Get inspired by minimalism (and a minimalist design quiz!)

One elemental mark of successful branding is the ability to remove the excess and distill it down to its unobscured core while still recognizing the brand. In its essence minimalism is a challenge to the viewer that says “I DARE you to recognize me.” Then we get a little burst of excitement when we make the connection, leading us to have warm fuzzy feelings about that brand in the future. It’s an incredibly effective (maybe even tricky?) tactic that delivers real results.

minimalist design - Coca Cola

Can you guess the brand above? Easy, right? Obviously Coca Cola has the advantage of being one of the most recognized brands in the world, but the white wave was not just an arbitrary addition. The “Dynamic Ribbon” was initially incorporated into the Coca Cola logo in 1969 as a visual reminder of the products most unique asset, its bottle shape. That coupled with the signature red and white are all we need to recognize the brand today.

There are also aesthetic reasons to go minimal. The market is saturated with brands that sometimes obtrusively force their presence into our daily lives while trying to solicit our business. Sometimes toning it down is the only way to stand out. Take a look at some of the best examples of stripped down designs and take the minimalist movie poster challenge below!

Packaging Design

Pringles
RedBull
Nutella

hypothetical packaging series by Mehmet Gozetlik.

Popular brands look pretty good stripped down but one company that has been in the minimal packaging game from the beginning is San Francisco based Method Home.

Method

When their eco friendly cleaning products were introduced with their minimal design the stores couldn’t keep their shelves stocked.

Logo Design

Logos also shine when they are stripped of any superfluous ornamentation and it gives you the opportunity to play around with negative space and wordmarks.

Shift logo
Attitude logo

Website Design

And what happens when you strip down a website? Pure minimal magic.

Manuel Moreale

ManuelMoreale.com

Seldorf Architects

selldorf.com

Carson Ellis

carsonellis.com

Take the challenge!

Movies, depending on their popularity, can be globally recognized brands. Can you tell which movies these minimalist posters are referencing? Hover over the images to see the answers and click to learn more about the talented designers that created them.

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How many posters did you guess correctly?

Related posts:
Trend spotting: adaptive logo design
Who wore it better? The branding trends of 2013
Turning skeuomorphic design into flat design
Beyond branding: 3 cool companies go ‘No Logo’
7 user interface design trends you need to know about

The author

Tory Van Wey
Tory Van Wey

Tory is a part of the Community Team at 99designs. She was raised in Palo Alto, California and has a degree in Graphic Design from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. When she isn't working she's probably out of cell phone range in the wilderness, or sipping a local brew. Ideally both.

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