6 minimalist identities, featuring pared-back work from Socio, SUPERFANTASTIC and MOUTHWASH Studio
Covering the likes of candles and telecommunications, the six projects we’ve curated here provide a bit of a breather from busy brand designs – promising a roomy usage of space, delicate serifs and crisp geometrics. They go straight to the heart of what their clients have to offer, cutting out the noise and communicating with clarity.
With fragrances devised by renowned perfumers in London and Grasse, emerging luxury candle company Aather is built on the desire to bring people together. Their candles, with their distinctive scent signatures, are designed to set the scene and be enjoyed in a moment shared with others. Stemming from Aather’s key values, the visual language — designed by London-based studio Socio — is an elegant reflection of the considered, mindful pace of a slow-burning flame. The identity revolves around a geometric arch, inspired by brutalist architectural structures as well as the hearth – the heart of any home.
Neutra VDL Studio and Residences is a national historic landmark committed to cultivating education, architecture, art and culture – providing an inclusive platform for the exploration and exchange of ideas across disciplines. In collaboration with photographer Elizabeth Carababas, and developer Jason Bradley, the team at MOUTHWASH Studio set out to redesign the VDL identity and website. The identity is respective of Neutra’s ethos of creating elegant, functional and flexible spaces -– with a visual language that embodies these modernist characteristics. The predominant typeface used is Akzidenz Grotesk, which was one of the first sans serif typefaces published in England. At the core of the system is a neutral colour palette, assembled as a nod to European modernism. Black and white tones combine with occasional brown hues to provide an organic warmth.
Internationally operating and globally acclaimed architects Estúdio Gustavo Utrabo, established with headquarters in Chicago and São Paulo, sought the help of São Paulo-based studio U.I.WD., to help shape a striking, simplicity-led identity. Conceived, designed and executed across Utrabo’s printed and digital spaces, the resulting look reflects the open, intimate and uncomplicated processes behind the practice. This is achieved through an image-based execution; the photography, artwork and 3D renderings of Utrabo’s work take precedence over the typography, which performs a more supportive – yet equally intricate – role.
Previously a sub-brand of the Telstra corporation, Amplitel is Australia’s largest wireless telecommunications company, connecting communities across the country. Priding themselves on the reliability and strength of their network connections, Amplitel sought to embody their confidence and established growth by turning to Sydney and Melbourne-based studio MAUD. They, in turn, developed a stoic visual identity. Simple and stark in its approach, the graphic language of the brand captures the professionalism and attention to detail of Amplitel’s practice. Central to this is the notion of ‘clarity,’ which MAUD communicated through the brand’s modernist-style logomark. Here, Amplitel’s ‘A’ is stylised in directional arrows – not only suggesting the progression of the company but also nodding to the physical structure of their masts.
SUPERFANTASTIC’s identity for Avenue Road – a design boutique for art, furniture, objects and architectural creations – is crafted with care. Working closely with the Avenue Road team and Founder Stephan Weishaupt, the Canadian studio outlined a visual expression that conveys exactly who and what the design destination is all about. This begins with the brandmark, an ambiguous yet unmistakable intersection of roads, that mirrors the equally vague company name. “Avenue Road as a brand name immediately feels like it’s describing a single location and yet the brand exists in many locations. None of them are on a road named Avenue,” Co-founder of SUPERFANTASTIC, Mark Neil Balson, reveals. The versatile motif floats within the brand identity’s grid-based system, accompanied by a rich dark reflex blue and a sturdy and sophisticated typography system.
Design practice Polytechnic have crafted a meticulous identity system for London-based architecture firm Mooradian Studio – one that reflects the forward-thinking, considerate and captivating work of their practice. The visual language centres around a bespoke mono-weight typeface, sparked by a publication from 1984 called ‘ИСКУССТВО ШРИФТА’ (The Art of Letter-Type) which showcases over 100 tables of decorative Armenian types. The contemporary grotesque nods to these Armenian forms and Founder Aram’s heritage, whilst also taking visual cues from Brasilia, a fittingly architecture-inspired typeface. The rest of the visual language prioritises Mooradian Sans and the architectural imagery itself, with straightforward layouts and a restrained selection of colours. The only exception is a dark red/brown (paired with a hot orange), drawn from the nutty browns of dark-stained cork tiles used by Aram in the Less is More House in Hackney.