Ideally, you'd like to hire the pros to help you build a minimalist brand — but you don't have the funds. So, you'd like go down the DIY route without looking like you did it yourself. And guess what, it's possible!
This is for you, if you’ve ever...
- Had the desire to have a brand that reflects who you are
- Wanted to have a clean and stunning visual identity (think high-quality photos and beautiful typography)
- Looked for ways to create a brand that stands out and attracts clients, and followers, who love all the things you're doing
I'm here to share my lessons on the term minimalist and the reasons why brands are leaning towards minimalist design. Plus, tips to bring that minimalist look into your brand. First things first, let's get clear on the term minimalism, and what it means for your business.
Simple does not mean minimalist
They may be similar, but they're not the same — minimalist lives at the end of the continuum, where simple does not. Given its timeless elegance and clear presentation of content, minimalist design is classic and lasting visual philosophy.
Less is more
These three little words are the simplest definition of minimalism: create a high impact, impressive visual brand without the unnecessary decorations. Sometimes, all you need is a good-quality photo with jaw-dropping typography.
Embrace the form of subtraction
Perfection is achieved not when there’s nothing more to add, but when there’s nothing more you can take away. By nature, the design is not outspoken, although it certainly can be.
It is intentional.
It strips elements from a framework to leave only the necessary content and aesthetic.
It does not include a lot of color, texture, shapes, or accents.
Minimalism works because it does what all design should do — puts the focus and emphasis on content — which is the work that you do.
Minimalism is a technique where you strip creations of all the “fluff” and keep the important things. Being able to get rid of the right amount of “fluff” is an art, because if you get rid of the wrong "fluff" or show a certain part of something, it can completely mess a design up.
Minimalist design is an extremely thoughtful process.
Minimalism focuses on the basics of design, such as balance and negative space, as well as typography and selective colours. If it does one thing, it steers you in the right direction.
Less is more. More with less. Less but better. All which translate to designing smart.
Many companies are leaning towards minimalism, and here's why:
It Makes Sense
What’s the point of creating a logo with unnecessary decoration that has no purpose? Why add so many elements to a design and risk making it overbearing? Why have 10 colors when you could stick to 3 colors? Or 5 different fonts? Minimalism keeps things simple and steers your thoughts in the right direction.
Starbucks has done a great job in terms of keeping their brand minimalist. Their old logo — from 1987 and 1992 — has Starbucks Coffee all around, with a black mascot in the middle. Because we all know Starbucks is more than just coffee, tea, ice cream, cakes, and more. It's a lifestyle — a community where people socialize. In their new logo, it's purely the mascot in green, leaving the rest to our imagination.
It Stands Out
Visuals are important because people think visually, and create a relationship with what they see. It’s hard to feel something or make your own conclusions about something if it’s all given to you right then and there. Minimalism leaves something to think about and something to feel. Simple designs, shapes, and colours also make for easy remembrance. It helps to see a brand often, but think about how easy it would be to remember a brand off a shelf that was only designed with its necessities in mind.
This allows brands to be memorable and consistent, which are keys to creating a great visual identity. Simplicity is essential when you desire to get your point across to a large amount of people.
We're guilty of judging books by their covers, but I think it's phoney — we're natural visual creatures. We are drawn to things that are beautiful. While it may not look beautiful to others, it's HOW we feel about a certain product. Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk is a beautiful cover — it doesn't say much, but certainly tells enough.
It Remains Consistent
In relation to Reason 2, to be taken seriously, your visual brand has to remain consistent.
Having a bunch of different logos, designs, and/or colours will not help you get remembered. Consistency reflects your products and services. With minimalism, once you’ve got it figured out, there isn’t a ton of different things you have to keep your eye on. You have a handful of colours and different variations of the same logo. Fonts, shapes, and overall technique also help keep your brand’s image consistent.
I love everything Free People do. They come out with new ranges and new products all the time, and their campaigns are killer. Their website design and logo always changes with each new line release, but it's always consistent with the brand — whimsical and free.
It all comes down to figuring out and declaring your brand’s personality, which is extremely important. If you can’t do this, then you may be setting up your business to fail.
All of these things and more help get a company’s brand personality across to customers. Branding is also the first step in taking your hobby business and transforming it into a professional business that merits attention.
Trends help get businesses noticed and make them relevant to the times. However, there are some things worth learning and noting from some trends. Minimalism is a technique every designer should know and a technique every business should consider using (to some extent) in their branding process.