Minimalism in design

“Every line must have a purpose. Anything extra doesn’t belong. It is the purpose that defines the beauty of minimalism.”

Minimalism is all about simplicity. It is a common trend in architecture and design where the focus stays only on the necessary elements. Japanese traditional design has been influencing minimalism in design for years. But when it’s about home design, minimalist designs often lose their authentic value because of the costly building materials they require; thus devaluing the real meaning of “minimalism.”


Minimalism is most prominent in Japan, where the influence of Zen Buddhism instils a desire for simplicity. For them, less is more. A typical house interior may sometimes look devoid of practically any furniture at all.

A minimalist design can be recognised through form, space, organisation, visual cues, and typography. It is built on space, which not necessarily has to be large and white, but must focus on the effect, i.e. breathe-ability. It must show that space is well utilised and not overly done.

In organisations and shape, minimalist products go back to the basics: the grid. They feature lines and rectangles, making the product seem simple and not having complicated designs that cramp the place. Instead of using multiple visual cues here and there; these minimalist products use at most one visual dynamic, like an elaborate design or a pop of colour. They do it very carefully, without over doing it. In terms of typography, minimalist product design uses serif; making use of simple strokes, on bold or thin type. Minimalism makes use of techniques that incorporate nature and embeds order of its own. One phrase that could summarise the minimalist ideology is, less is more.


The minimalist design approach to corporate identity designs is now an omnipresent phenomenon. Sans serif fonts, styled with sleek lines rule the roost.

In today’s world, neo-minimalism has taken over the traditional concept of minimalism in design. So where minimalist used to focus strictly on lines and rectangles, with white and black as the dominant colours, neo-minimalism is totally different. It uses complex shapes and a wider colour palette, but remaining within the ideology of simplicity and restricting the types and number of colours they can use. Their design, however, is more vivid than the past.

Minimalism has influenced Apple computers from their early days. It’s always been how, sleeker and lighter can the next version be. Except for the bigger series of the iPhones, that is.