“Design is not making beauty, beauty emerges from selection, affinities, integration, love,” Louis Kahn once said. Rational Beauty—a Brooklyn-based design firm, blog floating in the ether, and aesthetic philosophy—embraces this ideology. Founded in 2009 by Jeanette Abbink and Mike Abbink, Rational Beauty works with clients to create editorial and identity projects that are both intelligent and refined. We believe that skilled craftsmanship, dialogue, and hard work are key to making powerful design. Our philosophy is reflected on our blog, where you will find stories that inspire our practice. While beauty may appear chaotic—or even random—it is supported by a scaffolding of rigor, training, and discipline.
119 8th Street, Unit 204
Brooklyn, New York 11215
In almost three decades as an award-winning Graphic Designer and Creative Director, Jeanette has left her mark on a curio cabinet of diverse projects. These include a multitude of restaurant identities; designs for fashion companies such as Kate Spade, Esprit, Flora and Henri, and Carters; and editorial projects ranging from American Craft and Martha Stewart Living to the NY Times sports magazine Play.
Her work on the redesign of USA Today with Wolff Olins won the the 2013 Fast Company Design Innovation By Design Award. As the founding Creative Director of Dwell, Jeanette established the publication’s look and photographic style, for which she earned an ASME award. Fourteen years later the magazine turned to her once again to provide it with a fresh new look.
Jeanette’s passion for design is boundless and she studies weaving and machine knitting at the Textile Art Center, exploring techniques such at double weave, overshot patterns, and painting on the warp. Jeanette is an adjunct professor at Parsons The New School and has lectured in numerous classes, symposia, and design programs.
Mike Abbink is currently the Executive Creative Director on the IBM Brand Experience and Design team. Abbink’s career began at MetaDesign in San Francisco where he worked with Nike on strategy and design for Nike Town Honolulu and concept stores for Melbourne and Vienna. He went on to co-found the digital agency Method, where he served as Creative Director. His extensive experience continued with his positions as Senior Creative Director at the Museum of Modern Art, Creative Director at Wolff Olins and Saffron Consultants and Design Director at Apple Computer.
Abbink has received numerous prestigious international awards for graphic and typeface design. He holds a BFA in graphic design and packaging from the Art Center College of Design. He has served as an adjunct professor at San Francisco Academy of Art, University of the Arts in Philadelphia and a guest critic at Yale’s graduate design program. He now serves on the advisory board for the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography at Art Center College of Design.