There is an old saying that goes, “less is more.” This saying can be applied to a variety of concepts; however, this phrase exemplifies the art of minimalist design. In modern society, it is hard not to notice in-your-face commercials and advertisements. While these designs certainly capture the attention of the viewer, meaning may be lost. As a designer, it is important to pay special attention to the definition of minimalism, which is reducing a design to the most essential elements (Chapman 2010). With minimalist techniques, one can get to the core of the content and message.
Good minimalist design depends on a few, yet extremely crucial stylistic principles. Since minimalist designs involve very little elements, it is necessary to make sure that everything is aligned and graphics look close to “pixel perfect” (Karol K, 2012). Subsequently, typography is fundamental to minimalism. Typefaces must be both legible and make a design statement at the same time. Minimalist designers must also remember the importance of white space. Elements must be dispersed evenly throughout a design. White space, or as it is sometimes called, negative space, is a friend to both the designer and participant.
The first design in this minimalism exercise is a computer background called, “Connect Four.” Depicting the popular child’s strategic game of the same name, the design features minimal design elements and no text. With a minimalist design, every detail must have significance. In this computer background, each color represents and aspect of the game. The yellow represents the grid players use to put the red and black game pieces in. This design also indicates a message of success. Four red dots are successfully connected in a row, depicting this is a winning game. Much of the inspiration for this design came from the backgrounds featured on simpledesktops.com. Like many of the designs shown on this website, this particular design is modeled after a shape, idea, or thing. Additionally, this design also exhibits the importance of the usage of white space. Even though nothing on the background is the color white, the alignment of the squares allows for the group of like elements.
The second design is a minimalist movie poster for the film Valentine’s Day. This movie was released in 2010 and starred dozens of big-name actors. The original movie poster chose to focus on the stars of the film. However, highlighting so many different faces was distracting. The new movie poster depicts a design relying heavily on the use of negative space and alignment. Besides the title which is centered, the rest of the text on the poster is left-aligned. According to Pallen (2012), proper alignment helps users to break down content and digest information. Most minimalist techniques recommend a simple color scheme. The new Valentine’s Day poster only uses a variation of three red colors in addition to black. Special attention was paid to typography in this design. The serif font Garamond was used for all of the text except the title. The font used for the movie title was Monotype Corsiva, a script typeface. A different, fancier font was chosen for the title to demonstrate that the title was the most important message to take away.
Minimalist design is quickly become the standard in the creation of websites to movie posters. Designs that follow minimalist techniques are clean, concise, and simply beautiful. My keeping the fundamental techniques of minimalism in mind, one can work to create their own minimalist designs.