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Deviprasad Goenka Management College of Media Studies

Minimalism – Bare Minimum, Impact Maximum

By Prof. Vidula Deo

Posted on June 28, 2018 at 1:00 PM



What, When, Why
Ask any ad guru the secret of good copy, influential art and they will say - It’s about writing less, showing less but being precise. Good copy, good design is about being Crisp, Compact, yet Impactful.

This mantra is implemented by the most influential style of today – MINIMALISM. Today, minimalism has found its way in design, architecture, music, literature, lyrics, copy, and art. It has been a regular mention in conversations and conceptualizations. The obvious question that arises is what exactly is minimalism? How to get the most out of it?

Minimalism is doing away with all the unnecessary elements, focusing on what needs to be there and certainly encouraging a solid purpose. Minimalism may appear simple on the outside, but a lot of thought, practice and time are required for the creation of a minimalistic piece.

Minimalism at Work
Here are a few fabulous examples of minimalism at work –

Minimalism and film posters, music


Image source: Pinterest | Image source: http://ravepad.com | Image Source: https://speckyboy.com


Minimalism and characters


Image source: Flipkart | Image Source: http://xdroid.deviantart.com


Rules of Minimalism

Let us look at the trend of designing more with less.

1. Create brand consistency -
A flexible and memorable brand identity / icon / attribute can be created using a minimal brand attribute. This helps in maintaining the consistency of the brand / product / service throughout the brand lifecycle.


Image source: https://designschool.canva.com


2. Find and capitalize on hidden relationships -
Complex visuals can cause chaos in anyone’s mind. But the moment you start exploring and playing with creative relationships hidden within the design, rest assured you have a great minimalist piece on hand.


Image source: https://designschool.canva.com


3. Dig out spatial relationships with the brand environment -
Analysing how the design interacts with other elements always helps in creating a wider and interesting design.


Image Source: https://designschool.canva.com


4. Be clever, be creative -
Get an illustrative element that directly relates to the idea, add a visual connection between them and voila! You have a visual that can become an impressive minimalistic design.


Image Source: https://designschool.canva.com


5. Use efficiency, achieve effectiveness -
In minimalism, idea is to do away with all the unnecessary things and creating something that gives the viewer a clear understanding of what is being communicated to him.


Image Source: https://designschool.canva.com


6. Find relation between elements, find your visual balance -
There has to be a ‘complementing-each-other’ relationship between visual elements such as photographs and typographical elements. A good design ensures that no element overpowers the other, without a good reason.


Image Source: https://designschool.canva.com


7. Go ahead; break the rules -
Trying to add a meaningful tangent to a simple visual always creates a memorable visual twist.


Image Source: https://designschool.canva.com


8. Twist the Type, get a striking visual -
Type is an important weapon, particularly when it comes to minimalism. It can act as a striking visual element, especially when it has been tweaked to fit the situation.


Image Source: https://designschool.canva.com


9. Honour White Space -
White space is also known as ‘negative space’. When used well, it can help balance out your design, de-clutter and help it breathe. White space gives your design the necessary breathing space.


Image Source: https://designschool.canva.com


10. Create a symbol -
When you think around an object / icon / visual, and about the things associated with it, you can give it a visual twist or form. What you get is a symbolic minimalism.


Image Source: https://designschool.canva.com


11. Change something small, get something powerful -
The beauty of minimalism is the fact that small changes can get you big results.


Image Source: https://designschool.canva.com


12. Design less today, see it in use tomorrow
Minimalism is timeless. The fewer the elements your design has, the lesser the chance of it going out of style or losing its trendiness.


Image Source: https://designschool.canva.com


Minimalism for Maximization

In minimal design, elements contributing to readability and usability are essential. Everything else is just frills. Minimalism compels you to go back to the basics. So, fight the urge to add anything extra and create with a typeface, a colour, common theme, icon or element. Simply saying, just be Crisp, Concise, and Creative.