Design studio IYA and animator Jack Cunningham have created a playful identity for London furniture brand Non-Plus, which features some charming animated and illustrated versions of the company’s stools alongside a minimal, grid-based design.
Non-Plus was founded by furniture designer, film-maker and adventurer James Bowthorpe, who is also working on a project to build a boat from waste found in New York (he plans to sail down the Hudson River in the boat in October, and a documentary on the project will be released next year). The company sells wooden tables and stools, and also creates bespoke furniture and installations.
IYA created the brand’s website, logo and identity, and has developed a minimal system based around a flexible grid, with a black, white and orange colour palette and sans logo in Lineto typeface, Circular.
Cunningham has created a series of illustrations depicting the brand’s wooden stools in a range of poses, which act as ‘brand mascots’ and are featured on stationery, communications and the company’s website. He also created a charming animated film starring Non-Plus stools to appear on the site’s homepage:
“Initially, [Non-Plus] came to us mainly with mid-century references. They wanted something simple and quite clean,” explains IYA creative director Matt Cottis.
“We liked the idea of using simple typography with a grid, so you can move elements around really fluidly, but as we started playing around, we thought it would be nice to add something that would make people smile. We wanted to inject a little personality into the brand, and show that it doesn’t take itself too seriously.”
IYA has worked on several projects with Cunningham: the studio is one of the founding partners of shirt brand Triplstitched, and has featured his work on the company’s clothing and branding. The studio also created the visual identity for clothing brand Folk.
Branding for Non-Plus features the same minimal aesthetic, and references the company’s mid-century style without looking too retro. It’s rare to see humour used in this kind of branding, but Cunningham’s illustrations work brilliantly, adding some humour and warmth to the otherwise pared back system, while providing the brand with a distinctive set of icons.
Design and Art Direction: IYA Studio
Animation and Illustration: Jack Cunningham
Web development: Daniel Stein