Minimalistic designs: The new trend in advertising

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupe

Minimalism, a philosophy of life, finds its origin in the Japanese traditional design. It emphasises on living life only with things that add value and keep the rest away. Minimalism peeps through various aspects of life in Japanese culture be it way of living, architectural design and music. As the minimalistic culture continues to fascinate people around the world with its simplicity and uncluttered form, the trend has been picked up by various marketers to market their product and brands.Every brand wants to improve its good brand recall. They want to be remembered and recognized. For years marketers and advertising agencies are trying to come up with innovative ideas to communicate the offerings of their product or service. But with the recent information overload where a consumer is bombarded with information from news feeds, tweets and videos, the need to communicate the message in a simple yet meaningful way is more important than ever before. This brings us to discuss about Minimalistic designs which relies on the concept of ‘Less is More’. It’s a combination of Arts and Science.

Arts to use the visuals and language and communicate a message effectively whereas science to understand the ability of a viewer to consume the right quantity of information. Minimalism is gaining steam in the current market environment as the new generation customer are moving away from the heavy ornamentation of product towards a more simple, clean and uncluttered product. This rapid transition is because of the generation change of the customer, their lifestyle and time management. Moreover, more simple a design, more matured product it is thought to be. Steve Jobs was inspired by Zen philosophy, a minimalistic way of living and then it was later ingrained in the company, work culture and the products. It was so embedded in the design and functioning of the product that Apple didn’t provide with a user manual with iPhone. Later, all the products of Apple had a common underlying feature – simplistic design and ease of use. The minimal white and black logo of Apple today is popular and gathers instant recognition.Basic Ingredients of a Minimalistic design?

  • Clutter free graphics
  • Solid colours
  • Few words(with large fonts)
  • Powerful message

Minimalistic advertisements often prove memorDurex, an iconic brand of Reckitt Benckiser, is well known for its cheeky campaigns. Durex managed to take its campaigns to a whole new level with the use of minimalistic because the viewer has limited information to concentrate upon. Many iconic brands including Nestle, FedEx, McDonalds and Lego have realised the need to shift their digital and print media marketing campaigns to a minimalistic platform. Let’s us look at some of the brands that managed to create a buzz with their minimalistic campaigns.


Volkswagen, a German multinational automotive giant, has mastered the art of minimalism and it often comes up with eye catching and more importantly heart winning campaigns. The first image conveys the exceptional mileage whereas the second one signifying the swift electronic gearbox.


Durex, an iconic brand of Reckitt Benckiser, is well known for its cheeky campaigns. Durex managed to take its campaigns to a whole new level with the use of minimalistic ads.


Applications of minimalism are more than just in advertising. Recently, their use has been extended to product packaging and design. Look at the below examples to understand how the visuals on packaging have evolved over time. In both the examples, the focus is more on highlighting the brand rather than anything else.


In order to keep pace with the changing times, Nike entered into minimalistic design in footwear range by introducing Nike Free to attract new age customers. With the Nike Free, Nike was a leader in the minimalist running category. Minimalist sales increased 30% in 2013. Adidas also entered the fray by launching ADIpure. However, the Five fingered design shoe was didn’t connect with the masses and as the design didn’t fit into the ‘traditional’ shoe concept that people had in their minds.


Recent trends have shown use of minimalism in variety of fields. Minimalism is a big hit in web and mobile app designing. Developers are using minimalistic route to create a user friendly interface and provide a worthwhile experience to their users.

Minimalistic branding does come with its set of limitations. Creating a minimalistic message isn’t easy! It’s challenging to communicate the message with limited resources. New brands which are not so popular may find it difficult to use brand minimalism. Established brands will also have to check that minimalism is not making them lose their brand recognition. Even before entering into this classy field of minimalistic domain, companies need to be dead sure of their product and its ability to meet the set expectations. Companies should meticulously listen to the talks and predict a trend that will resonate with the masses only then the minimalistic advertising would prove a boon.


Keep it Simple: How Successful Brands Have Perfected Minimalist Marketing

How to Keep the Minimalist Movement Attractive to the Masses

Sole Man: 12 Things We Learned About Minimalism

The Rising Trend of Minimalist Marketing

26 Brilliant Minimalist Print Ads


You will love reading: Emotional Branding.  Must read article Branding Cricket World Cup

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