Minimalism in Graphic Design: The Beauty of “Less is More”
May 26, 2023, by DRM
Less is more.
It’s a phrase that rings through a designer’s mind every time they double check their latest work, and there’s a reason for that. The rule is almost always true.
But how are top companies like Google and Facebook already harnessing the power of Strategic Minimalism and why is Minimalism such a powerful way to connect with targeted audiences today?
What is Strategic Minimalism in design?
Imagine a minimalist’s desk chair. Designed with a sleek and contemporary design with muted colors, clean lines, and minimal ornamentation, the chair fits in with nearly any office setting.
Imagine the typical official chair with all of the bells and whistles one can imagine: a massage unit, a seat heater, a foot rest. The chair is brightly colored with a high back that rises well over the head of whoever takes a seat, and must be plugged into an electrical outlet to be fully utilized.
Now imagine a chair designed using Strategic Minimalism. Crafted with a focus on functionality, the chair is durable, stable, and offers surprisingly pleasant ergonomic support utilizing high quality materials that provide comfort over long periods of time without showing wear or tear.
The design of the minimalist chair strips out the bells and whistles of the first chair in order to focus on what really matters about the chair’s design — its functionality, ease of use, and longevity.
So how can a company use these key elements of strategic minimalist design to improve the way the company presents itself to its target audience in graphic and web design?
Minimalism & Your Brand Strategy
First, you have to decide if minimalism should even be a part of your brand.
Think about the iconic interior of a TGIFriday’s franchise and what do you see? Most likely, we all see the same thing —a restaurant with a bar, but surrounding every table are walls covered with an explosion of rusty antiques. This approach to design is actually the opposite of Minimalism in design. In this case, the design strategy is Maximalism.
But if your brand values are based more around ease-of-use, simplicity, and caters to a broad, general or sophisticated audience, a minimalistic design strategy may be key to presenting your company in a way that will connect with your target audience.
How Our Brains Consume Minimalist Design
If there’s one thing just about every person on the planet can agree on, it’s that less clutter is always better. A clean look is almost always going to be more attractive to the eye than a cluttered look and when it comes to graphic design, the rules are no different.
The human eye will always be grateful when it sees clean indicators that imply where the pupil should be pointed next. When you see that simple office chair, your brain automatically assumes the chair will have a lift lever that will raise or lower the height of the chair. The same rules apply for websites, marketing content, and the way your company presents itself in the digital space.
When a website uses minimalism in its design, the user experience is almost always improved.
The website will have a clean appearance with a clear navigation that barely requires any thought when it comes to the user journey. Using clean lines, and clear indicators of where the user should go next in order to find exactly what they are looking for is how minimalism is utilized in web design.
We see minimalism in Apple products and especially iOS, the mobile operating system designed so that the user naturally knows how to navigate and use the product without a need for instructions.
Think of all of the online platforms today that use minimalism design strategies to curate clutter into clean, easily digestible content bites.
Google uses minimalism, providing small bits of information that help the user navigate and make a decision about which website will help them find what they are looking for.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit also use minimalism in their User Interface designs in order to make their social networks as easy to use as possible. These networks also use minimalism design strategies that make it easier for users to consume content while not feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of content that’s available.
Harnessing Strategic Minimalism
Strategic minimalism in design is a powerful way to connect with a target audience. By focusing on functionality, clean lines, and muted colors, minimalist furniture exemplifies this approach.
Whether it’s a sleek desk chair with ergonomic support or a minimalist restaurant interior, the essence lies in stripping away unnecessary elements to highlight what truly matters. When applied to brand strategy, minimalism can convey ease-of-use, simplicity, and appeal to a broad audience.
In graphic and web design, minimalism creates a visually pleasing experience by reducing clutter and guiding the user effortlessly. From Apple’s intuitive iOS to Google’s streamlined information delivery, minimalism fosters easy navigation and digestible content. By embracing strategic minimalism, companies can enhance their connection with audiences in the digital space.