Minimalissimo


Categorized “Package design”

Product Designer Simon Hasan has an exquisite collection of laboratory-grade borosilicate glassware in the form of a bottle, carafe and decanter, all carefully hand crafted and wrapped in leather. I am drawn to the simplicity of the details of this set of Wrap Glassware. The brass pins complete the beautiful sequence of the design,  emphasizing the contrast of materials while the use of the leather softens normally sterile-looking objects. I know a space in my living room just for this.


Japanese designer Kota Kobayashi, currently based in New York, has brewed as well as designed the beautifully minimalist packaging for Ippon Matsu Beer, to benefit a great cause. On the northeastern shore of Japan, a forest of 70,000 pine trees lined the coast of Rikuzentakata. In 2011, these pines were destroyed during the Tōhoku tsunami effect, and now only one pine remains. Kobayashi explains: This beer’s name means ‘One Pine Tree’ and its design is a symbol of charity and hope for Japan’s brighter future. A scroll-like, handwritten label seals the top with its story written on the inside. The label is a solitary pine made of three triangles facing up, symbolising the wish for progress in the reconstruction efforts. The packaging has been selected as one of the winners for Communication Arts Design Annual 2012. All profits support the reconstruction effort. Now, I just want to know how the beer tastes!


Xiaomi is a Chinese smart phone company that just launched its 2nd generation smart phone, MI 2. With environmental consciousness, the company decided to make its packaging as eco-friendly as possible. This stylish and undoubtedly minimal packaging with its natural look makes a refreshing change from the classic white or black appearance of smart phone boxes, which often feature non-essential details. Not only is this packaging a fine example of simplicity in design, but it’s also incredibly robust – withstanding the weight of two adults, resulting in a far safer delivery. If you’ve recently come across any other minimal smart phone package designs, please share.


Today I would like to introduce you to the stylish and minimalist packaging of Casa Bosques Chocolates by Mexican multidisciplinary designers, Savvy Studio. Casa Bosques is a creative platform that develops products of a permanent and sustainable nature by collaborating with experts in various disciplines who share this same philosophy. Casa Bosques Chocolates is the first project in the entity, a collaboration with the master chocolatier Jorge Llanderal. Twelve different editions will be produced, one every season. Casa Bosques’s first chocolate is made from pure Mexican cacao of the highest quality, and the second is made with pure Venezuelan cacao. The branding and package design from Savvy Studio is what really caught my eye though. The white packaging with a strong focus on beautifully fitting typography along with a hint of colour to differentiate the editions, successfully compliment these sophisticated artisan chocolates. Wonderful work.


Korean-born Heesang Lee is a graphic design student at the School of Visual Arts in New York. She has redesigned the packaging of the popular model-building essential, the X-Acto blade, giving it a clearer, easily recognizable presentation of the types of blades available. My focus on this new design is consumers can easily know what they need at a glance. Firstly I redesigned X-Acto logo. The ‘X’ is a stenciled letter that becomes a symbolic mark for X-Acto knife. Then I simplified information of the package, the numbers in the center are the blades number, and the back illustrations show the shape of blades. As we usually identify the blade by the shape more easily than the number of its type, Heesang has prioritized the information that the consumer needs first. Taking into account that there are over 14 types of blades produced by X-Acto, I think she has successfully achieved a more efficient and sophisticated packaging in its minimalist redesign if we recall what the existing packaging is. 


Malin+Goetz are a family-owned skincare company based in New York. Their products are suitable for everybody, especially those (like myself, unfortunately) with sensitive skin. I have been using products from their range for the last couple of months, and so far I have been very impressed with how well they work. Many of you may already be familiar with the brand, but I wanted to share my experience within the context of this site, as I quite enjoyed reading about their minimalist approach to the skincare industry in Celia Ellenberg’s article on Style.com: Combining Goetz’s marketing and design background with Malin’s experience in beauty retail at Saks, Barneys, and Kiehl’s, the idea behind the brand was to make the increasingly complicated skincare landscape more navigable. “The mantra of simplicity started with our grandmothers,” says Malin. “They used cold creams and Lubriderm and they had beautiful skin at 90.” Malin+Goetz products are available at Vetted, run by Antonio Carusone of AisleOne, who is probably a fan of the simple typographic-style product design.


Italian full service advertising agency, Concept Store, based in Pescara, have designed this elegant, minimal and beautifully presented wine packaging for Vecchie Vigne. The design, lead by Marco D’Aroma of Concept Store, has a clear minimal layout for the label’s flagship store, Gentile, which includes a beautiful use of typography, spacing and colour contrast. The preciousness of the product is given by the care and study of individual details, ranging from the choice of paper and clever use of black and white lettering. The wine itself, is a red 2009 reserve, however I am unable to give you an opinion on the taste. If you happen to taste Vecchie Vigne at some point in the future, please share your thoughts. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this packaging as much as I do.


This laconic and visually stimulating packaging has been recently unveiled by Australian beverage manufacturer Capi. The company specializes on carbonated drinks and mineral waters. Capi’s brand claim includes producing pure, clean, and refreshing beverages from the finest natural extracts and botanicals. With the statement like this, it comes as no surprise that the packaging follows the idea of clutter-free simplicity. Here is how CIP Creative, the force behind the project, describes Capi’s new visual identity: CIP Creative were engaged to create a Strong Brand Mark and distinctive packaging. When creating the brand and associated labels, we aimed for a crisp, fresh, no nonsense visual language puled together by a sharp logotype. I love how the font corresponds to the shape of the bottles, making words big and tangible. And with nothing to obstruct the view of the contents, the product can speak for itself.


Coca-Cola Light is the sponsor of ARCO, the International Contemporary Art Fair that opens today in Madrid, and for celebrating it they have made a special edition of their classic bottle. It is made of aluminium with a pearl white background and has two of the most representative icons in Arco: a red circle that indicates when a work has been acquired and a label that describes the work, including the tittle, measures and the technique used. I really enjoy this kind of works where a brand reduce its image to the minimum expression.


Known for his iconic designs for Joy Division and New Order record sleeves, Manchester-born Peter Saville became a pivotal figure in graphic design and style culture ever since his first work for Factory Records in the late 1970s. Encouraged by friend Malcolm Garrett from early on to discover the work of early modern movement typographers, Saville found their elegantly ordered aesthetic more appealing than the anarchic style of punk graphics and from them drew the inspiration for his first commercial project, the 1978 launch poster for The Factory nightclub in Manchester. When the club spawned the Factory Records label, Saville was named its art director and given unprecedented level of freedom to design whatever he wanted. His body of work features many experimentations with printing techniques and further on with digital tools, but Saville is well-known for his refined take on Modernism and has worked with notoriously minimalist brands such as Jil Sander and Raf Simons. He has also recently designed the English football team home shirt.


m_lab is a project recently completed by Barcelona based company Espluga + Associates, whose area of expertise ranges through advertising, naming, graphic design, branding and many other things ending with …ing. m_lab is the first store of Mesoestetic in Europe (the company specializes in developing skin care products). The level of involvement Espluga + Associates had in this project was truly comprehensive. The work included visual identity, graphic design, interior design, branding and packaging. I love how the lab-like sterility of the interior was made stylish by incorporating recognizable furniture pieces and familiar typography. Helvetica-driven signage and packaging make a great contribution to the overall design. The whiteness of the white is accentuated by the blue-tinted recessed lighting, which is another clever and beautiful detail.


Alcohol packaging usually has a very traditional design because of the age of the brands, so this design by Maas Design for VODA vodka captured my attention. The designers explain: Alcohol packaging often looks to the companies past for its inspiration. Since this was a new brand conceived in the modern digital age we had fun with the idea of using the “play” icon recognizable from many of today’s digital devices. The contemporary design was meant to target a younger audience of vodka drinkers and players. I would like to point out the visible cork: not only an interesting contrast in the design (old vs. new), but it also says ‘traditional quality’ in a contemporary jacket.