Has Design Developed OCD?

Has Design Developed OCD-1
Photography: Unsplash

We have become obsessed with design, and paring down in the name of minimalism. The sleeker, the better. More often than not, these minimalist designs follow a certain convention.

Clean lines? Check. Lots of white space? Check. “Less is more”? Check.

But at what point does it overstep the boundary from minimal to obsession? Here are five guidelines to keep your minimalist tendencies in check.

1. Say What You Need To Say

Be honest, and be clear. Your viewers need to know what your message is at one glance.

Remember, content is key in any design work. As minimalist as your design can get, you mustn’t forget that it should be an assembly of content blocks, not a sprinkling of ornamentation.

The more ornamentation and design details, the more obvious it is that you’re covering up for less-than-adequate content.

2. Less Doesn’t Mean Skimping On Details

Just because your design is minimalist doesn’t mean you can skimp on the details.

With all the empty space in your work, any mistakes become glaringly obvious. Typography errors and misaligned text are a definite no-no.

With minimalist designs, the whole point is to present information to your viewers in a clean and easily accessible way. If removing elements to achieve the minimalist aesthetic makes it harder for readers to understand your work, then something’s wrong.

Simple minimalist designs look effortless, but most designers know that’s an illusion.

Simple minimalist designs look effortless, but most designers know that’s an illusion.

3. Keep It Simple & Timeless

Clean lines and simple design certainly help to spruce up any work, especially when it exudes a classic vibe.

Stick to the basics: what’s your selling point? Keep your text short and snappy, and images big and appealing. You want to grab your viewers’ attention, but provide pleasant visuals too.

4. Make It Look Good

If your design isn’t pretty, chances are people won’t be looking at it.

Pleasant visuals make for a brighter outlook on life. You’ll want your viewers to be looking at appealing designs, because happy viewers make for a more receptive audience.

5. Good Design Takes Time

Simple minimalist designs look effortless, but most designers know that’s an illusion.

Take your time to plan in the early stages: text positioning, image selection and typography all matter. The better you plan, the easier it gets.

But don’t over-plan – the design still has to translate to paper (or screen) to be a successful piece of work. The best minimalist designs look effortless, but take considerable effort.

Even as you design and execute minimalist works, be careful not to veer into overly pared down designs. Less is more, and that’s true even for the minimalism that seeps into your work. TOC

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