Emanuele Cecini designed the identity and branding for new creative agency, Orange Hive, based in Frankfurt, Germany. The designs included the creation of a logo, print stationary, website layout and art direction of the branding photography. The logo finds a surprising and elegant balance of lines and empty spaces, the branding is straightforward and uses a limited number of elements and information, and the pop of color provided by the orange accents gives the ensemble a nice twist, preventing it from being boring instead of the classy minimalism it achieved. I’m especially fond of the signage application!
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I’m in love with Fray’s 2010 identity designed by London based graphic design consultancy, Build. From the choice of typeface, to the paper stock selection, the end result just bliss. It’s the lack of elements that opens up to more possibilities. Fray is a new venture from Simon Waterfall, and looks to change the way design agencies work, and hints that they are already working with 3500 staff. The minimalist business cards acts as a template, allows staff to write their names in the debossed blank spaces. The letter/invoice letterhead is another fantastic detail as well. How do you react to minimalist identities and how minimal is your business card?
Clean, simple and elegant were the first words which came to mind when I saw the identity for the Art & Architecture of the Saint-Luc Institutes in Brussels. The consistent use of typography, the amount of white space and the small details are a big inspiration for all minimalist minded people. You can download a digital version of magazine #11 for some more inspiration. The identity for this Bi-annual magazine is designed by the French graphic designer Carine Collin who lives and works in Brussels. She has a good portfolio and her website is also a clean piece of art. I think I am in love!
Hunt Studio from Melbourne, Australia, developed this identity and branding for Nouveau Developments, also from Melbourne. The complete identity uses only a single colour, a dark metallic grey. This colour was chosen to reflect the modern colour palette often used in surfaces and materials by Nouveau.
Natural growth. This basic principle is not only valuable for UK based fashion label Cotton Love‘s fabric choice, it is also their very healthy idea of developing a brand. Having established a neat niche online shop which started out as a vintage curation platform, it is a natural and highly welcomed next step to establish Cotton Love’s in-house collection for both sexes, galvanizing the style and attitude of its trustful customers. It is no question that the Kickstarter funding project, which is a requirement to start production, will be a success. Launching via Kickstarter on a pre-order basis ensures that, as a small independent brand, we are able to fully realize our vision, manage production quantities and maintain manufacturing within the UK. I really like the attitude of founder Nigel and creative director Ruth, focusing on independence in a very competitive industry. But, more importantly, being a potential future customer, I love the very pure and refined clothing they design, focused on honesty of construction and a distinguishable identity.
The brand identity for The Contemporary Austin, a new museum in downtown Austin, is a project by the international design consultancy Pentagram, the result of which I think is wonderful. Like the name, the new identity system is built around a simple wordmark, a sans-serif typographic solution that spells out the museum’s name in upper and lowercase but highlights the “A” in the word Contemporary with a capital letter and a change of color. This capital “A” makes reference to Art and the city of Austin, and the blue color is inspired by the lagoon at Laguna Gloria, tying in nicely with the lighting featured in the building’s facade. The capital “A” can work by itself as a icon for the museum and The Contemporary can and is already being used as a shorthand version of the identity. No doubt, this is extraordinarily clean and simple work with plenty of subtle references.
You can trust Jil Sander to deliver the right amount of minimalist language to the youthful, sportier line, Jil Sander Navy, at the recent New York Fashion Week for her Spring 2014 Ready-to-Wear collection. Blocks of subtle pastels coordinated within the collegiate identity of A-line skirts, mod collars and bomber jackets. Capped sleeves and boatnecks hint at stronger femininity, defining the chic in its overall design direction. Even the introduction of tropical prints are subdued, embedded in the texture. It is the masterful proportions of the clothing that reveal Jil Sander’s minimalist identity which remains the protagonist within the playfulness of the collection, even in the art direction of the presentation. It is simply lovely. Photos courtesy of Style.com.
Pure is a new shoe collection by the French architect, Jean Nouvel for the Italian brand, Ruco Line. The minimalist shoe was unveiled at this year’s Milan Design Week gaining great relevance, and strong opinion. This is Nouvel’s first footwear project as he looked for basic and essential lines to apply to the shoe design, which is a characteristic often seen in his architectural work. The result is an incredibly simplistic shoe with a strong identity. Pure is made up of high-quality calf leather with a rubber sole. The collection is available in a variety of colours, including; black, white, yellow and fuchsia. The shoe also features the abbreviated name of the design at the top along with its style, colour code, and date of production.
Wall Shadows is an interesting project by the Lebanese designer Charles Kalpakian for the Italian lighting company Omikron Design, which has resulted in a beautiful, minimalist, wall-mounted illumination. Wall Shadows is a project between art and design and has arisen from Kalpakian’s continuous exploration of the three-dimensionality of surfaces. Its graphic composition becomes a texture lit up by the LED bulbs placed inside the various elements, creating a canvas of shadows. These few elements certainly give the piece a great identity and a sculptural sensation without losing its functionality of ambient light.
This beauty salon is located on a busy 6-lane street of Osaka, surrounded by the hectic life of the megalopolis. 10 years after opening of the place, the owner decided to embark on a remodel and bring the appearance in sync with the business’ aesthetic identity. Architect Tsubasa Iwahashi was hired to make this transition happen. On March 30, 2013 the salon was reopened with the new minimalist look. The wide entrance allows to see the serene interior, offering a beautiful combination of white with light wood elements. The space is divided in three areas – reception, styling and a hidden section for beauty procedures. The austerity of the overall design reflects the owner’s philosophy. It also cleverly distinguishes the building among its surroundings.
Nordic House is a a dry-cleaning company based in San Francisco who employed the branding talents of Anagrama from Mexico to develop the identity of its shop. Emulating Scandinavian design of strong geometric forms and a clean type within the colors of the cool nordic landscape, the result is this strong and minimal identity in all its collateral. It is as if the product, which is your dry-clean goods, will be delivered with the same level of freshness and clarity. I’ve always been a fan of Anagrama’s work. Their designs are often thoughtful and creative and Nordic House is just that: simple and effective.
Cioccolato Bakery Boutique, located in Monterrey, is a wonderful project by the Mexican multi-disciplinary studio Savvy, where they successfully developed a rebranding, visual identity, stationery, packaging and interior design, for this pastry boutique specialised in custom deserts for special events. The colourful concept evokes cravings of sweet sugary treats, which is enhanced by the simple, white structure as a basis of the interior design, filling it with the products and their variety of vibrant colours to create a superb combination where the products themselves are the focus.