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Hidraulik by Hey, Spain

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Hidraulik x Hey, a new range of 100% PVC floor and table mats inspired by 20th century modernism

Hidraulik is a Barcelona-based business producing floor mats, table mats and runners for contemporary spaces. These are inspired by cement panels hydraulically pressed, rather than fired, with a layer of coloured pigment.

Hydraulic panels originated in the 1850’s and experienced a resurgence in the mid 20th century. At that time they would often feature brightly coloured and detailed patterns, and were popular during an era of personalisation and interior self-expression. Hidraulik brings these right up to date, applying a similar aesthetic quality to a thin, flexible and moveable PVC surface.

The first range was made up of Art Nouveau-inspired prints designed in house, and was followed up by modernist-inspired prints created by Huaman, the graphic design studio also responsible for Hidraulik’s brand identity and packaging.

This week sees the launch of Hidrualik’s latest range, created by Barcelona-based graphic design studio Hey. These build on the retrospective references of Huaman’s designs but with some of the idiosyncrasies of Hey’s own work, often convivial in colour, form and composition. Hydraulic describe this new range as diverging from but still honouring something of the modernist traditions that inspires the brand.

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Smithey Ironware Company by Stitch, United States

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity and tags with green paper and white ink detail for Smithey Ironware Company by Charleston based Stitch, United States

Smithey is an ironworks producing kitchenware from its location in Charleston, South Carolina. Smithey’s first product, a 10 inch skillet, features a smooth, non-stick cooking surface, created using a handcrafted method of finishing and polishing. This process was developed in response to the rough, coarse and sandpaper-like finish that proliferates the ironware market, which creates an uneven surface temperature, makes it difficult to cook with and uses a lot of energy.

Stitch Design Company, also based in Charleston, worked with Smithey to develop a visual identity that would extend across website, print communication and labelling. Much of this is informed by the robust and crafted qualities of Smithey’s products, but also builds in a touch of character. This is expressed through type, materiality and motif.

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OTHR by Franklyn, United States

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Branding by New York-based design studio Franklyn for innovative product design company OTHR

OTHR creates unique objects that take advantage of new production methods and materials, and brings together the world’s best designers and transformative technologies. OTHR’s objects exist at a point where art and design intersect, are simple, practical but desirable in form, and are manufactured and individually numbered to order in a way that has minimal environmental impact.

OTHR designers include British designer Sebastian Bergne, Claessen Koivisto Rune from Stockholm and New York studio Todd Bracher. These designers contribute to a diverse catalogue of objects for juicing, cutting and holding, and share the philosophy of owning fewer but better things.

With simplicity at the centre, New York-based graphic design studio Franklyn created a new brand identity and delivery system to compliment the extraordinary nature of OTHR’s products. This included logotype and logo design, and extended to illustration, packaging and posters.

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