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Payman Taei

Written by: Payman Taei

February 2, 2015

How to use minimalist design to create professional content

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Aside from aesthetics, the beauty of design is that it helps the presenter to clarify messages and communicate more effectively with the viewing audience.    That is why presentations and infographics are highly effective means of communication (at least when created and presented properly).

One of the trending styles is called minimalism; it is an artistic movement that uses only minimal and basic elements.  Think of your iPhone’s clean and crisp interface and its flat use of icons and shapes.

In this article we’re going to show you how you can improve your communication skills through minimalist design which will help you create better Presentations, infographics and other forms of rich content.

By extension in pretty much everyday language, minimalism is associated with everything that has been reduced to essentials and presents no accessories; no clutter, no depth, no bells and whistles.  Just the necessities.

The intention of minimalism is to generate meaning from the minimum. This requires simplifying the design, using pure colors and simple flat elements.  The “Less is More” statement definitely holds true here.

Here are some minimalist rules to follow when creating your next piece of content.


Clean Fonts


Minimalist fonts are everywhere,  it is often associated with Sans Serif fonts (Time New Roman for example is a Serif font, Arial and Helvetica are Sans Serif fonts; they don’t have the extra edges on corner of letters).

It doesn’t mean you can’t use Serif fonts in minimalist designs;  it just takes a bit more practice to get it right.   So for the sake of a beginner and novice designers try to stick to using Sans Serif fonts such as Helvetica.

Other fonts that can work great are also Separator, Helsinki, Bebas, Open Sans, Roboto and Dual. Remember Visme which is a free online app provides over 100 web and print friendly fonts as part of its library, so you have plenty of options to choose the font that works best for your design.

Font


Colors


If you haven’t noticed by now, at Visme we love colors!  You can clearly see it in our logo, enriched with multiple colors;  and we also recently dedicated a full blog week to discussing colors in design including our favorite color palettes, and combining backgrounds and colors that will give you great insight on how to put colors to work more effectively.

Using the right colors and being selective is key to clean design.  It’s very easy to overdue it;  The golden rule to remember: Less is more.

Pick two or maximum of three colors from a complementary palette and stick to it through your design (including text, background and elements if any).

happiness copy


Background


Searching and choosing the correct background can prove to a challenging task. But not for minimalist designs.  The recommendation is to create a plain one color background within the same color palette of your design, or if it contains textures, to choose something ambient and subtle.

If your text is short, and you’re not planning on adding elements, you could find a texture to go with that color too.

Nothing


Elements


There are times when elements such as shapes and glyphs are needed to support your message. Remember the principle: reduce everything to essentials.

After you create your message (text) if you still feel shapes/icons can further strengthen your message without sacrificing clean design, choose simple formations, with plain colors (no gradients, no shadows, etc…) and make sure to align them perfectly with your text.

star


Plains


The real world is not flat.  Space is composed of three dimensions, Width (X axis), Height (Y axis), and Depth (Z axis).

But when it comes to minimal design’s, it’s about flat two dimensional design; so you want to forgo the Z axis (Depth) and keep it flat. This may seem counter productive, but it really isn’t.  It goes back to the less is more ideology.  Where you want to visually present information in an easy to understand manner and if you can do that without a third dimension, then there is no need to utilize it.

Everything in your design should be two dimensional, and with the less amount of effects possible;  therefore leave out glows, shadows, or gradients.

See the example below, using just couple colors, not gradients and special filters, the message is clean and clear.   All achieved with a simple solid background, and two font styles.

Late

 

What do you think? Any other tips that you think can improve clean design?  Share it below.

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We’re stingy and don’t share emails with anyone.

About the Author

Payman Taei is the Founder of Visme (he doesn’t like using the word ”CEO” it’s way too Formal), a Do It Yourself platform allowing everyone to easily create, manage professional presentations & infographics.

He’s also the Founder of HindSite Interactive an award winning web design and web development company.

5 responses to “How to use minimalist design to create professional content”

  1. If someone else reading this comment thread knows or can contribute, that would be awesome.

  2. Des Walsh says:

    Thanks for the very clear, practical explanation and the excellent illustrations. I’ll be including this link in my weekly web roundups in my newsletter.

  3. Robert says:

    As a type enthusiast I’d like to point out that “San Serif” is not a proper word and should not be capitalized. Perhaps more important, the correct term is “sans” not “san”. “Sans”, meaning “without” is a term every designer, typographer, or anyone else associated with graphic design learns at the very beginning of their education – if they didn’t know it already.

    That said, you make some good points.

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