When Less is More, the Art of Minimal Design

What is Minimal Design?

Minimal design is simply design where the designer’s intent is to expose the essence or identity of the design through eliminating all non-essential type, imagery, elements, or colors. Minimalism is any design or style where the simplest and fewest elements are used to create the maximum effect. Often containing large amounts of white space where the eye can rest.

Executions of minimal design.

Executions of minimal design.

Why Minimal Design?

Last week Apple released their iOS 7 update. As I’m sure most if not all of you know, iOS 7 is a major change in design for Apple. In the past Apple has used skeuomorphism (designs that emulates objects in the physical world) in their designs. With iOS 7 they have ditched all the un necessary design elements, textures, colors, etc. in favor of open space, clarity, and simplicity. This is minimal design at it’s core.

“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupery

As the above quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, a French aristocrat, writer, poet, and pioneering aviator, suggest. If we simply eliminate everything that is not needed we reach perfection. This perfection in minimal design, is where the data and content is the feature while the accenting design elements are just that, accents.

Take the image below. Notice how they simply begin to delete elements from the graph. With each element that is deleted, the design begins to become more and more readable. No longer is the graph standing out, but rather the data is the main attraction.

So, the next time you are looking to improve or approve your next design, consider what you can take away rather than what you can add.