In this post, we are addressing the topic of minimalist design – what is minimalist design, what key principles it entails, how to implement it in your visuals and when best to use it.
Ever wondered how to create the stunning clean graphics that don’t feel cluttered yet don’t fade out into the background? Minimalism is an art movement that aimed to make the most impact with the least amount of means, which means that’s exactly the design style you want to use.
Here’s what you’ll need to create a successful minimalist design.
Minimalist design origins
Minimalist design is often described as:
- Trimmed down
- Bare bones
Minimalism originated in 1960s as a protest against poorly-made factory goods.
Mass production has just come about, and produced goods were often unnecessarily ornamental. Instead of making a space feel rich, they cluttered.
This is when simple designs that were functional and yet beautiful and well-made came about.
Following this idea, a successful minimalist design:
- uses its functional elements as design solutions
- has reduced its structural elements to a minimum
- carries meaning behind every element
But how do you create that airy feeling of space and lightness without your design looking incomplete?
How to make a minimalist design
With all the theory out of the way, let’s see what do you actually do with your text, background and design elements to make them all come together nicely in a neat minimalist fashion.
Build your design around:
- Simple lines and shapes
- A minimum amount of elements, colors
- Only functional elements of the design
- No standalone decorative elements – functional elements double as decorations
- Prominent grid and structure
Leave all the space you can:
Minimalist designs have plenty of white space.
“Minimalist design feels almost empty,” explains our designer Olha Rohulia.
Resist the urge to fill up the space – leave as much breathing room as possible.
Use these fonts:
Fonts used in minimalist design are usually in the sans serif family.
- Open Sans
These are some of the fonts to get you started, but generally speaking, typefaces with clean, simple lines that allow for well-spaced out, not cluttered text will work best.
Contrary to a popular misconception, minimalism doesn’t have to have monochrome or subdued coloring to fit the style.
Bold colors are perfectly acceptable.
Minimalist design is about maximum impact with minimal means, but an impact nonetheless.
As long as you limit your color scheme to two hues and a shade, brights can absolutely work.
Let’s try and make this cute summery flyer template adhere to the principles of minimalist design we’ve learnt in the sections above.
Our starting point:
This is what we did to transform the design from a busy visual to a minimalist graphic:
- removed all but essential text boxes
- switched out the background illustration to a similarly colored and themed but minimalist in tone one
- removed decorative lines that don’t serve a purpose in this design
- moved the website address to the bottom of our page
And here’s our minimalist end result:
The secret to creating a minimalist design that works is understanding these key points:
- Efficiency is the key goal: minimalism aims to avoid overdecorating with no actual meaning behind the frills;
- Every design element is part of the grid, e.g. white space can serve as borders or frames for your content;
- Although neutrals and natural materials are very popular ingredients of minimalist designs, they are not mandatory,
- Minimalist design itself is not subdued or neutral – it’s a silent room that serves to emphasize the one piece that stands out.