Ampersand Design Oy is an advertising agency founded in 2016 in Lahti, Finland. Our talented team specializes in inimitable design, communication, advertising, marketing and online visibility services for businesses, communities and individuals.

Ampersand provides its customers with personalized content solutions that attract attention. Our team exudes creative ideas, elegant design, and the ability to turn original ideas into brand-ready products.

The story of Ampersand

The story of Ampersand began years ago when Marjo and Samuel decided to pursue their own business venture. Marjo had worked as a self-employed graphic designer for ten years, during which time she had built an impressive client base and partnership network. Samuel was ready to go from automotive industry employee to entrepreneur to better utilize his diverse skills.

The founding of the corporation was preceded by thorough planning and finding the right partners for the business. In 2016, Samuel called his childhood friend Joonas, who had been actively doing hand lettering, calligraphy and street art for years.

At the time of the call Joonas was still working in manufacturing, but the logo designs and calligraphy sketches he had uploaded to Instagram showed strong visual talent. These works also convinced Marjon and Samuel, who called Joonas again the next day and asked him to become a business partner for the upcoming company.

The next step was to find an experienced writer. Marjo then contacted Jarmo, a freelance journalist known for his lively storytelling and extensive network of contacts. Together this quartet launched the company in fall 2016.

Ampersand’s business got off to a good start and within a couple of years the company succeeded in establishing itself as a versatile marketing communications agency. In August 2018, the first employee, web developer Sami, was hired at Ampersand.

Writer Jarmo moved on to new challenges in the fall of 2018. At the same time, Hanna began her post-graduate project management internship at Ampersand. After six months of collaboration, she was hired as a copywriter at Ampersand.

In September 2020, Ampersand strengthened its visual skills when graphic designer Miitta joined the team to replace Marjo on maternity leave. We couldn’t bear to let Miitta go after that short break, so she stayed on as a permanent employee. That’s how the Ampersand team grew to six people.

In 2020, a new and exciting chapter in Ampersand’s story began. Our office moved to Malski, an old brewery located at Päijänteenkatu 9, Lahti. As a creative hub Malski offers unique atmosphere for various offices and coworking spaces with plenty of culture, inspiration, food, drinks and entertainment. Come and greet us!

The origin of the name

Choosing the name Ampersand has its own story. Initially, we made a business plan with the name Medium Media. The name was ambiguous, and from the feedback we collected, it might refer to mediocrity. An image that really doesn’t reflect our business. So we went on to find a more suitable name.

Marjo then searched the web for various other words related to the field of business. She read them aloud to Samuel, who chose the word Ampersand. Joonas and Jarmo agreed, and the decision was backed by the word’s suitability for Finnish usage.

The word and character of ampersand have evolved to their present appearance through evolution and to some extent also by chance. The ampersand, or ligature et, or &, has the same meaning as ‘and’. In various contexts of our expressive Finnish language, the sign ‘&’ is usually pronounced according to its origin / et /.

The symbol ‘&’ has evolved over time from the fusion of the letters e and t, when the Latin word ‘et’ used as a synonym for ‘and’ has been handwritten and the letters have merged together. Before typewriters, when all text was written by hand, abbreviations were commonly used. They saved time, effort and space.

The ampersand symbol has a truly vast history behind it. These symbols have been used as early as in ancient Rome. Historical research has found evidence of numerous &-graffiti inscriptions from the walls of Pompei, buried in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79.

Currently used fonts also show the rich history of ampersand, with thousands of different versions of the symbol. For example, the letters “e” and “t” that once formed the symbol & are clearly visible in the Caslon font.

“Ampersand” as a word is relatively young. The origin of the word is in the English word ‘and’. In the 19th century, in the English-language ABC books, the letters “X”, “Y”, and “Z” were already added to the alphabet. When the letters were then enumerated at schools, after the last letters of the alphabet, “and by itself and” was added to mean the symbol &. The saying “and by itself & (and)” has gradually formed to the phrase “and per se & (and)”, which has later become the word Ampersand. The Latin phrase “per se” means “by itself”.