Design Top Five #10: Black & Ginger
A minimalist watch, a phone for making phone calls, an Amsterdam building stripped back to basics – B&G’s Jmeel Allen likes to keep things simple.
1. 100 Series watch by Uniform Wares
When I first set eyes on the 100 Series model I thought it was as perfect as watch design could get. Beautifully pared down and well crafted, it offers a more grown up alternative to the Toywatch trend. If Josef Müller-Brockmann had turned his hand to watch design, the results wouldn’t be far off these.
“If Josef Müller-Brockmann had turned his hand to watch design, the results wouldn’t be far off Uniform Wares’ 100 Series.”
2. Trouw building, Amsterdam
The former home of a Dutch news publication, the Trouw building now hosts an excellent club-cum-restaurant. The beauty of Trouw lies in how relatively little (apart from stripping out) they have done to its stark concrete and steel interior, which harks back to its printing past. The club line-ups are second to none as well.
3. Jazzanova record sleeves by Hort
They may be a few years old now, but these are still a favourite of mine. Incredibly beautiful and playful, these record sleeves for Jazzanova are courtesy of design studio Hort. The type on the sleeves is constructed entirely from paper and cardboard and demonstrate Hort’s uncanny knack for experimental and fun typography. Cracking album, too.
4. Circuit Explorations by Eva Schindling
I’m very interested in the visual crossover between art and science and have recently discovered the work of Eva Schindling, who explores just that. Eva’s fascination with metaphysics and the visualisation of complex data systems produces some unexpected and profound visuals which, in her own words, try to “show the beauty of nature and science in code, sculpture, electricity and visuals”.
5. John’s Phones by John Doe
Billed as the ‘world’s simplest cellphone’, John’s Phones are the complete antithesis of today’s smartphones – you can make and receive calls, that’s all. Simple and completely no-nonsense. A lovely piece of Dutch product design, it comes with a neat built-in paper address book and pen for storing numbers.
Jmeel Allen is Lead Designer at Liverpool-based ‘ideas agency’, Black & Ginger