Minimalism. When less is truly more.

Surreal Minimalism Example Stoneboard Blog “[dropcap2]P[/dropcap2]erfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French writer (1900 – 1944)

Minimalism …when less truly is more.

Zen and the Art of Minimalism…some say that minimalism has some of it’s roots in Buddhism. A traditional Buddhist lives an extremely minimalist lifestyle because their belief in these principles flow into their everyday life.  According to Buddhist beliefs, everything is impermanent – everything is always changing.

Minimalism design. Cut to the chase is minimalist’s edge. Don’t overload the design, which could be viewed as boring, distracting, and overdone. The term “minimalist” is often applied to anything which is spare or stripped to its essentials.

The sculptor produces the beautiful statue, chipping away such parts of the marble block as are not needed; a process of elimination. ~E.H.

A reminder to designers and communication arts professionals is a quote by David Hockney:  “Anything simple always interests me.”

Beautiful clean and minimalist lines. A recent example I came across while ‘twitter-article-reading’ was the Napoli  Bathtub (which was honored with 2010 Good Design TM Award by the Prestigious Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design.).  “The Napoli Bathtub manages to blend contemporary and natural elements into a seamless statement of understated luxury. Its lines are clean and minimalistic – a perfect example of the:

“less is more”

approach to design.” (full article )  The more specific a design idea is, the greater its’ appeal is likely to be.  Being minimalistic can be a wiser choice for you product packaging as well.  Be clean & clear with your brand.  Try minimalism with your communication pieces – be direct – be honest – be less cluttered and irrational looking.  Remember what Leo Burnett said: “If you don’t get noticed, you don’t have anything. You just have to be noticed, but the art is in getting noticed naturally, without screaming or without tricks”.

Stoneboard Blog Example Industrial Minimal Design

Problem Solved by minimalism design.

Don’t fool yourself either.

Proper ergonomic minimalist efficient industrial design is important for your product too. Industrial design success = the simplification of design + solve a problem.

Take the example of Dyson Dyson Industrial Design Solution Example Both the product, design solution and branding materials are clean and simple. Effective.

To design ( specifically, especially in ID (Industrial Design), is to solve human problems.  To creative direct a design is to identify & then execute the best solution.

Steve Jobs comment on good design: “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

Even when it comes to HR minimalism is a good solution.

Complexity of systems and management of on-site technology is “so 20th Century”.  Have simple SOP (Standard Operational Procedure) which will create a fun/creative/collaborative corporate culture.  Introduce easy minimal daily tasks.  For instance, go to the cloud –  stop being tied to the office desk or drives.  Too, research has shown for decades that money does not always equal increased performance – happiness (clean work environment – free of clutter, free of stress) is a key component.

Minimalism is much more then simply using a two colour design scheme and a basic grid and 2 minutes.

The purpose is to make the content stand out and be the focus of the viewer’s attention. One key is that minimalism has a calming effect and allows your mind to concentrate on the message at hand. It has power and yet complexity. The corporate message gets straight to the point and does not clutter the mind.

On the web a minimalist design calls for excellent navigation – the use of best practice UI (user interface). Since you are aiming for a clean website to almost bare in the interest of minimalism, your website visitors cannot be lost so you cannot eliminate the bare basics: breadcrumb trail, page titles and so forth. Don’t just have lots of spaces that seem to direct them nowhere. And by the way, monochromatic color-schemed websites with little or not much design elements integrated is not what I am saying.

Example minimalist product package design and message: “Let’s eliminate plastic bottles and lift our glasses to the power of glass!”  The project design was created under the theme of resistance. The box is classic and clean on the exterior… ( )

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ~Leonardo DaVinci

Regarding advertisements – well of course, stay with strong branding. But keep the messages clear. When it comes to your brand image, be clear and minimal with your materials and ‘message’.  Why have a strong image brand?  To get noticed and remembered of course (um and yes without saying the ROI of a solid positive brand is priceless).  “If you don’t get noticed, you don’t have anything. You just have to be noticed, but the art is in getting noticed naturally, without screaming or without tricks” said Leo Burnett.  Minimalism with brand messaging shows results. Take a look at Apple, BMW, Pepsi, Swatch, Krups, ….I could go on.

Yes, it can be difficult for designers and agencies alike, as clients tend to wonder about the apparent work entailed, not understanding the intellectual work and design pixel tweaking.  When done right, and your art director/designer knows her/his stuff, then it is a craft in itself and should be respected and appreciated.

Architecture 101 – positive and negative space.  Figure-ground theory states that the space that results from placing figures should be considered as carefully as the figures themselves. Check out this article from 2010 (I happened to come across it today) called: The benefits of minimalism in architecture.

Any way you slice it, I highly recommend being minimal in communication, design, architecture and technology solutions and practices.

Back to basics.  We are human beings, the same people that created cave art to communicate.

And please note, that minimalism does not have to be cold.
It does not have to be boring.
It solves a lot of problems.

Minimalism is NOT easy.

Fellow colleagues can guess the amount of work that often goes into what is termed minimalism design, that is,

knowing what to do.


Yours Truly,


Brand Maven