Pure Function: Basik by Saana Hellsten

Snapshot: Saana Hellsten’s conceptual brand, Basik, is a refreshing relief from the constant bombardment of products that are designed to skewer perceptions of gender and identity. Basik’s minimalistic design puts function first, cutting away any superficial imagery and catering to the individual.

Ever notice how most air fresheners are contained in pastel bottles and covered with gentle images and flowery design? Or how your commercial drain cleaner uses bold colors, hard edged wording and over-the-top symbols of strength? Saana Hellsten is concerned that by aligning products with feminine and masculine visual language “we are enforcing the traditional stereotypes of men and woman when we should do the opposite.” So, she brings us Basik, a conceptual brand that’s designed with gender neutrality in mind.

Hellsten first decided to tackle household products. Since daily household products are used by everyone, they should therefore forego enforcing societal norms. Featuring muted blues and greens, the containers efficiently describe the purpose of the product and include a recognizable symbol that defines the product for what it is, slicing away loaded visual messages.  Focusing mainly on the product, the minimalist design is simple, maximizing on what the product is and what it is for, a gesture that would make shopping for these products a much more freeing experience.

Basik’s second phase is all about undoing the superficial gendered imagery of shaving products. Since different types of razors are needed for different places such as the beard, legs and other more discrete locations, Hellsten has created an online ordering system that would allow you to craft your own custom blade. The system lets you choose a blade type, handle style and even color for your own personal razor. The box even includes that it’s “for you,” not for a certain target group or stereotype.