Introduction: Recently, the results of the 2018 iF Design Award were officially announced. This year’s iF Design Award included 6,401 products submitted by 2,955 participants from 54 countries around the world.
Excellent products undoubtedly combine the characteristics of high quality and good design. Japanese designer brand MINISO has always upheld the philosophy and the design concept of “simple, natural and quality”, and the lovely appearance of the products were deeply favored by consumers around the world, four of which even gained the iF Design Award in 2018.
The iF Design Award (“iF”) was founded in 1953 with the awards concept of “independent, rigorous and reliable” and the aim to raise people’s awareness to design. The most important gold award of the iF is known as “The Academy Award for product design”. In 2018, the iF Design Award has 6,401 entry products from 54 countries. The selection standard is strict. It covers the aesthetic sense, product quality, material selection, technological innovation, functionality, ergonomics, security, environmental protection countermeasures, durability and other factors that affect user experience. Four MINISO products had passed rigorous examination and screening, standing out from more than 6,000 products, and won the iF design award eventually.
Illustration| MINISO “Water Cube” series Designer: Gary Moore
“Simple but not easy” can fully describe MINISO’s products. The four award-winning products are of simple design styles, which are colorful and lively, with a perfect combination of functional practicality and aesthetic sense. The “Water Cube” series is impressive and with strong visual impact. According to Ada Dou, the executive vice President of MINISO Commodity Center, the “Water Cube” is one of the hot sale products in MINISO, with more than 9 million units sold worldwide since its launch in 2017. Ada indicated that the design of good products is not only attractive in the appearance, but more importantly, it can solve the pain points of consumers.
It is said that the design of the “Water Cube” series is inspired by the natural form of bubbles. The foam texture on the silicone cover is the symbol of the cup. The bottle is made of glass, and the outer silicone cover can prevent being scalded and improve the safety, so that consumers can use it safely.
At the same time, there are different surprises and novelty of the design of the award-winning wave-shape pencil box, portable viscose and storage jar, which may bring some “little surprises” to the users.
Illustration| MINISO wave-shape pencil box Designer: Zhang Jian, Yu Mutian
(Reasons of winning the award: the wave-shape pencil box is a new design of pencil box, which adds some aesthetic patterns to the lid of the pencil box. People may have one or two pens that are often used, which do not need to be put into the pencil box every time. When we put these pens momentarily, the decorative pattern becomes the most appropriate place. This design improves the storage use of the pencil box.)
Illustration| MINISO filter-storage box Designer: Mai Peishan
(Reasons of winning the award: sometimes we will put some small things on a plate or a box, and may automatically take the keys and change out of our pockets and throw them into the plate or box. When you drop your belongings into a plate or a box, you can be surprised to find that there is a coin hole in the bottom of the box that holds your scattered coins.)
Illustration| MINISO portable sticking device Designer: Gary Moore
(Reasons of winning the award: for those who focus on the details of life, an easy-to-use portable sticky device is indispensable. The simple but useful portable sticking device with beautiful appearance adopts the innovative spring mechanical structure to realize the pushing-type design, which not only makes the operation convenient, but also saves the storage space.)
It is easy to find that the four products that won the iF Design Award have the common characteristic of minimalist design style. Mr. Miyake Junya, the global co-founder and chief designer of MINISO indicated that, MINISO sticks at getting rid of the garish and grandiose design, but reverting to the nature of design, trying hard to realize simple and natural. He hopes to lead consumers to build a sound consumption outlook through MINISO’s simple but lively aesthetics of design and advocate the sustainable development attitude towards life at the same time. MINISO insists on carrying out the brand proposition of “returning to nature and reverting to the essence of products”, and has received support and recognition from consumers around the world, as good products can always speak for themselves.
What MINISO has been doing is not just to meet the needs of consumers but to constantly exceed their expectations, which is closely related to their attention and input to design. It is reported that the design cost of MINISO is over RMB 100 million per year. Mr. Ye Guofu, the global co-founder and CEO of MINISO once said that, “design improves the added value of products. Only when consumers feel the value of the product is far beyond the price of the product itself are they willing to pay for it.” There are three characteristics of MINISO’s products, which are the sense of series, simple and fashionable, which impress consumers deeply. Good product comes from good design, and good design must come from a good designer. MINISO has enlisted many outstanding designers around the globe to help. They come from different countries such as Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Japan, South Korea and China.
The Nordic designer team of MINISO
In order to present good products to consumers, MINISO has explored the automatic product design mechanism since 2017. By building designers sharing platform, individual designers become the designer of MINISO. Factories (production), designers (design) and stores (channels) eventually form an industrial chain closed loop.
As for MINISO, “beautiful design” is not a slogan but an actual result comes from good design.
Good products are the strongest weapons for MINISO to explore the international market. Since its establishment in 2013, MINISO has opened more than 2,600 stores in 62 countries and regions in merely four years. MINISO has been favored by consumers all over the world, thus generating $1.8 billion in sales in 2017.