Minimalism and its Relation to Design

Frank’s Black Painting

Development of Minimalism

In 1950, Frank Stella started to work on his Black Painting(above) which was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in NewYork, 1959. After that exhibition, it began to turn away from the gestural art of the previous generations. Gestural was a term used to describe the freehand, continuous curve of simple strokes using brushes. In the 1960s and 1970s, Minimalism started to flourish with the many artists following the style. The artworks in Minimalism describes the simplicity in both content & form by removing any form of personal expressions.

Title of the Movement

When Minimalism was started, it didn’t have a common name between artist. It was called by multiple names such as A.B.C. art, Reductive Art, literalism, systemic painting and Art of the Real. Even the famous Minimalism artist Donal Judd was not happy with the name Minimalism and he termed the movement as “Specific Objects”. Eventually, they stuck with Minimalism, because it is the best way to describe the artwork with the use of minimal colours, shapes, lines and textures.

Idea and Philosophy

Concepts and Styles

The types of Minimalism artworks was can be divided into 3 major types like sculpture, paintings and light installations in the beginning stage. After a few years when it started, it no longer existed into a single cohesive style and developed into many fields. Many artists changed their style to a unique and personal style and moved in their own direction. Even though being different, new ideas and styles started to conquer the emerging world.

Minimalism in Design

Minimalism in graphic, web or motion design or even architecture has three characteristics: Repetition, simplicity and voids. As a design concept, minimalism is described by the idea that less is more. As it had started to influence many design fields such as graphic design, web design, typography,

Apple’s iPhone X Packaging

Minimalism in Typography

With the evolution of typography, minimal typefaces have more importance in design elements. Typography does not hold back at designing a minimal typeface or reduced typeface, but it also affects many parts of design like

Minimalism in Web Design

As in web design nowadays, Minimalism plays a vital role. Here Minimalism is achieved by reducing to essential design elements. It is also described by certain rules like

  1. Subtract until it breaks,
  2. Every detail counts,
  3. Minimal colour,
  4. White space is vital,
  5. Big typography and
  6. Simple geometric shapes.
(Unfortunately, I had lost the credits for this image)

Minimalism in Motion Design

As design goes around the world, Digital design Came in conquering the entire media industry. As minimalism also influences the media in different forms like digital and print and even videos. In motion design, minimalism is influenced in many categories like explainer videos, kinematic typography, advertisement, promotions and many more. As minimalism tells to limit essentials things or design elements on a screen.

Materialism and Minimalism

Materialism is the form of the objects or the surface of the objects how they are formed or how they feel while touching. Apart from design, Materialism is more common with Minimalism. Materialism and Minimalism have the same philosophy in the way of the viewer’s point, as what you see is what it is. The ideas and technique may differ from how the materials are formed.

Minimalism in Life

Minimalism has not only influenced design, music, fashion etc. but has also affected how people live their life. Minimalism in Life means having the bare minimum essentials to live life. It means reducing a lot of stuff in our life which are not required on a daily basis. According to minimalist, the world


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Vidhunnan Murugan

Vidhunnan Murugan


Product Designer at BigBasket | Creating meaningful experiences through design.