Tonfisk Design – Scandinavian design with an Irish twist
Tonfisk is a Finnish design company based in the country’s oldest city, Turku. We specialize in creating original designs in porcelain, hand crafted at our own factory. We also collaborate closely with selected local suppliers.
Famous for our award winning WARM tea & coffee series, we’ve enjoyed worldwide success and considerable recognition as an inventive design brand. Co-founded and run by Irish-born Brian Keaney, we delight the world with our thoughtful and functional designs.
Tonfisk Design was born in the late 1990s when Brian Keaney, who came to Finland to study design, was graduating from the distinguished University of Arts and Design Helsinki, alongside the co-founder of the company.
Brian’s graduation work, WARM, was a unique product – a cup combining ceramics and wood – and the co-founders believed they could build something significant with it and other products. They boldly set their sights on creating their own company and design brand. They chose the name Tonfisk, which means tunafish in Finland’s second official language of Swedish, for its quirky, unorthodox sound. It also fitted well with their vision of producing a whole new idea instead of yet another shape.
In the years since its foundation, Tonfisk Design has been featured extensively in the international press and has become one of Finland’s leading Scandinavian design brands. The WARM series is already a classic – as early as 2006, design bible Wallpaper introduced it as one of the 10 best design items of the decade. And in 2016, Warm tea and coffee cups and teapot featured in Wallpaper’s 20th Anniversary Edition, in ‘Design that defined the moment’, celebrating the trends of the past 20 years. Recently Tonfisk Design was featured in the NETFLIX series 'Restaurants on the Edge' (series 2, episode 'Finland'). Interior Designer Karin Bohn visited the Tonfisk Factory was shown how our products are made by Brian.
Today, we continue to explore and create functional, inventive products using porcelain and wood. The company’s design philosophy is derived from Louis Sullivan’s ‘form follows function’ principle. For Tonfisk, this does not mean all objects have to look the same. Our aim has always been to produce and market objects which are much more than mere variations on a theme.
Today, Brian Keaney runs the company on his own, from the Turku factory and workshop.