Learning Minimal Design: Principles and Resources

The beauty of minimal design work exists in what cannot be seen, rather than what is visually obvious. The work is presented in its most fundamental and basic foundation, only exposing whatever necessary elements are used. It is unfettered, minus using any layering or multiple design elements in the work that exposes its natural beauty.

It can be creatively challenging to use minimalist elements in any work, but therein is the beauty of it! The more creative the design is, and the fewer elements that are used in the work, is what makes it attractive, appealing and stunningly impressive.

Minimal Design: Examples

Each basic element’s function and capability serves one specific area. The minimalist designer takes those raw elements that serve one single unit and creates multi-faceted visuals with functional responsibilities. Here are a few of the most outstanding available web resources that minimalist designers can use to achieve their goal:




1. Using simple elements, with clean designs and a no-hassle look is what Kha Hoang website can be proud of. Their clean use of elements such aslike lines, numbers, and blocks of color is what is so visually appealing and helps to create a simple, cohesive website. Not to be confused with boring or drab, but they employ a very minimal use of color to draw the eye towards the desired location instantaneously.

Minimal Design

2. How can something so basic as dots be visually appealing? One of the most stunning resources available uses a dot grid as the entire background and simple, comprehensive labels that instruct viewers on how to use the site. The resource at Erratic Wisdom does a wonderful job using these elements.

Minimal Design

3. The Giles Revell’s Portfolio is very basic and gets straight to the point. Without being text-heavy, the images featuring the resource’s work are spread out across the page, and are also identified when hovered over in the page header. This really makes the work stand out.

Minimal Design

4. The simple, elegant presentation of the projects developed by Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects is more simplistically beautiful than anything else. On the homepage, the background is also a photo double of their projects, while the rest of their site stays true to navigational structure despite any heavy style changes. The focus is heavily centered on the photographs with very little text.

Minimal Design

5. Simple imagery and style is what minimalists are looking for. The resource at Parsley Studio adeptly uses simple images to fill a background to make it more noticeable. These images also function as a navigation system for the company’s portfolio. Also, there is no text visible on the site, unless you use your mouse pointer to hover over that area, creating a striking visual on contact.

Minimal Design

Best Resources for Minimal Design Inspiration:

Stormy Skies Dormant Lights

Minimalists who design pages and sites base the success of their presentations on how effectively they are able to capture the essence of their message with as few elements as possible. These online resources are some of the best available sites that can help the users achieve just that while creating their own special look in the process.

Written by: Sonia Mansfield is the content editor for PsPrint and editor of PsPrint Blog. PsPrint is an online printing solutions company, which you can follow on Twitter and Facebook.


The above post is written by Guest Authors on Orphicpixel. The Guest Author information is available in the post itself. If you wish to write for us. Send your guest post at contact@orphicpixel.com

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  • absolutely true its what you choose to leave out of the canvas that is more important than what you choose to include. same thing in photography. less is more!

  • Colin

    I appreciate the unnamed author’s effort to communicate the idea behind a minimal design.

    Unfortunately, the language used in this article only stands to mislead someone who is not already well versed in the concept of minimal design to begin with.

    Simplicity is definitely one of the goals of minimal design in my view, but the word simplicity itself can be very tricky. Words like ‘simple’, ‘clean’, and ‘basic’ tend to give the idea that there is not an effort by minimal designers to use everything at their disposal to communicate the desired objective of a website.

    In fact, a text-heavy, colorful site can also be minimal, so long as the colors chosen, the proportions, the weight of the text, and the overall balance belong there and are appropriate for that given design. It’s a lot finer science than some recent web design articles have made it out to sound, just wanted to add that comment and difference of opinion for anyone out there who may feel the way I do.

  • Brett Widmann

    This is a great collection of resources. Thank you!

  • Marc Buurke

    Big fan of minimalism in webdesign! Nice overview here.