Why has minimalist design become so popular?
Before we explore and dig deeper into the trend of minimalism, let’s begin by defining what it is in the context of design. I say context of design, because minimalism can be applied to a broad range of interests including art, music, architecture, and more. I personally am a huge fan of minimal house music, but that’s not what we’re talking about today (though if this has sparked your interest, I suggest some tracks from German producer, Stimming).
Now unlike minimal music, where pop music is defined by dynamic vocal passages, and a verse-chorus-bridge song structures, minimal design and architecture is all the rage at the moment. Rightfully so, visual sense is tickled in a much different way than our aural sense. Design that use nothing more than the bare essentials, and are less visually stimulating, are often greeted by a mental sigh of relief at it’s simplicity. Much as our taste in design has changed from deeming minimalism as “boring” to “oddly satisfying”, so too could popular music evolve in this direction.
The easiest way to explain what minimalist is to show you, so check out this prime example of what minimal design IS NOT. What makes this brasilian petrol producer site not minimal? Colors play a huge part, and a minimalist design won’t often use more than a few colors per page. Minimalism emphasizes use of darker colors, and black & greys, as well as other non-distracting colors. Generally, the brighter on a color spectrum we go, the further from minimalism we get. In the above example, we are jumping around all over the place with beige, green, lots of bright blues. Pair this with unnecessary images, and we have a prime example of what minimalism is not.
Bare with me as I selfishly promote the work that myself, and my developers at New Wave Enterprises have done, but this very site your are currently reading this blog from is a prime example of minimalist design. Besides the orange of our logo, there is little other colors to find from a design perspective on the site. Even the visually stimulating video we have on our home page has a filter that greatly reduces it’s brightness, staying true to minimalisms’ definition. Minimalist design also uses narrow fonts, typewriter styles, and other fonts that unfocus your eyes from the text, but to the overall simplicity of the page. Arrangements and shapes are defined by right angles, balanced columns, and little in the way of images. When images are used, again, we like to keep them dark.
Some might say minimalist design does have a tendency to be too dark or depressing, and those in industries like healthcare or recovery care should avoid it, but there are many qualities of minimalist design you can borrow that will benefit any customer regardless of their industry.
Minimalism is a growing trend that promises to stick around for awhile, and sits on the opposite end of the design spectrum of the many flashy sites that were built 10 years ago. A great example of this is the evolution of the McDonald’s logo. Notice how the logo starts minimalist in the 40s and goes through an evolution that brings it back to minimalism in 2006, with one color, and no brand name.
New Wave Enterprises has built their brand on providing minimal graphic and web design. Take a moment to assess your brand and design, and get in touch with an expert at New Wave to see how we can apply these exciting trends to your company.
Be sure to visit minimalistphotos.com for more examples.
-David Deutsch, CEO