Mugs: Fiskars
Camilla Moberg


Read more:

Never seen prototypes of the first Moomin mug – the history of Moomin mugs by Arabia, part 1