Dinamo is a type foundry that continues to prove it’s not just fixated with glyphs, but has an equally good eye for well made lifestyle products too. In December of last year it released a series of typographic toothbrushes to celebrate its tenth anniversary, and now comes its second hardware collection. Featuring sculptural candles, a stacking mug, a NYC-inspired cap and more, these products aren’t just “merch”, explains Madeleine Morley, head of publishing at Dinamo, but “a serious effort to transform type thinking into silly, tangible goods”.
The project was led by head of hardware Simon Mertz, a creator whose obsession with making, and well-designed objects, began in childhood with toys and action figures and skateboarding. “I remember being in seventh grade and some people were already in puberty. I was such a late bloomer and still secretly playing with my action figures,” Simon says, in an interview with Madeleine. “Skateboarding was another toy for me but also so much more than a toy, because it has all this culture around it and is completely identity building. I was very into the details.”
The collection’s leading object is a metal keychain. The keychain turns the Maxi typeface logo into a metal object, and for Simon is therefore “the perfect embodiment of what we want Dinamo Hardware 2.0 to be”. It also features in the introductory animation for the whole collection. Created by Michi Schmidl, the ethereal, eco-brutalist 3D motion video shows the keychain floating past a toothbrush lying in water (a nod to the anniversary dental collection) before “unlocking” a stone ABC totem and releasing the other products. “I had this idea after one of the first conversations with Johannes [co-founder at Dinamo], where he handed me the metaphorical key to the hardware warehouse,” says Simon. “Therefore it became some kind of north star for the other products to follow.”
Throughout the rest of the collection you’ll find a three-pack of wooden, six sided pencils; a charcoal soap made in the alps that Dinamo pressed themselves “which (according to multiple YouTube channels) should have a been an easy thing but turned out to be quite a struggle”; a baseball cap finished with ABC Synt and ABC Diatype; a stackable pink mug produced in Japan by a small family business; and a revamped version of their Different Times shirt – “a Dinamo Hardware™ staple”. An object that stands out for Simon is the ABC beeswax candle. Coming in the foundries trademark trio of colours or a plain orange, its stamped with the ABC candle and engraved with Dinamo. “It’s a candle and you could burn it if you want, but you hopefully like it so much that you can never burn it.”
In sum, the collection aims to be a series of durable objects made by small independent makers that are full of fun typography details. It also helps, as Simon says, that they’re all “a little bit cute.” Looking at you pink mug. What product from the hardware collection would you love to get your hands on?
GalleryDinamo: Hardware Collection (Copyright © Dinamo, 2023)
Dinamo: Hardware Collection (Copyright © Dinamo, 2023)
Photography: Michelle Mantel
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.