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Design Icons

This Christmas, give a timeless emotion - something iconic, able to embody the mastery of top designers and the unrivalled elegance that brought them to world-class museum. You will leave an unforgettable mark in your loved ones' hearts.
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Design Icons

Design is for sure a guiding light for all those people dealing with fashion and home decoration and also for those who just cannot help but buying the most fashionable furnishing elements. One thing is certain: to keep pace with the times you need to have in mind the so-called “icons of design”. Speaking of design, it is very difficult not to think about Italy. Italy, in fact, has nothing to learn as regards design.

The Italian genius is known throughout the world and are many people who come to our country to discover the latest trends and fashions. A sector in which Italy has no peers, for example, is that of industrial design, that through various phases has always remained one of Italy’s crown jewels. Lamps, chairs, tables, sofas, armchairs: these are just some of the elements on which Italian designers have focused over time. Design, however, does not live only in Italy.

Design Around the World

In fact, there are many artists all over the world who have committed and keep committing to the constant research for new inspirations to create products increasingly trendy and in line with the requirements of customers. In other words, design icons are timeless and have the role to indicate the mechanisms to develop in the creation of successful new fashions and trends. But what are the design timeless icons that you just cannot live without? One of the most studied pieces of furniture by designers around the world is certainly the chair. Although they are elements of common use, chairs can add further value to any location and for this reason they must be studied in detail. Not only functionality then, but also an aesthetic look that is worth mentioning.

Livia by Gio Ponti

L'Abbate, for example, has thought of Livia: a chair designed and created by Gio Ponti. Made of solid beech wood, Livia is a sturdy chair, durable and ideal for every kind of setting. Available in many colours, the chair Livia is characterized by elegant and very light lines. Gio Ponti’s style is easily detectable in Livia: it is, in fact, an essential chair, not too elaborate but also very elegant and classy. A design icon devoted to practicality, then? Well, yes. Livia was designed for the offices of the University of Padua in 1937 and, therefore, it had to be beautiful but at the same time very comfortable.


Talking about furnishings, you cannot avoid mentioning lamps. In fact, lamps have been studied by many designers around the world. In order to become a design icon, a lamp needs to be functional but at the same time beautiful, elegant and it should not weigh down the room. String light sphere: this is the name of a pendant light inspired by the design icons that have made history. Made of aluminium and painted in matt black with a soft-touch coating, String light sphere evokes a timeless style that in the '80s has literally become a hit. Besides being elegant, the pendant lamp is also very innovative. In fact, it can also be controlled remotely using the bluetooth connection of Apple and/or Android devices.

Candle Holders

Speaking about furnishings, how not to mention candle holders? Also in this case, the design icons we can think about are innumerable. The candle holder Girachille is, of course, a particularly nice object, suitable for any kind of environment. It will give to your home or office a very original touch. 10 cm tall and with a diameter of only 6 cm, Girachille is a candle holder made of coloured PVC and stainless steel. Certainly, the designers who created this candle holder not only took their inspiration from the design icons of all times, but they also gave free rein to their imagination.

Girachille was created by Design Memorabilia, a company that has decided to embrace the idea of Achille Castiglioni, one of the most versatile Italian designers of the '40s. When observing Girachille with great attention, it is very hard to say if it has been exclusively designed to as an ornament or for its effective use. Among the special features of this object there is the fact that it comes to life even through a tiny candle. Girachille’s body, in fact, thanks to the heat produced by the flame, revolves around itself generating a real rainbow of colours. The effect is guaranteed and, among other things, it is impossible not to notice the relaxing effect provided by the alternation of various colours. It is almost impossible to take your eyes off Girachille.

The rotation speed is determined by the power of the flame, and the colours will alternate accordingly to this speed. The genius of Achille Castiglioni gave birth once again to an object that can make people dream. Basically, all the creations generated by the creative mind of Achille Castiglioni perfectly combine functionality with a magical and fantastic touch that will make you fly beyond the limits of reality. Candle holders, as we all know, have a truly irresistible charm. If their charm is combined with modern design, the result is absolutely stunning.

De Vecchi has decided to use this combination and has created the Mult8 candle holder. As you might guess from the name, Mult8 is a very original item and at the same time very stylish. Who can forget the classic T8? It was precisely that classic candle holder to inspire the designers of Atelier De Vecchi. The call to the ‘40s is undeniable. At the time, the most widespread style was essentially based on simple lines and a high functionality. The design of the first Mult8 was signed by Pietro De Vecchi and as well as being characterized by the greatest elegance and simplicity, it was full of sinuous and very beautiful elements.

If you look carefully at Mult8, it is impossible not to notice the minimal details represented by the candle holder’s coating made of a shaped PVC pipe. The industrial style, therefore, has once again proven to be perfectly in line with the aesthetic standards of modern design. Mult8, in fact, is a furnishing element that can make the difference. Renovated in its lines, Mult8 catches the attention through some fine details in contrast to the minimalist style that characterizes it.

Moreover, the choice of materials is not left to chance. The plated silver used for the candle holder’s arms and the body coated with an ordinary rubber tube are two of the elements that allow Mult8 to overcome every time border. We are talking about a great classic of design that is well suited to any location. Mult8 is absolutely essential but also very chic.

...and chairs

As mentioned above, chairs are among the items that have inspired the most designers from all over the world. This is demonstrated by the fact that, over time, many types of chairs have been designed trying to meet the needs of all costumers. And speaking of design icons, also the famous Jolly Roger deserves a special mention. The designer Fabio Novembre has conceived and designed the Jolly Roger chair for Gufram and, for sure, he has managed to meet the needs of many design enthusiasts. Jolly Roger is made of linear polyethylene especially printed through the so-called rotational molding technique. The finishes are in an elegant matte texture that creates a highly effective shiny contrast.

The chair in question perfectly fits in any setting and, among other things, it is ideal also for outdoor use. But what is that inspired the designer who created it? To understand Fabio Novembre’s sources of inspiration you just have to read some interviews. This designer uses to wear a skull-shaped ring. To all those who ask the reason for which he wears such an original jewel, he answers with irony that for him it is a very important object that belonged to his grandfather who was a pirate. Obviously, this is only a legend, but Novembre does not try to hide that after having told that story so many times, he almost believes in it. In his opinion, everyone should have at least one pirate ancestor. In this way, we would all have the possibility to cling to solid and strong roots. Probably, it were these solid and strong roots that inspired Novembre to create the Jolly Roger chair.

The chair in question, in fact, is very sturdy and robust. Ideal for those who like to live in perfect rock 'n' roll style, the Jolly Roger is the right item for every style of furniture. Courage, strength but also irony and extreme lifestyle: these are the elements that have inspired Novembre.


Finally, speaking of style icons, it is really impossible not to mention some bookcases. Following a productive collaboration between Flavia Ciatti and Bruno Rainaldi, a famous designer, the Ptolomelo project was born. Ptolomeo, a few years after its creation, has become a real bestseller. Among other things, it is interesting to point out that thanks to this furnishing element the designer has won a very important design award. But what is Ptolomeo?

Basically, it is a very common metal bookcase with very particular lines. The idea was born after a careful analysis of all the places where people usually read. In which house, for example, there are no books to read? And often these books are stacked on tables or shelves, forming piles. Ptolomeo was born precisely from the observation of these piles. Without any doubt, it is a very innovative item that perfects a retro and timeless style. And this bookcase will certainly add a touch of class to any location, be it of a study, a living room or even the children's bedroom.

The Role of True Design Icons

Therefore, it is easy to understand that in order to give a touch of class to any kind of location it is necessary to rely on the design icons that have made history. It is easy to notice that behind every object in our homes or even in our closets there is an accurate study that has involved designers from all around the world. Nothing is born by chance, not even the objects that seem to be very simple or less demanding from the point of view of their creation. What matters is the right balance between functionality and beauty.

Functionality must never be neglected to favour beauty, and vice versa. What made the difference over history are the skills and creativity of the designers who have managed to combine style, elegance and functionality. Just think, for example, to the candle holders mentioned above, or to the comfortable chairs we just described. What emerges is that in order to create a design icon you need to identify the needs of the customers and to figure out how to be able to meet their specific needs. What makes the difference, in most cases, is simplicity. Thinking only and exclusively to beauty and aesthetics is not positive at all. On the contrary, it is more necessary than ever a detailed study of past and present times. Also materials can make the difference, which must be chosen carefully and with no rush. In conclusion, to create a true design icon it is necessary to study and understand the needs of the people that will use the object in question.