Ode to Things is a microstore specialised in well-designed, quality lifestyle accessories, and when I recently discovered one of their objects in the form of the Futagami Brass Bottle Opener designed by Masanori Oji, it lead me to a store full of beautifully minimalist and simple accessories. A collection that I have no doubt many of you will also appreciate. Ode to Things explains: We love objects that add function, style, and fun to your life. That’s why we created this concise collection of everyday items that are special in the way they bring form, function, and elegance together. From Hidetoshi Takahashi’s Kami Wood Cups, to Lovisa Wattman’s Iris Hantverk Concrete Bowls, to Christina Weber’s Studiopatró Kitchen & Café Aprons, this range of household objects have been superbly selected, and as a relatively new online store, I will be keeping a close eye on how Ode to Things develops throughout the year.
Categorized “Web Design”
I was recently introduced to Sans Form, an independent minimalistic brand of t-shirts, hoodies, prints and bags created by an international collective of renowned graphic designers. Hand-printed using the best paper, the most vibrant ink, and only the softest of t-shirts, their products have been beautifully and carefully designed. The majority of prints in the store have been designed by Sans Form, but the superb and visually simple Shapes Evolution collection is the result of Italian graphic designer Alessandro Scarpellini of Aesse. Many more designers will be contributing to the store throughout the year, including Add Studio, Ashley O’Brien, Andy Sherborne, Bili Cardona, and Maqina. Sans Form have also been generous enough to offer our readers a 10% discount on all items, using the code: MINIMALISSIMO. There is also a 15% discount if you follow Sans Form on Twitter or Instagram.
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.
January 1st Tilman Zitzmann, a Germany based interaction and graphic designer, decided to channel his enthusiasm for minimalist graphics in an on-going personal project. Each and every day he publishes a new minimalist art piece, based on geometric shapes, on his tumble log named Geometry Daily. I get a serious flow when I draw simple shapes, combine them and experiment until they start to “sing”. Zitzmann explains that he wants to concentrate on relevant things, as our daily lives are full of noise and complex dependencies. He wants to concentrate on the idea and execute it straight-forward, without fuss. Since the start of the project he has build up an impressive collection of graphs of which I made a tiny selection attached to this post.
Fearon Hay are a small studio based in Auckland, New Zealand, with some of the country’s leading contemporary architects and designers. Their work is minimalist in the use of materials, yet luxurious and beautifully detailed. The Fearon Hay website however, is the focus of this article. It is a digital monograph – a publication of selected work covering more than a decade of practice. The site, designed by Sons & Co. contains many traditional book-like features that are rather unusual in website design: an index, page numbering and editorial layouts. Yet the interaction is consistent with the modern web: subtle movement and animation, keyboard navigation and smooth, transparent page-loading. This clean and lean website is a joy to browse, making use of some large imagery to illustrate Fearon Hay’s beautiful portfolio of work, but it’s the navigational elements that I find most striking.
Many of you will already be familiar with the work of Information Architects – the Tokyo, Zurich and Berlin based digital agency who brought us iA Writer (which I am currently using to write this article). Today however, I am focusing on their new website redesign, which I had been meaning to feature on here since its relaunch in May of this year. The design, lead by Oliver Reichenstein, is beautiful minimalism. The website is one of the easiest and clearest websites to read that I’ve come across recently. Also technically inspiring, at least from a web designer/developer’s perspective. The new iA website has not only been created in a responsive layout with responsive typography, but also a custom-built responsive typeface (iABC). This basically means the text on the page looks and feels the same across various devices and improves the user’s digital reading experience. Our custom typeface gave us the liberty to embed all graphic elements of the site into the typeface. Except for actual pictures, the whole website is constructed with type. If you have an appreciation for minimalist web design, I’d be very interested in your thoughts.
Brainstorming in the offices of Agentur Loop, an Austrian Digital Advertising agency, might be the pinnacle of envy for most if not all creative types. Headquartered in Salzburg, huge chalk board walls display and incubate ideas that are supplemented by a table football (foosball), an electric guitar corner, socializing in the bistro and lounge areas, an outdoor grill and even a supposed soft-serve ice cream machine. Digital Candyshop indeed. Yet the minimalistic interiors are portrayed elegantly with its clean, modern design using just black and white in the architectural finishes, the furniture and even in the toys and peripherals. Full height walls of square glass blocks on the exterior let in a lot of light and give a sense of scale to the large open-plan commercial building where the agency resides in. Modular cushioned cubes of varying heights and adjustable configurations serve as seating within an interaction space, challenging the traditional form of communication that takes place with sofas or arm chairs. The supply of award-winning furniture designer Konstatin Grcic’s Chair One in black furnishes the bistro, tying in a modern and clean socializing space. In my opinion, short of a pool and a rock-climbing wall, the office has otherwise achieved a truly...
The purpose of minimalism is to expose the essence of a design by eliminating all non-essential forms, features and concepts. In web design, minimalism erases potential distractions and strips away elements into their most basic forms. Yuna Kim‘s use of elementary shapes helps to organize her portfolio and goes perfectly with her personal logo. This minimal web site design experiments the use of geometric shapes that makes design so effective. The simplicity is also carried through the navigation making it enjoyable to explore.
New York based web design studio Type/Code have designed the very minimalist It’s Almost countdown tool website. The concept is very simple. You enter an event name, large or small, regardless of its importance and set the date and time. It then generates a web address for you to return to and see the simple and elegantly styled countdown clock. Even if an event name is exactly the same, the web address will be unique. To establish what time zone it is in, simply hover over the countdown text. I love the look of this website, in particular the typeface and as a bit of fun, it works well.
We should have shared this on here much earlier. NowDoThis is so blissfully minimalist. NowDoThis is designed by William Cotton and Jakob Lodwick (co-founder of Vimeo), they voice, “How do you organize your day? A calendar requires you to predict the unpredictable. a to-do list can overwhelm you with data. I wanted a ‘boss’ to tell me what to do.” The end result is a form that sets out to do exactly what it states, absolute essentials, nothing gets in the way of what you’re originally setting out to do: the task at hand. Its breathtakingly simple structure is so pure, which makes this one of my most used tools in my daily work.
Here’s another way to think about fashion journalism, The Considered Ensemble by Andrew Kupresanin and Belinda Chen, displays the outfit selection of individuals around the world in a purely text based archive. Think minimalist meets the Sartorialist. The contributors shares with us a description of what they’re wearing without images, leaving more to our imagination. Andrew Kupresanin says: With the innumerable blogs competing with one another in showcasing the latest street fashion/fashionistas, we are bombarded with and consume so much imagery without getting past the surface. The Considered Ensemble is an alternative that hopes to fill some gaps. Each submission is a personal expression from an individual, whether its the personality they inject into their writing style, or the stories behind a special item of clothing. It is a platform where visitors can gain a deeper insight into the thought process and meaning behind each individuals’ outfit, and take time to use their imagination. A picture may say more than a thousand words, but words leave something to the imagination. → Go to site
A project group of Hyper Island – Robbin Ingvarsson, Fredrik Holmberg, Kristina Herngren, Anke Buchta, Simon Schlüter and Waldemar Wegelin- rebranded the Swedish Armed Forces. They turned the usual function of camouflage around and used one of the basic shapes of geometry, the triangle, to create a new type of camouflage that is all about showing yourself. The goal is to reflect the diversity with the Armed Forces. The focus for Swedish Army is peacekeeping abroad. In order to fullfill their missions they want to attract new talent – brain rather than muscles. The challenge of the rebrand was to change the Swedish Armed Forces from a traditional defensive institute into a modern employeer.