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Our history


Bröderna Johansons 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 colours 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, night clubs, 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 totalled 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 brothers Dan and Paul Johanson. They quickly realised 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 afterwards his Studio chair.



Johanson Design moved to the company’s current large, purpose-built premises, which would later be extended with 13,000 square metres 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.

The group includes companies such as Decibel, Noon, Corium, Metector and LTZ, which is our complementary production facility in Lithuania.

The Pelican series of chairs, designed by Johan Lindstén, is now complete. Pelican is the first chair in Sweden to carry the EU Ecolabel.