We’ve all heard the concept that less is more, simple equates to elegance and that white space reigns supreme. Yet, there is still such mystique surrounding the art of minimalism and how to achieve it. The idea of ‘minimalist’ style was born in 1929 and was once the buzzword of the art world but now transcends this single medium and spans across fashion, graphic design, decor and many other design-based, creative industry.
The medium and materials used in your designs are at the forefront for minimalism and there is often little room for self expression or individual interpretation. What you see is what you get. A minimalist piece of work is stripped down to its fundamental features, boasting practicality, simplicity, and tastefulness. Minimalists use limited materials to create their desired effect, for example, the use a limited colour palette and geometric design.
Despite the fact that minimalism is such a simple, non-extravagant concept, minimalist design has penetrated our culture across a vast number of fields. The principle of doing more with less has been adopted by many, and is evident in telecommunications, web design and branding and interior decorating.
In today’s technological age, where content is king and everyone is spending more time online and less time offline, it is no wonder that more and more people are desiring minimalist design. In the online space, minimalism lets the content shine and makes the user experience much more enjoyable by not cluttering the readers mind with too much information. The same goes for graphic design and branding, as the mind favours simplicity and not searching through a clutter of images and words to get to the point.
How can we incorporate minimalism into our designs?
When designing branding and marketing collateral for your business, be it a website, logo or brochure, there are some key elements to keep in mind that will help you to incorporate the minimalist principle into your design.
Keeping the minimalist rule of thumb, you should use a limited colour palette. Your logo will include your brand colours, which should be chosen from colour families that are appropriate for your demographic and brand identity, and should be kept relatively simple.
Other collateral such as your website and brochures should incorporate colours from your logo, with a lot of white and grey, and sometimes a little black.
The background of your website and brochures should act as a soft and pleasing frame for the content on the page. If you use a pattern, it should be very subtle, and if you do decide to make the background dark, make sure that any text boxes are very light.
The primary goal when selecting a font is clarity. You want your customers to be able to read your brand name instantly, so your logo font should be clear and easy to read. When selecting a font for your website or print materials, make sure it is big enough to read easily and that the colour doesn’t clash with the background. Avoid intensity and opt for softness, to ensure that it is pleasing to the eye.
The overall theme of your design should follow the general rules of subtlety and minimalism. If you start with these in mind from the very beginning, the rest will be a lot easier.
5. (Logo) Brand name – yes or no?
The big question with logo design: Should you include your brand name, or just use a symbol? This will depend on what your brand name is, if it’s easy to read and if it looks good in a logo design. However, it is always best to incorporate your name, so keep design in mind when choosing a name for your business. Another option is to create a design that incorporates both, allowing you to use the symbol on it’s own if need be.
Using the concept of minimalism in your designs will help your brand identity to be cleaner and more professional. People will be more attracted to read your website or promotional material, and the content will stand out, ensuring the desired message is put across loud and clear.