The Brand Identity

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Tim Tijink makes the minimal maximal in his type-led identity for Amsterdam’s Minimal Collective

Together with Brent van den Elshout, Dutch designer Tim Tijink has worked with Minimal Collective, an Amsterdam-based electronic music collective, on the creation of their energetic, contrasting and engaging identity. A mix of designers, audiovisual creatives and electronic music, the visual identity for Minimal Collective needed to match the eclectic nature of their foundation, as well as their avant-garde approach. With this spirit in mind, Tijink took the somewhat less conventional path of basing the identity on an oval grid, rather than a squared one. Continually in motion and interacting with one another, the individual ovals are representative of the interconnected network of creatives behind the scenes, opting for Gradient Type’s PolySans – utilising its futuristic, characterful tone of voice –  as the hero typeface to dance within the lively graphic language. 

“Each circle represents a different ‘spectrum’ in which the collective is operating in and across,” Tijink tells us, listing music, art and technology as the core disciplines. “By connecting multidisciplinary artists and blending the spectrums, Minimal Collective is constantly renewing music, art and nightlife experiences,” he adds, recalling the use of the brand’s 3D-to-2D wheel used across the identity alongside the typographic expression throughout. “The ‘wheel’ is formed by filling rasters within the grid,” Tijink explains, “what first was just a 2D grid will now slowly (visually) transform into a 3D wheel,” he adds, using this movement as a digital realisation of Minimal Collective’s varied practice and network. “When fully connected, the pieces of the wheel form the logomark of the brand,” Tijink tells us, a logo that has a beautifully timeless tone; reminiscent of classic, Swiss mid-century logomarks.

Very much playing into the contrary meanings within the collective’s own name, the graphic language Tijink has produced takes the creative chaos of the people behind the scenes, along with the array of work produced, and refines it into something digestible. Literally making the minimal maximal, Tijink balances the content without taking the more obvious route of exercising minimalism. Instead, the identity thrives within an excess of work, creating a dynamic and engaging system that formalises the content without falling ill to its assortment. 

Reactionary to the audiovisual output of Minimal Collective, the muted – somewhat earthy – palette of the identity comes as a result of Tijink’s relationship with the music, as well as the collective’s thought-processes occurring behind the scenes. “The black-grey combination initially came from the thought that Minimal is closely connected to electronic music,” Tijink explains, noting that the eventual inclusion of the colours came as a result of presenting the “neutrality and balance” of the term ‘minimal.’ The tonal serendipity of the greyscale, however, resulted in a “very techy, progressive and somewhat brutalist feeling,” as Tijink recalls, all of which act as core values behind Minimal Collective’s process.  

Alongside the greyscale is the introduction of a muted green, named ‘Tidewater Green,’ that distils a tranquillity and organic voice standing in opposition to the stark black and white accompanying it in the identity’s palette. “This teal colour represents the bursting, ever-evolving energy of the collective,” Tijink recalls, explaining how the cultural attitude to the colour changes globally. “In the west, this colour is modern and forward-thinking,” he tells us, an attitude perfectly akin to Minimal Collective. “In ancient times, however, this colour already was popular amongst the Egyptians because it symbolised ‘faith’ and ‘truth,’” he adds, suggesting the appropriateness of these characteristics to Minimal Collective, concluding, “the platform serves a daily dose of inspiration for those who are seeking it.”

Typeface: PolySans by Gradient Type
Sound design: Inkognito Studios / Niels Roovers
Web development: Studio I/O
Technical: Ko Stevens / Nicola Budano

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