Minimalissimo


Categorized “Graphic Design”

Hey is a design studio working mostly in brand identity, illustration and editorial design. Small in size but very big in outreach, the Barcelona-based studio is much beloved internationally, with a marked a style based on simplicity and synthetis and a lovely use of color and geometry. Verónica, Ricardo and Mikel kindly received me for a brief chat about the process behind their very own brand of minimalist work. When you work with synthesis, ultimately you are seeking a concept, and for the most direct way of translating and communicating that graphically. Their poster work is prolific and one of their favorite ways to distill their graphic philosophy. Using the power of cogency — the capacity one has for remembering something visual — they create work that is immediately memorable. Hey always search for the essence in their concepts, and approach a problem with a methodical functionality that is refreshing and produces results that are so well-crafted they become endearing, like with their latest personal project, Every Hey — a daily Instagram feed where they illustrate characters from pop culture. Every illustration is created based on a modular grid system, without ornament, in an effort to optimize the eye in order for it to see better, a strategy they have applied time and again with their popular Monocle maps. The studio’s...


Connected Magazine is a new contemporary fashion magazine that has just launched its first issue. As the brainchild of Nani Lim and Pontus Samuel, the magazine started of as a school project and evolved into a platform for the Stockholm-based duo to express their identical love for photography, fashion and design; a platform that celebrates the motivation of good design instead of mere current trends: There is a very one dimensional look on fashion today, which is basically “buy! buy! buy!”, and we felt that the function behind clothes sort of got lost in translation. The style of minimalism is the tool that is used to express their aesthetic and visual language both in the design of the magazine as well as the articles they feature. The images exude an appealing simplicity and the styling of the editorials are of a minimalistic elegance. The magazine communicates the team’s personal tastes and inspiration to their audience. I love the fact that it is so personal and shared in such a beautifully crafted and designed publication, which makes this project more meaningful. As the editor Nani Lim so eloquently sums up: Most of our inspiration comes from meeting creative people and the interaction...


I have been an admirer of York-based graphic designer and writer Daniel Benneworth-Gray‘s for a while now — be it his beautifully simple, mathematical book covers or the captivating articles in his long-standing blog. His latest design work is particularly spare, balanced — there doesn’t seem to be a pixel out of place. His book covers show tremendous subtlety, power, and a welcome and refreshing pop of color. We caught up with Daniel recently and chatted with him a bit about his creative process. Being particularly fascinated by the way one achieves the delicate balance of minimalist compositions, I was very interested in how he achieved his particular brand of simple. My objective is always to find that perfect point just before minimalism becomes emptiness, where the aesthetic, mathematical purity of an idea resists clinical starkness. If I become too conscious of how I’m achieving that, or if I try to pursue it in a very precise way each time, I leave myself no room for chaos. Daniel says that as simple the end result may be, it belies a creative process of scribbles, mess and mistakes. I’ll work with pen on paper (or increasingly, the rather smashing Paper app) for a long time before going...


Marijana Gligic’s Type II Perfume is a prototype for the luxurious perfume bottle and package design. Its dedication to adhering strictly to minimalist lines and typography is to be commended. Gligic has made a concerted effort to express the luxury brand through its emphasis on form and one that would resemble forms found in nature, such as geographical crystals. The overarching concept was driven by a want to showcase the product and its packaging as sculptural work that can be showcased in an everyday space. I feel that this is both beautifully articulated and executed. The bottle itself is comprised of alabaster gypsum and was awarded for best packaging exhibited at the Belgrade Polytechnic College. Born and based out of Belgrade, Serbia, Marijana Gligic is one to watch. Awarded for her photographic work, editorials and graphic design, she is sure to continue to flourish through her considered disciplined dedication to beautiful simple design. Photography courtesy of Marijana Gligic.


French born designer and illustrator Thomas Danthony who is currently based in London, has designed N — a 42 page black & white book featuring a collection of graphite and ink drawings. Self-published, N is available in two versions, one of which is a luxury book with a hand made cover. The project was an experimentation by Danthony, differing from his commercial work, which allowed him the freedom to create a simple aesthetic. He explains: My goal was to take a bit of time off the computer to create something by hand, I was looking for a way to keep my commercial style, which is digital and to translate it on paper. To make it possible, it had to be simple, so I only worked with a pencil, a brush and some black ink. I then decided to design a small book to collect the series. I really enjoy the strong and simple compositions throughout. From the concept of the book, to the illustrations themselves, this is a superbly executed self-initiated project. There’s also a short video about N, which is directed by Tom van Schelven.


UK practice John Morgan Studio recently undertook the redesign of the prestigious London publication ArtReview, art directing and developing the design of each issue and special editions since September 2013 in an elegant, clean fashion. For the Future Greats issue, an annual special edition that that declares the artists to watch out for over the coming year, Morgan commissioned these whited-out portraits by photographers Luke and Nik, creating an experimental and disquieting set of covers that immediately catch the eye.


Mexican branding firm Anagrama have designed the visual identity for the high-end pastry and confectionery shop Xoclad, located in the Mayan Riviera. In a place bustling with tourist activity, Xoclad needed to communicate the area’s strong Mayan culture in a classy way that could never be called cliché or tacky. The designs are based on a contemporary interpretation of antique mayan art and architecture ornamentation, with a bold monochromatic labyrinth-like pattern as the central element for all the visual elements of the brand. A pop of candy-toned green and pink complete the color palette, with just enough brightness to complement the sober, clean feeling of the brand and leave a mouth-watering desire to consume their products!


Hai Lien is a make up artist currently based in China, where she runs a make up academy. Her work covers skin care and colour make up and in order to initiate the wide market in the region into the true beauty of make up in a more effective manner as well as hand down her secret method, she has decided to launch her own cosmetics range in China — Hai Lien CC Cream. The design of the branding and packaging of Hai Lien’s new cosmetics line is by minimalist, a boutique design studio based in Gangnam, Seoul, Korea. Their philosophy in design is one I am certainly familiar with and one that most certainly applies to Hai Lien’s branding: We believe good designs can be achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. For this project, the designer’s explain some design characteristics: The distinctive staircase patterns are the motive of Hai Lien’s professionalism, and the classy black and white colour scheme will differentiate the range from showy colour scheme of its competitors on the shelf. From the minimalist aesthetic of the bottle, the type design of the logo, to...


Some months ago Moving Brands designed a new identity for Blank Digital, a New York-based boutique retouching and digital capture company. Blank were seeking a more effective strategy in order to help establish relationships with the top luxury, fashion and media businesses of the world. Moving Brands explains the design: We defined their brand narrative as ‘realizing image potential’ – an ambitious stance that focuses on the real business benefit they offer. The monochromatic identity system has an attitude and an edginess to appeal to their high-fashion audience. The mark references Blank’s own editing process; it appears to be at the point of mid-creation, but still elegant. The soft colour palette and typeface nod to the family-focused values and love of tailored, crafted elements, and characteristics of the business that were often referenced in workshops with the Blank founders. Most importantly, the system provides a sophisticated, flexible foundation from which their own work can shine. A wonderful piece of work, from the physical to the digital media, that set a guide for all applications of the brand, being a perfect mix between sophistication, simplicity and neutrality.


Savvy, a multidisciplinary studio based in Nuevo León, Mexico, are no strangers to Minimalissimo, having previously featured their outstanding branding of Casa Bosques Chocolates. Today we are celebrating their latest design work — the branding of fashion label Håndværk. Håndværk is the Danish word that stands for hand-crafted or artisanal, and the branding reflects Håndværk’s nature: elegant simplicity. Clean lines and a simple typographic treatment based on minimal Scandinavian and Japanese aesthetics, Savvy explains: We have communicated Håndværk’s quality through a graphic language that is based on minimal aesthetics, predominantly white. Their principle of simplicity and upmost quality is always reflected in all supporting materials, from their packaging to the language used for their texts. From the superbly simple and elegant design finishes of Savvy, to Håndværk’s clothing line itself, this is a perfect example of beautiful minimalism that is an absolute pleasure to share with you.


I am sure many of you are now familiar with the wonderful publications of the Bristol based Cereal Magazine and their beautifully designed products. It is one of their newest products that I am sharing with you today, just in time for the Holidays. These simple, minimalist Cereal Christmas Cards feature two styles: a tree and a mountain design, each printed on 350gsm Arcowhite paper. The blank cards come in a set of four (two of each design) in a white cardboard box, including white envelopes. I wasted no time in getting these cards for myself, which actually look even better in person, and make for an ideal way of presenting one’s holiday message.


Systems is an exhibition of commissioned poster designs and ‘60s Braun products, presented in a single grid at the Walter Knoll London showroom from 25 Nov – 31 Dec 2013. The exhibition is curated by das programm and produced in association with Braun. An international group of graphic designers respond to the systematicity of Braun Design, each one of them notably minimalist, such as Experimental Jetset, Hey Studio, Ross Gunter, Antonio Carusone, Spin, Tomasz Berezowski, Spin and more. Featured here is Berlin–based studio Neubau‘s series of posters, exploring the concepts of Form, Typography and Colour. Find out more about each poster and the specific concept developed in each design. All the works are available for purchase as a limited edition of A1 prints, individually or as a cased set. I’d love one in my living room!