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How to have a Minimalist Design Approach?

Updated: Jun 16, 2021

Why does the Minimalist approach of designing has a huge market today and how to master it?


With designing trends evolving at a rapid rate, Minimalism has grown to be one of the most influential and sought-after approaches among artists. The reason clearly being the surpassing elegance of the Minimalist style of designing.



Image courtesy: svenklas.com

What is Minimalism?


To come to learn or polish your skills of minimalist designing, the first step is to understand what Minimalism is all about.


The famous motto of “Less is More” is what precisely sums up the extensive concept of Minimalism. Following the elimination of decorative, figurative, and representational elements, Minimalism focuses on the textural and material elements in the authentic intellectual form. In plain words, it is about steering clear of the unnecessary and spotlighting the simple, useful, and elegant.


Minimalism originates from the idea of stripping things down to their minimum without losing their essential purpose and identity. It is not just about keeping things simple, it is about targeting the observer’s attention to the important, relevant, and worthwhile by getting rid of all kinds of distractions.


What is Minimalism in Designing?


Now that the concept of Minimalism is done with, it is time to take a gander at how Minimalist thinking unfolded in Designing.

Image courtesy: Wikipedia


The author of the motto “Less is More”, the famous German architect, and a considered hero of Minimalism, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) incorporated simplicity and clarity in his work. He used contemporary construction materials such as steel and plate glass. While designing infrastructure, he focused on reducing structural frameworks to a minimum and including a lot of open space.

All his principles are still in use in this day and age.







Below is one of Rohe’s famous works, the Barcelona Pavilion in Barcelona, constructed in 1929 for the world exposition.


Image courtesy: Wikipedia
Image courtesy: Wikipedia




A Dutch artist Theo van Doesburg led the De Stijl (Dutch for “The Style”) movement that began in 1917 and dissolved around 1931 with the death of Doesburg in the same year. This movement espoused designing principles like simplified visual compositions to the vertical and horizontal directions. It also regulated the use of only primary colours apart from black and white.





Below is one of Doesburg’s most famous works, Composition in Gray (Rag time), produced in 1919.


Image Courtesy: Wikipedia


Why is Minimalism in Designing important?

As the scope and demand of designing and designers are taking off to higher grounds apace, it is significant to understand why the approach of Minimalism in designing is of the essence.


  • A minimalistic design creates a better first impression.

The designs that catch the eye of the audience as soon as they visit a website, a Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest page, or a sort of infrastructure, a multi-purpose mall, or simply a room - are what makes or breaks the artist’s first impression.


A good minimalistic design, along with being catchy is easy on the eyes and does not tire the mind of the beholder. Implying that the design will not only grab the attention but also convey the message/information as the primary intention. The minimalistic design will include as few distractions as possible which will make it uncomplicated for the observer to grasp all the necessary data.


  • They are more attractive.

Users are naturally drawn towards spaces that have a clean design. Designs that zero in on productive information and are easier to get things done with swiftly are, as is anticipated, more appealing.


Minimalist designs can purvey higher user engagement, better usability, and aesthetics.


Image courtesy: Unsplash

  • It can aggrandize the brand identity.

The market is growing at the quickest pace in all of history. Customers are repeatedly besieged with marketing messages and emails and whatnot. All of this is causing an increasingly shorter attention span. A minimalist design that only focuses on the essentials can prove to be an extremely effective way to communicate with the customers amid these times.


Every post that goes on the internet must get attention, proclaim the brand identity, convey the message, kindle a positive reaction, and successfully pull it all off in mere seconds! Fortunately, the minimalist approach to designing aims exactly that.


  • Minimalism can ultimately lead to more consistent and faster content creation.


Advertisers are feeling the squeeze to deliver a consistent stream of new and top-notch content. Minimalist designers can essentially empower dexterity and reduce timelines when they think about the needs of future content creation.


For instance, most pieces of visual content need a picture, a font or two, and an aesthetic design. Brand designers assist other marketers to quickly construct on-brand content by providing a portfolio of components with explicit brand standards for its use.



Image courtesy: Unsplash




A very wonderful example of Minimalist Brand Designing is the famous leading tech brand - Apple.


For Steve Jobs, minimal design was not an easy solution; it was the result of a lengthy process: “Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple”.






How to make a Minimalist Design?


The Minimalist way of Designing is even more complicated to get by practically than it is theoretically. As quoted by Jobs, simplifying can get more toilsome than complexing. To create a good minimalist design takes a load of creativity and bearing in mind the few rules of Minimalist Designing.


Keep it simple.


Simplicity is the cornerstone of minimalist graphic design. Integrating too many elements is the enemy of minimalist graphic design.

Image courtesy: Unsplash

Start with a limited typeface and color palette to help streamline features and keep the design simple. Consider how to persuade consumers to look at a significant aspect that will function as the visual in the minimalist graphic design.


Declutter.


A designer must understand the user (their wants and needs) and carefully prioritize elements to create a truly minimalist interface. The design should only display the most important elements and remove anything that would distract users from what is important (such as unnecessary decorative elements).


Image courtesy: freepik

Consider this question if you're considering adding something to the layout: would that design element contribute to the project's ultimate goal? Is it going to improve things? If the answer is no, it's best to concentrate on what designers have been saying for a long time: less is more.


Leave space.


The lack of elements is the most important aspect of minimalism. The backbone of minimalism is negative space or the empty space between visual elements. You could use negative space to direct users' attention and make it easier for them to digest content.

When working on a graphic design project, it is critical to ensure that the work has meaning. To achieve this, the elements should have plenty of space around them and be easily distinguishable.


Limit the use of colors.


When working on a minimalist website or app, designers generally make the most of a limited color palette (usually, a maximum of three colors used simultaneously). It's not uncommon to use only one color (a monochromatic color scheme).


Image courtesy: Unsplash

This isn't to say that you can't be vivid; many minimalist designers utilize vivid bursts of color. Use your favorite hue consistently in a minimalist graphic design to optimize the impact of color.


Use a flat design.


In conventional digital products, flat design has become an important ally of minimalism. It doesn't use any of the basic graphic manipulations, such as highlights, shadows, gradients, or other textures, that would make UI elements appear glossy or 3-dimensional.


Image courtesy: Google images

In a minimalist graphic design, not only should the visual design be simple and intuitive, but the interface for websites should be as well. Create a consistent consumer experience that isn't complex and difficult and doesn't require an instructional manual to use. Each visitor should be able to comprehend the interface and how to interact with it without even thinking about it.


Create Balance.


Look for a solution to balance each heavy aspect in the design with space or lighter aspects to achieve overall design harmony.


Many minimalist graphic design projects have a lot of text, which can result in some very dominant features and areas. It's critical to create a counterbalance to that weight in to avoid the design looking lopsided or overwhelming.


Minimalism: The Style of The Day


Minimalist design is intended to appear traditional and simple, yet all design is design, and it goes through the same problem-solving procedure as any other design aesthetic.


Although you can remove aspects from a minimalistic graphic design, keep in mind that there is more to it. Some of the current minimalism trends combine a minimalist aesthetic with maximal elements such as photography or color.

Mix and match and experiment with styles to create a basic graphic design that you like and satisfies your project's objectives.


Minimalism, as mentioned several times in this article, can be tricky. As an amateur minimalist designer, one should know what obvious mistakes to avoid. To know more, check out our article called Minimalist Design Mistakes to avoid on our website.


We hope this article helped you. For more informative articles, follow our blog at the Sleeping Sloth Productions.


Thank You Readers!



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