Since 1959 Mono has been working with designers to develop products that follow no trend, they simply outlast all trends and have the highest standards of production, material and origin.
At the end of the 1950s, cutlery manufacturer Herbert Seibel initially worked together with designer Peter Raacke on a groundbreaking cutlery design without his father's knowledge. Mono A came onto the market in 1959. A consistently reduced cutlery, which broke with all conventions, convinced in its radicality and was to become a celebrated, timeless design classic. Karl Oskar Blase, who, like Raacke, lectured at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Kassel, developed the logo, packaging and communication. This is the founding story of Mono. Initially, Mono A hardly sold at all. Too simple, too simple, a piece of sheet metal. Success was a long time coming, it was not until 1973 that Mono A received its first award with the Federal Prize for Good Form, and sales figures rose.
At the beginning of the 80s the designer Tassilo von Grolman was looking for a manufacturer for a futuristic teapot design. He was not a fan of the big pot and service manufacturers. Wilhelm Seibel (4th generation family business) recognised in the design the same radicalism, functionality and innovative power that had made Mono A a successful cutlery and launched the Mono teapot on the market in 1983.
These two stories describe the Mono DNA, which can be found in all products that were and are part of the Mono portfolio between 1959 and today. Question things, rethink and have the courage to take risks.
With the development of Mono A flatware in 1959, the foundation was laid for the flatware program and the definition of Mono Design DNA was formulated. In addition to Peter Raacke's classics (A, E, T, Oval, Petit), Mono Zeug (the Neanderthal flatware by Michael Schneider, 1995) and the Mono Ring Reedition (collaboration between Peter Raacke and Mark Braun, 2018) belong to the Mono flatware portfolio. All Mono flatware are mostly made by hand in the manufactory in Mettmann. Some 30 steps are used until the final flatware product is finished. The product is under constant evaluation, and only then and when the final touch is made, and perfection is reached, is the product released from the manufactory.
In 1983 Mono revolutionized the design of teapots and the principle of tea preparation fundamentally with the design by Tassilo von Grolmans. Since then, the icon has been honored as often as copied. Together with Grolman the Mono tea portfolio has been steadily expanding over the years. The Mono Filio teapots (1990) let the tea float. The glass body of Mono Ellipse (2010) was a technical world novelty (round top, elliptical bottom). A selection of cups, warmer and other accessories complete the Mono tea enjoyment. The teapot jars are made of heat-resistant borosilicate glass, all parts are dishwasher safe and made in Germany.
Mono accessories are beautiful, smart, surprising and the perfect gift for yourself or others. Mono Concave (2004) is a convincingly different oil lamp. Mono Multitop (2017) revolutionized the cooking pot lid. Mono Softmesh (2016) is nothing less but the most durable cleaning rag in the world. Mono Trays and Mono Depot literally show off with understatement. Mono gifts (Citro, Pico and Co.) make life not only more beautiful, but also easier and better. All Mono accessories are originals and made in Germany.
The history of Mono began long before 1959. 125 years ago.
In 1895 Wilhelm Seibel I laid the foundation stone for the family business with the founding of the Britaniawarenfabrik W. Seibel in Mettmann in North Rhine-Westphalia. Expansion followed in 1911 with a branch factory in Ziegenhain in Hesse, which later became the property of his two younger sons Heinrich and Alfred Seibel.
Due to the good order situation in the post-war years, the workforce of the two plants in Mettmann and Ziegenhain grew to almost 1000 employees. But in the 1950s the company felt the effects of competition, especially from Japan and Spain. The sales figures fell, employees had to be laid off, the Mettmanner company initially merged before it was dissolved.
In Ziegenhain, Herbert Seibel (Heinrich Seibel's eldest son) tried to take countermeasures and commissioned Peter Raacke to develop a new cutlery. Mono A came onto the market, founded the Mono brand and secured the existence of the family business as a manufactory through a strategic focus on quality and design.
In 1985 Herbert Seibel retired at the age of 75 and his nephew Wilhelm Seibel IV, a great-grandson of the founding father, took over the business. At the end of the 80s he led the flatware production back to Mettmann.
Today Wilhelm Seibel V. runs the family business in the fifth generation with approx. 30 employees, two of whom are his sons.
Some things have changed since 1959, distribution channels, standards in occupational safety or the digitalization of merchandise management, but in the belief that craftsmanship, the human eye and high-quality materials are the key to success.
Many Mono products have received several awards and belong to various collections in museums of modern and applied art.