Minimalissimo


Categorized “Graphic Design”

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 MINIM 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. Photography by Ode to Things.


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.


Munich based multi-disciplinary designer Aurelian Hallhuber, has recently completed the design of 0/1 – a strikingly minimal book and thesis project providing an overview of the different modes of representation and ways of which binary codes can be used in the field of visual communication. Hallhuber writes: Whether it be filled content, as a design feature or as an inspiration for creative processes, showing a strong reduction of the binary code, the possibilities are hidden in the smallest details of the visual world. This German designer clearly knows his craft, which makes this book a joy to read, if only from a limited online perspective. Beyond the beautifully embossed cover, I’m really liking the choice of typography too. Gorgeous work.


The contemporary cycling culture is really easy to embrace these days with beautiful graphic and packaging designs like James Greig, who is behind the clean and elegant brand and site, CycleLove. It is a refreshing site that is actually less about bicycles and more about people and their bicycle lifestyles. And after I have spent too much time going through the photostream of all bike related images, the features on all bicycle paraphernalia, I found the perfect gift for fellow minimalist design-loving, bicycle-riding enthusiasts in this simple ‘Just Ride’ limited edition print of abstracted bicycle frames by Greig on heavyweight matt black paper with a white gloss ink, hand-numbered, and packaged in a custom CycleLove poster tube.


Lately I am much more interested in graphic design, so that is why today I bring you another piece of great minimalist rebranding for Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, in this case, a project developed by the Norwegian Neue Design Studio. Norwegian Shipowners Association has around 160 members – shipowners in the tanker and bulk transport sector, short sea sector and offshore activities. We wanted to create an iconic, simple and elegant identity that would communicate NSA’s universe as well as being serious, bold and forward-looking, showing NSA as a competent and global actor. Again I find this to be very effective work, with a great combination of simplicity and symbology, representing the open sea using just two rectangles in different blue tone colors. I hope to discover and share with you similar rebranding works that are just as impressive!