Minimalissimo


Carl MH Barenbrug

Back to purity, back to simplicity.

Copenhagen-based graphic design studio 2Y recently introduced their conceptual visual identity for a modern boutique bakery, brød. It is to be located in Copenhagen, where the craftsmanship of breadmaking relives its splendour while the ever-growing popularity of bake-shops raises the bar for upscale bakeries. The creative minds behind 2Y studio, Olga Loy and Emil Galazka, explain: The word “brød” itself with its straightforward meaning in harmony with the no-nonsense typography of the logo implies the simple approach taken by the bakery. The core values are in the spotlight, while any unnecessary elements distracting attention from the baking itself are removed. The clean and sharp lines of the logo leave a lasting impression. Y2 studio have managed to make something look simple, effortless and beautiful, which is one of the most challenging aspects of creative endeavours. Although we seldom celebrate concepts like this on Minimalissimo, this project deserves recognition because it is not only understandable, it is as little design as possible.


ystudio look to revive the love of writing through their new line of beautiful, durable and minimalist writing tools. Crafted and manufactured out of Taiwan, the studio’s stationery collection is constructed from pure copper and brass and consists of a rollerball pen, ballpoint pen, sketching pen and mechanical pencil. We believe that the value of simplicity in design is very important. We design products to let people use in their daily life and let people feel the beauty of objects. We hope to express the attitude of people in Taiwan by ystudio stationary. Admittedly, I rarely find myself using pens or pencils these days unless I need to sketch something, but having used a ystudio pen, not only do I admire its aesthetic, there is something about the weight and feel that makes it a pleasure to use. Furthermore, the ageing effects of the material will gradually change the look and feel of each piece.


Common Projects footwear defines understated luxury and have become synonymous with quiet, clean, simple sneakers. I have been an admirer of the brand for some time now and considering their collection, in particular, their Spring Summer 2015 collection, designed with minimalist sensibilities, it should come as no surprise to see the New York-based brand featured on Minimalissimo. Common Projects is a collaboration between designers Flavio Girolami and Prathan Poopat. Inspired by the lines and shapes of everyday objects, they design their pieces with a tailored approach, using the finest materials and techniques. The footwear’s refined appearance is exemplified by the designer’s effort to eliminate details and allow the sneakers to speak for themselves. Girolami & Poopat write: We try to do something that is classic and timeless. You only get to introduce yourself once, so we approach each thing like it’s a first impression and we try not to fuck that up. — interview with BoF. Photography courtesy of Common Projects.


Shiro Studio is a London based design practice established by Andrea Morgante, committed to the creation of unique architecture and objects. Shiro means ‘white’ in Japanese, but here it implies a philosophical translation where white is perceived as the purest creative approach. An approach which has seen the design of the award winning Nivis — a strikingly sleek and minimalistic bathroom sink for Italian manufacturer Agape. Nivis pays homage to the most intimate and fragile sculptural qualities of snow, its unblemished whiteness and deep blanket fallen on everyday objects. Comprised of white cristalplant, Nivis’s surface becomes a soft, fluid mass where water can seamlessly flow, from the main to the secondary basin by rotating the overflow hole on the horizontal plane.


The Italian furniture company, Kristalia, fast becoming a Minimalissimo favourite, recently introduced to us the beautiful OXO family of chairs, designed by Xavier Lust, which will be on display at Milan Design Week later this month. Oxo is the outcome of both ongoing research by Kristalia to find new production technologies and Xavier Lust’s in-depth knowledge of aluminium. In this design project, the designer highlights the hallmarks that have made him famous: curves created by his innovative process of bending metal surfaces. A long time admirer of Lust’s work, this is Kristalia first collaboration with the designer, which has resulted in an exquisite and minimalistic collection of outdoor stackable chairs where the beauty lies in the details, such as the twist that is seen on the base, the torsion of the aluminium tube. Wonderful.


Sara Medina Lind — @saramedinalind — is a half Swedish, half Canarian freelance art director and photographer currently living in Vasastan, Stockholm. In between working on visual identities, product photography and shooting interiors for magazines, Sara has put together a remarkably beautiful photo collection of her home where any minimalism enthusiast would dream of living. We caught up with Sara to get to know a little more about the photographer behind the lens. What is the inspiration behind your minimalist photo collection? I often get inspired by sunlight, architecture, materials, shapes and feelings. A tiny detail can be inspiring too. I like to focus on one thing at a time, to keep it simple and clean. How does your surroundings impact your creativity? I always feel a bit more creative when traveling to new places. To meet talented people also brings my creativity forward. Calm places often inspire me the most, places where stress doesn’t exist. When and how do you decide to take a photo? When I feel inspired and have an idea I quickly grab my camera! Sweden is a very dark country so this time of year when the light starts to show I feel more creative...


Naples based Italian photographer Salvatore Pastore recently drew my attention when I was introduced to his strikingly minimal and monochromatic Blank series. The work comprises 11 black and white images featuring exterior and interior shots of various buildings. It concerns the blank not as an empty space, but as the feeling of disorientation in the spectator staring at these images. Blurring the lines between the real world and the virtual world. Are they digital creations, photographs or what? Furthermore, this disoriented observation is slowly guided by slightly and purposely imperfect geometries and only at the end — when viewing the final image — do we understand and realise that we are looking at photographs and nothing else. Compelling minimalism that has been beautifully captured. I’m excited to see what Pastore produces in the future.


Kristalia, an Italian furniture design studio, has designed a new version of the stunning Thin-K table, introducing the minimalistic Thin-K Longo Outdoor table. It features a top that is not only very thin but also considerably long: almost 3 metres. Kristalia wanted to create an extremely long top reaching a truly impressive length while maintaining perfect linearity and sturdiness. To achieve this result, the legs and the under-top frame have been strengthened, but these details have been concealed. In order to perfectly finish tops of 120cm x 295cm dimensions, an ad hoc procedure has been developed, in which the under-top frame acts as a support during the lacquering stage — this is carried out using epoxy powders that are UV-ray resistant and weatherproof. The aluminium top is available in a choice of coloured lacquers, or in European oak or black oak wood veneer with a brushed finish that highlights its natural grain. Thin-K Longo is almost entirely made of aluminium, with the addition of a few steel components. Remarkable work.


Last week I was introduced to SUITED — a new beautifully designed biannual fashion and art publication with a singular mission in mind: to celebrate those who have found what they are well-suited for. The first issue highlights the latest work of fashion designers Melitta Baumeister and Rad Hourani, featuring remarkable photography by the talented Paul Jung, which focuses on South Sudanese models Mari Malek, Mari Agory, Nykhor Paul and Atong Arjok, in a quest to raise their voices to effect change in their home country. Passionately dedicated to the needs of others, these women are opening up a dialogue not only among their fellow citizens but around the world. With a strong minimalist aesthetic, the magazine strikes a superb balance of extraordinary visuals and insightful articles. A hugely impressive début publication, which has left me excited to read future issues.


Marja Wickman — @mustaovi — is an art director from Finland. She also runs Musta Ovi (The Black Door) — a blog focused on house building and Scandinavian design. We take a closer look at Marja’s striking photographs of her beautifully styled home and gain a small insight into how such a collection has materialised. What is the inspiration behind your minimalist photo collection? The bright and spacious layout of our house is the main source of the inspiration behind my minimalist photo collection. I have photographed our brand new house with each construction phase until this moment. How does your surroundings impact your creativity? Surrounding nature and all the white and light spaces as well as the contrasts and simple forms inspire me. Various architectural solutions capture my attention as well. When and how do you decide to take a photo? The most important is the light. When you capture the moment, when the light comes from the right angle, is magical. Just about anything else is not needed! What are your favourite words on minimalism? “The simplest things are often the truest.” — Richard Bach, 1936 Would you like the opportunity to have your minimalist Instagram collection featured?...


An identity, stationery and promotional materials design for the architectural photographer Luka Žanić, realised by Studio8585 — a Croatian design studio which provides simple and elegant brand solutions. The project takes advantage of a typographically challenging set of characters in the form of a monogram, cleverly framing Luka Žanić’s beautiful photography within the context of cues associated with modern architectural identities. The logotype is based on a monogram in which a characteristic and potentially awkward second initial “Ž” is used as a device which brings the two initials together, juxtaposing them through a diacritic. The designers make use of simple forms to create a bold monogram, producing a sculptural quality in its asymmetry and vertical balance. Outstanding.


Yield is an independent design house that crafts and manufactures a range of bags, jewellery, and household accessories. Established in 2012 by Rachel Gant and Andrew Deming, the Saint Augustine based designers create timeless pieces that blend beauty, sustainability and ethical production — a refreshing ‘no compromise’ approach. Now you may already be familiar with Yield’s work, having been previously featured highlighting their sculptural Geo Stand Set. Today however, this sublime ceramic French Press takes centre stage. The heavy walled ceramic press pot, available in cream and grey, is a functional and beautiful addition to your kitchen table. The matte ceramic body maintains a consistent temperature throughout the simple brewing process. It’s just about timing, measuring and of course, quality beans. One of its finest features for me is the stylish copper pull. Such an elegant touch to the design. Photography courtesy of Yield.