Minimalissimo


Categorized “Graphic design”

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.


Swedish graphic designer Oda Haugerud creates beautifully simple and carefully considered printed matter, combining analogue and digital techniques. Throughout her portfolio of self-initiated and academic projects, her subdued but potent style consistently shines through in lovely paper products. All of them results of thoughtful process and research, no doubt influenced by her multidisciplinary background in art history, film studies and art & publishing apart from graphic design. My personal favorite is the featured work Meteorit, a collection of  illustrations and products inspired by the event on February 15th of this year, when a meteorite was 2 minutes from hitting Malmö, Sweden before landing in Tjeljabinsk, Russia.


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!


The Gentlewoman is a biannual magazine that celebrates modern women of style and purpose. From the same creators of men’s lifestyle and fashion magazine Fantastic Man, The Gentlewoman  offers a fresh and intelligent perspective on fashion that’s focused on personal style – the way women actually look, think and dress. Known for its elegance and simplicity, issue no. 8 of the magazine brings a truly pared down front cover featuring French actress Léa Seydoux. The Autumn issue also brought the launch of the magazine’s new website, designed by Denny Backhaus, true to the minimalist set-up of its physical publication. Beautifully designed, with a fresh journalistic perspective and gorgeous photography. Be sure to also explore the website, a virtual place where real women, real events and real things are enjoyed.


Edition One is a series of minimalist pastel toned linework on rich metallic paper. The pastel colors, printed with matte ink, give a nice contrast with the background and throughout the day the appearance will change by the light. Like the name says Edition One is the first edition of metallic prints by Yield. The series is produced in a limited edition of 100 pieces. Yield was founded in 2012 by Rachel Gant and Andrew Deming. The co-founders met at California College of the Arts, where Gant studied Industrial Design and Deming studied Design Strategy.


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.


Cereal is an independent food and travel journal published quarterly featuring an extremely clean art direction, minimalistic yet stunning photography as well as original content which is much appreciated at a time when we are overwhelmed with the pace of information. Based in Bristol, UK, the magazine features contributors that have a strong presence in the editorial world such as interiors photographer Line Klein and lifestyle writer Nick Baines. The quality of Cereal though simple and minimal, makes me yearn for that quietness and the minute details of everyday life. I am definitely looking forward to their future issues.


This creative public service campaign was designed by Caroline Brickell of Ogilvy & Mather Gurgaon ad agency for WWF India. The series, titled Animal Trees, consists of three works featuring rounded silhouettes of threes placed to form a panda, bear, and hippo. By making trees look like endangered animals, the advertising makes the point that wildlife and the environment are interconnected. I love the optic illusion the posters create, making our eye to see the animals first and notice the trees only after reading the tagline. What a beautiful and provocative way to conway the message.  The campaign received the Design Gold Pencil award in the Public Service / Posters category at The One Show.


When you look at the shelves of skincare products in a shop, they’re normally so full of information and busy designs that a mere glimpse of Swedish brand Verso Skincare‘s packaging is already refreshing and interest grabbing. Championing the innovative Retinol 8 formula (it helps the skin cells to mimic how young cells behave and is an improvement on the standard retinol formula, 8 times more potent and with none of the famed drawbacks like having to avoid sunlight), Verso is Latin and means reverse, a clever metaphor reflected on the elegant packaging. The brand identity & packaging design were developed for over a year (!) by Swedish studio Today Creative, resulting in a thoughtful brand image that reflects the product’s uniqueness.


NY-based multidisciplinary creator Joe Doucet strikes again: this deck of regulation playing cards called IOTA is an exercise in editing and stripping things down to the edge of comprehension. The already fairly straightforward and classic signs for hearts, clubs, diamonds and spades have been reduced to minimalistic geometric symbols. My personal favorite is the spades, and the diagonal mark across the back of the cards is so brilliantly simple it could’ve always been there. The deck will be available as a limited edition along with seven other products at Doucet’s Play exhibition in the Wanted Design NYC pop-up store in from May 17th-20th.


Singapore-based Foreign Policy Design Group are in charge of this beautifully simple branding and wayfinding design for the Steven Holl-designed Sifang Art Museum in Nanjing, China. What I love about this project is that the graphic design draws its power basically from language. Oriental characters are typically very visual and graphic in nature, and the composition of Chinese and English create an elegant balance that stands strong on its own. The use of black to accentuate the branding material is also very elegant. What a lesson in simplicity.


idea ink is a series of Japanese books focusing on the theme of “ideas of the future”, published by Asahi Press and designed by Tokyo-based design studio Groovisions. The books focus on themes from gastronomy; environment and social issues to information graphics and even love and the quest for marriage outside of Japan. The graphic design for each book is clean and crisp, yet colorful and alive at the same time. A refreshing approach considering the excess of graphic information in a city such as Tokyo, yet still coherent with Japanese philosophies of simplicity and elegance in style. Groovisions also have Muji as their clients, another Japanese company notable for its minimalistic products. I particularly love the monoweight lines of the illustrations and the pastel color pallete. One of the things I love in Japanese design is the potency of “silent” designs, and to me this definitely falls into that category.