Design 101: Minimalism

minimalistic condo living room

Design is a crucial idea. Any area, object, clothing or other kinds of material benefits from the view of a designer. A designer can take the ordinary and make it into something new and inviting. Many elements go into the creation of effective designs. This includes the use of color and light. It also includes the use of space and the way the object relates to the items around it. Designers today are increasingly challenging given design precepts. They are looking for ways to rethink existing spaces and items of all kinds in order to transform them. One of the most popular of all design trends is that of a style known as minimalism. Minimalism is an idea with great roots in the past. In previous decades, designers have sought out ways to reduce clutter and make spaces more streamlined. Today, designers are rethinking minimalism in new and truly exciting ways.

Historic Roots

Minimalism has roots that were developed in the last century. Dutch painters developed a sense of abstraction that they turned into paintings with great use of color and light and little else. In the aftermath of World War I, designers sought to remake the rather ornate designs of the previous century. The goal was to clean up any excess and remove items that they felt created a sense of chaos and disorder. The aim was — and still is — to use the space in better ways. In addition to the influences of art and architecture, other influences also provided inspiration for designers of the time frame. Designers of that time looked overseas for inspiration. Japanese design has been particularly influential in the creation of modern minimalist designs. The clean lines and basic use of color favored by Japanese artists inspired western designers to follow in their footsteps.

spacious minimalistic white bathroomMinimalism Today

Today’s minimalism bears a great deal in common with minimalist movements of the past. Just as designers sought to create spaces that had lights of light, the same is true today. Designers today are also aware of the need to keep color placement clean and focused. The goal is to show off colors one by one. Each color has a place of its own. Each color also plays off a sense of the absence of color when paired with white. Many designers also use black as a backdrop for large swathes of a single color such as vivid red or an intense yet soothing shade of green. In many instances, designers also stick to basic black and white only. Black and white help bring the lines of the space into focus without the interference of extraneous details that do not contribute to the feel of an organic whole.

Technology as Design

Another factor that distinguishes today’s designs from previous minimalism is the use of technology. Technological innovation has always been part of minimalism history. In previous decades, designers sought to take advantage of technological changes to create startling and interesting new buildings. Places such as airports, city buildings, and even private homes were transformed by the use of materials such as concrete. The same is very much true today. Many designers have increasingly turned to technology such as the ability to create personal animation as a source of expression. The ability to take such technology can bring new concepts in minimalism alive for a brand new audience. Subtle techniques that are possible today can influence how people see many kinds of things around them such as the beginning credits of a movie or the creation of series of graphics for a new company.

Unexpected Images

minimalistic bookshelf with decor

One of the most interesting aspects of minimalism today is the use of unexpected elements. For example, a designer may choose to substitute a person or an animal for a letter in an advertisement. They may place a horse in place of the letter h or a young woman in the place of the letter w. The goal is often to startle the viewer’s basic expectations. When people see something new and unexpected, they will often spend more time looking at the ads. A designer may also opt to place an item being advertised on a plain background. This is frequently paired with little to no text. The idea is that the viewer will see the benefits of the product without any extraneous detail. Such new uses of the art of minimalism allow people to think about the world around them in new and entirely inviting ways.

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