If there is a defining statement of today, it is “Less is More.” Coined by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, or simply Mies, a modern architect in the ranks of Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, the quote “Less is More” has probably been quoted and misquoted more than any other. One of my favorite versions is in the 1991 release of the movie Hook. Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell says to Peter Pan, “If less is more, there’s no end to me, Peter Pan.”
There really is no end to her or to “less is more.” It is the essence of minimalism.
When in comes to web design, minimalism is the “new” trend in the 21st century. With its origins in the 2oth century, it still communicates to us today. In a world where we are bombarded with messages everywhere we look, from our morning cup of coffee with our Facebook updates, to our last favorite TV show of the day, minimalism is refreshing and captivating.
We see it all over the web, and it’s growing as a reaction to the visual mess and clutter that has become the Internet. How often have you gone to a website and you are bombarded with the visual noise you experience, often much like the visual bombardment of contemporary roadside billboards? My reaction to such a website is, “I’ll come back later!”– which I never do. Hmmm – how effective is my response for that company?
Let me reveal some examples of minimalism in current websites and what makes them minimal in their design. Minimalism trends in web design use techniques the techniques here:
1) Flat Graphic Design
Microsoft, an obvious brand leader in the world of technology used “Flat Design” when introducing its latest operating system, Windows 8.1. The website uses various fonts for headlines and body copy with no features, such as drop shadows or textures. The layout is very clean and without clutter. Its icons and buttons are flat and –“minimal.”
The beauty of white space is that it causes you to see what is important. A similar idea in music is the rest. Without the rest, music is noise. The same principle applies in graphic design. White space, or as some call it, “negative space,” provides the balance needed when incorporating large images, large text styles, and now video files, which are growing in popularity on the web. Take a look at how Apple uses the white space to show the beauty of their products. They simply pop off of the web page.
3) Distractions are removed.
Limit the noise and options on the page to move your visitors and potential buyers to conversion—the goal of the website, right? There is no distraction on this Chanel landing page. In fact, it is just plain distracting. You want to see more. That’s perfectly done here. How about this website for the Nomad Hotel in New York. It looks like a color plate from a book on beautiful architecture. Wouldn’t you want to stay there? It’s very clear about what it is selling. Not the typical noisy Yelp site, which has its place.
4) Bold Typography
Let bold typography communicate your message. Most of the sites we have already looked at use this principle. Again, it works to keep your audience focused. This next website for the United Nations Population Fund, “Too Young to Wed” Campaign uses large typography to capture your attention but a thin font to resemble the “littleness” of the little girls, to which it refers. It is an inspiring expression of the need to protect these beautiful little girls. This site uses powerful, simple images along with bold typography to move individuals to action. Again, the whole point here–achieving conversion.
Be looking for these minimalism trends in good web design as you seek a graphic designer to design your corporate website. For more information on these design trends, be looking to my future articles. –Suzanne Reid of distillerycreative.com