Privacy, simplified. Say goodbye to government and corporate tracking.

  • Industry
    Consumer Electronics
  • Product
    Hardware & Online Interface
  • Date
    2017-2019

Today, increased domestic government surveillance and corporate tracking threaten to undermine many of our fundamental liberties, privacy chief among them. Winston founder Richard Stokes partnered with MNML becuase of a shared passion: We believe that your information is just that: yours, and no one has the right to record your life without your permission. Winston works by completely anonymizing your online activity and geo-location, protecting you from unwanted data collection and advertising. Winston is faster and more reliable than a VPN, safeguarding your computer, phone, tablet, and other smart devices by encrypting your browsing and stripping out malicious code before it reaches your wifi.

Role: Over the course of a year at MNML, I developed the brand, industrial design, engineering, and marketing assets of Winston. The housing is based on my sketches, CAD, and renders. Web/brand design and packaging were done by Sean Nelson and Jillian Tackaberry respectively, with additional development by Zeeshan Hakkim, and Charlie Prescott.

Redacted.

What is more symbolic of privacy than the iconic black bar? This simple shape, used to hide classified information in documents and cover eyes in photos to conceal identities, is the DNA of Winston’s design language. Traditionally used to hide the actions and personnel of government agencies, we boldly use it as a symbol of citizens taking ownership of their personal information back from these very agencies.We chose to reference the imperfect nature of the hand drawn lines, by slightly angling the Winston logo, which gives it character and individuality. We also wanted to speak to the modern nature of the Winston device, and use text and line motifs that felt modern, clean, and precise. The result is an instantly recognizable logo, rich with meaning and visual impact.

The Winston Logo was inspired by the black bars used to hide sensitive information in classified documents.

Elegance.

Winston’s form reflects its philosophy and function. As a guard against prying eyes, it present its name… and nothing else. Winston purposefully hides its inner complexity inside a minimalist aluminum shroud. The vents on either end are a subtle motif used across the brand. On the surface, they reference the black lines used to redact text in sensitive documents, but on a deeper level, they represent both the metaphorical lines that we do not cross, and physical bars that act as a protective wall between our public and private life.

Winston's stand is removable so that the device can be stacked under other hardware (e.g., a router).
Winston is named after the character in the novel 1984 by George Orwell.

A Seamless Experience.

In addition to being a product showcase and web store, MNML’s web team built the Winston site (winstonprivacy.com) as an educational platform that discusses the importance of privacy in today’s big data arena.


Inside and out.

Winston was fully engineered by Minimal. Every detail, from the extruded aluminum housing to the detachable foot was designed in house to the highest standards. We designed, prototyped, and sourced manufacturers for the final product. Below, an exploded view of Winston showcases the simplicity of the aluminum housing.

Detail Oriented.

MNML focused on creating a packaging solution that balanced protection, simplicity, and environmental considerations. The result is a compact cube that presents the Winston device beautifully and responsibly.

Start to Finish.

From the start, we knew that the key to Winston’s form was simplicity and geometric precision, but finding the right shape to differentiate it in a market full of boxy tech products was a difficult challenge. In the beginning stages of design, we gravitated towards the idea of being able to position Winston upright or flat depending on the use case. From this foundation, we developed the upright square form into something with a unique and recognizable character.

Arvid's original sketches for the Winston hardware.

The Good Fight.

Interested in joining the movement? In addition to removing tracking and ads, Winston devices work together as part of a mesh network that scrambles and further anonymizes your browsing; The more devices are used, the more impossible it becomes to trace the origin of encrypted data within that network. Together, we can be truly invisible. Purchase yours here.


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