Minimalism is often mistaken for the absence of design. In fact, minimalism can be more refined and difficult than designs that come with numerous embellishments.
Minimalism is not the absence of design, but a reaction to earlier styles of dense, highly decorated styles. Design that is too intense often undermines the purpose and function of the object itself. Minimalist design combats this ornate style with thoughtful simplicity that can be reflected in everything from sculptures, photography and furniture to architecture, graphic and web design. Minimalist work requires that designers ask how much of a design can be removed without losing the essence, identity, and purpose.
The Unexpected Benefits of Minimalism
Sometimes embellishments become a crutch for poor design. Minimalism forces the designer to use only essential and effective elements. Additionally, this form of design typically results in a number of benefits in user experience.
Pleasing to the Eye
Minimalism is extremely pleasing to the eye. It allows everything to appear orderly and clean. The Japanese are famous for their history of minimalism in design.
Many mistakenly believe that minimalism came from poverty or austerity when it actually came from a new thought regarding wealth. Having money meant that instead of being ostentatious and cluttering your home, you’d focus your purchases on high quality, elegant objects. This thought carried into all forms of design.
In typography, minimalism allows for elegance and functionality. Minimalist fonts tell the reader, “I don’t need flourishes, because what I am saying is important and interesting enough.”
It is the nature of minimalistic design to consider function, resulting in a design that is both pleasing and functional. This effective combo is perfect for web designers. Additionally, your subject is highlighted in minimalism, which is also a good way to maintain focus on your product.
This idea also carries over into the design of your logo. When a logo is clean and simple, it is easy to remember and so it is effective.
Minimalistic designs are typically versatile because they have fewer and less ornate elements. This allows graphic design to look good in both print and digital mediums.
The elegance and function of minimalistic graphic design have the added benefit of being timeless. It’s a style that has lasted through the decades and tends to not be associated with a particular period of time. This means your designs will outlast most.
Luckily, minimalist web design has the additional benefit of looking great across different devices.
Websites That Use Minimalism Effectively
Minimalism can be tough to get just right because of lack of elements present. It lends power to the tiniest of details. You’ll need the perfect color palette, typography, and an intentional use of negative space. Here are four websites that use minimalism well.
It’s no surprise that the most commonly used website uses minimalism. It is composed of the Google logo, a search bar, and two buttons. While it could be easy for Google to incorporate different embellishments or even include news or advertisements like Yahoo, they chose to keep the focus exclusively on their brand and their service.
Oz Garcia is a nutritionist who uses minimalism web design. On his front page, there are only four pictures including a portrait of him, health food, one of his books, and a collection of his supplements. The imagery is clean and straightforward.
Another famous company known for its minimalist design is Apple. Apple is notorious for its use of simple designs to convey elegance and innovation. Their current homepage is a black background with a black iPhone 7, which allows the curves of the iPhone to be the most prominent element – it’s modern and eye catching.
Conspiracy is a fashion label selling shoes. And their website is just that – shoes. High quality images of every shoe is placed on a completely white background and the result is stunning.
Creating effective minimalist designs requires clever decision making. When done well, it can be elegant and effective. Incorporate minimalism principles in your design for a stunning result.