Carl Barenbrug

Product design, creative direction

Taking a Step Back from Minimalissimo

I recently wrote about bandwidth and how I've been struggling to balance my day job as a product designer with several side projects and businesses. Reflecting deeply this year, I've decided to make a few changes, one of which is the difficult decision to step back from Minimalissimo, a project I've passionately run for over 10 years. The reasons are varied, but primarily, it's due to my diminishing motivation.

I feel I've taken Mimo (as I call it) as far as I can, both as a growing business and as a digital gallery of design. Curating the finest examples of minimalist works and shaping revenue streams to sustain the site has been a fulfilling challenge. Mimo is globally recognised as the home of minimalism in design and has attracted a consistent readership since its inception. Mimo is also self-sufficient, covering its costs month after month, year after year, even amid the relentless competition for attention from other publications and social media platforms. However, I've never drawn a salary from it, so when I speak of sustainability, it's with a grain of salt.

To clarify, Mimo isn't going away. Instead, I'm happily passing the daily management of the site and newsletter to my dear friend Manu, starting in January. He's been an integral, though silent, partner for years, making this transition feel natural. I trust he'll maintain the site's smooth operation, sprinkling in some experimentation here and there (he's already warned me). I'm excited to see it evolve! My involvement will be limited, adopting a more hands-off approach. This shift will also see us pausing all social media activities to focus exclusively on the website and newsletter.

As for me, I'll be dedicating more time to and in 2024. The latter will be kicking off the new year with an entirely new website, art direction, and purpose. It might actually be my best work yet (if things come together as intended). I need some fresh motivation, new challenges, and most importantly some white space to welcome any surprises or opportunities.

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