7 Great Tips to Become a Pro Minimalist Designer

7 Great Tips to Become a Pro Minimalist Designer

Minimalism is a concept which has gradually seeped into almost all areas of graphic design over the last 50 years. Websites, business cards, flyers and even packaging have all embraced minimalism with great success.

To cut to the nub of the matter, minimalism can be summed up with the simple phrase of “less is more”. And what this means – in design – terms is that minimalism strips away the unnecessary visual elements to create the maximum impact.

It’s an amazing concept to understand and one that’s probably already got your mouth watering. But what are the best ways to capture that minimalist vibe?

  1. 1. Outline What the Project Is

The key to minimalism is simplicity, so defining exactly what your project needs is essential in keeping it simple.

The best way to do this is to sum up the project in one sentence e.g. This business card needs to make people ring the salesman.

If you find that your statement is getting too wordy then you’re missing the point of minimalism and this will translate into a cluttered design which derails the viewer’s focus. And that salesman won’t get those calls!

  1. 2. Whitespace is Key

Minimalism is defined by whitespace and here it’s a case of ‘more is more’.

You see, whitespace allows your design to breathe. Cramming too much text or imagery causes a crowded design and fails to transmit the client’s message effectively.

Therefore you need to embrace whitespace as much as possible. Take the Google homepage, for example, where the basics of its purpose – searching the web – is plain for anyone to see as there are so few options to do otherwise.

  1. 3. Get Creative

The abundance of whitespace and desire for minimal distractions can certainly make minimalism a tricky concept to pull off.

However, I like to see this as a creative challenge which needs solving. And one of the best ways to beat this conundrum is by choosing the right visual elements to create maximum impact with minimal space usage.

Many graphic designers like to incorporate symbols into logos to create a minimalist design and perhaps the best example of this is Apple. Rarely will you see the word Apple printed on any of their products, instead you just have the simple apple design which can be processed much quicker than a word.

  1. 4. Line Things Up

Grid layouts are a crucial design tool you need to equip yourself with when working on minimalist projects.

With so few visual elements at play, alignment becomes more essential as badly aligned details will stick out like a sore thumb.

However, by employing a grid system you can ensure that there’s a greater balance to your design and it will flow seamlessly into the viewer’s subconscious.

  1. 5. Get to The Point

Due to the short attention spans attributed to humans these days it’s essential that graphic designers get to the point. And this is exactly what minimalism was born to do.

Viewers tend to skim read information, so making sure that there is no extraneous information is imperative.

Take a landing page for a website, for example, where you might be having to sell a product. Do you really need to detail every single award it’s won? No, you could just settle for ‘multi-award winning product’ to save precious space to really sell that product to the reader.

  1. 6. Colouring In

Many graphic designers fear that any more than two colours in a project is an affront to minimalism, but they’re wrong!

You don’t have to stick to a monochrome pallet although it certainly does keep things simple. However, utilising three colours is more than doable and can still result in bold and arresting designs.

Remember, there’s always room to break rules in graphic design and minimalism is no different!

  1. 7. You’ve Finished? Great! Time to Take a Few Things Out!

Now, you might have thought you’ve finished your design and it’s time to crack a beer open, but, believe me, there’s still a few redundant elements to extract!

I mean, do you really need that text underlined? Doesn’t the abundance of whitespace already draw your eye to it?

It’s important that you test each element to understand what it adds and if it’s necessary. If you can, get another designer or friend to check it and get their opinion. Anyone coming in cold to the design will be able to ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ it instantly.

Not only is minimalism an exciting challenge, it’s also highly effective at getting your client’s message across in an age where humans are rivalling goldfish for memory spans. If you’ve got any extra tips then let me know in the comments below!



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