I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying, “Less is more?” This is minimalism. A design trend that you can find elements of in art, architecture, and in almost any time period. It’s a style that is timeless and that designers continue to return to again and again.
Basically, minimalism is the use of pared down design elements and subtle ideas to create a visual message. Minimalism strips a design down to its bare bones and removes the bells and whistles. When done right this allows the product or message to speak for itself and can be extremely powerful, while still being beautiful, interesting and well designed. One would assume that minimalist design would be easy as it often appears as so little, but instead the opposite is true. Because minimalism relies so much on few elements, they must be done perfectly and balanced to a tee. The use of colour must have purpose. The use of shape must have purpose. The use of text must have purpose. Basically, everything used in the design must have a reason for being there, and must be executed exactly as intended or the design looks sloppy and incomplete.
Minimalism is based on the notion that everything included in the design has a purpose. Every element, colour and font has a reason for being included. When beginning a project with a minimalist goal in mind, you must be conscious of the choices you make and be able to explain the purpose behind each choice.
In recent history, minimalism has been a staple in web design. It’s so effective because it works. The style is so simple that users don’t need to think, it’s all laid out for them. It is designed around the content and the use and purpose of that content. This is the key to minimalist work. Another benefit of minimalist websites is that they are fast – with less information to load, and often very simple to translate onto additional platforms. When it comes to minimalism in print design, quite simply it’s timeless. Simplicity often allows for easier and cleaner print with less fuss. It also tends to stand out among other design clutter as it’s different and a breath of fresh air. It often contains high contrast, specific focal points, and is a break for the eyes.
Since minimalism is all about extreme simplification of form, you can expect the elements within that form to follow suit. When it comes to colour, the use of pallets and shades varies from design to design, but you can often expect either very little or no colour (with design relying on the contrast of black and white), or a few simple bold primary colours. While the minimalists of today rely more on colour, you can still usually expect multiple shades of one colour, or the use of a few different high contrast colours.
Shape is similar. While more classical minimalist artists limited themselves to squares, rectangles and horizontal lines, nowadays more complex shapes are introduced in minimalist design – but again, with purpose.
Font choices are a huge part of minimalist design. Minimalist fonts are crisp, straightforward, and more often than not sans-serif (although from time to time, serif fonts are used). Helvetica is every minimalist designers best friend and you probably cannot count the number of times you see it in your day to day life. There are many families of similar, powerful yet personal, sans serif fonts available as well.
As you might imagine, a minimalist website has fewer elements in general.
Recently, there's been a lot of buzz on the Internet around the word minimalism. From interior design to fashion to an actual lifestyle, minimalism is everywhere.But most importantly, you'll almost certainly find it implemented into website design.
Many websites today are leveraging the minimalist design to keep their audience engaged and make a lasting impression on them. In other words, all the design elements that would otherwise make the website stand out in terms of flashiness and visuals are drastically toned down. With that in mind, let's have a closer look at minimalist design and user interfaces to determine the secret behind their great success.