The very fundamentals of graphic design revolve around fighting a constant battle against burgeoning clutter, and subsequently making the viewing process a lot less of a hassle. Whether it is for a client, or for a designers personal website, minimalist is the way to go.
Of course, as with all theories, there are bound to be opposing theories, and the minimalist design theory is no exception. Contrary to supporters of this view, there are many who believe that a design project is incomplete without busy details. But there is no denying the fact that for quite some time now, it is minimalism that has been ruling the field when it comes to quality graphic design.
The purpose of minimalism in graphic design is simple – stripping away unnecessary elements to create a design that is capable of conveying a streamlined, yet powerful message. Minimalist designs rely heavily on the appropriate usage of all elements in the design, including layout, color, typography, graphics as well as a few others.
To make the most of any minimalist design, there are a few principles that need to be followed:
The right choice of color can make or break a design. Color choice is a crucial factor, and can in no way be overlooked. Generally, the lesser colors used, the better the impact of the design. The most widely preferred colors, when it comes to minimalist design, are white, black and grey, providing allowance for a single color to dominate the field, with the others as support.
Choosing colors with proper contrast is also vital. Using red beside orange can brutally snatch away the influence of a design.
When it comes to minimalism in graphic design, probably the most important element that has to be considered is the typography. While finding the perfect font for giving that clean, uncluttered look might be a tad hard to find, the effort is usually worth it in the end. But minimalism in typography does not mean you have to be stuck with one single font; it’s all about simplifying your font choices.
To make sure a design looks prim and proper without losing its air of effectiveness, it is essential that not more than three fonts are used at a time. To achieve that perfect minimalistic look, you can go ahead with Helvetica for the headline (a widely used and very popular font), Engel Light for subheadings, and Futura for the body. More than three headlines generally make a design look very cluttered, and keep the viewer pondering over the actual message that needs to be conveyed.
However strategically and neatly you place your elements, they need to have room to breathe. However much you feel like you need to add that one more element, doing it by compromising on white space is not a very clever decision. Every inch of white space empowers the elements surrounding it. The greater the white space given to an element, the more power it gains, the more effective it becomes, automatically increasing the overall effectiveness of the design.
While aligning objects and elements on a page can be done in multiple ways, when you’re in a bid to get that clean, minimalistic look, the alignment needs to be meticulously perfect, because in the absence of clutter, even a single out-of-place pixel can be easily pointed out.
All the elements of a page should look and feel like they belong as a whole to the page, or the design. If a particular item stands out, it should be because you wanted it to stand out, not because it couldn’t fit in.
Since minimalistic graphic design focuses on keeping things neat and simple, an effective layout which immediately conveys the intended message to the viewer is indispensable. In other words, minimalism focuses on being able to help the viewer quickly grasp the message of the design.
The choice of whether to use few or a lot of graphics is completely relative, but usually, minimalistic graphic design makes use of as few images as possible. Images should be allowed to supersede text only when their impact is more dominant than that of the written message.
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