Visual Minimalism

1 AngryBirdsFlat-iPhone Flat-D15 home-alone-poster-design Minimal_Movie_Posters_by_ChotaMota_Designs_01 minimalist_poster_50 plakaty_vector posterinspired-up Screen_Shot_2013-07-11_at_12.23.22_PM-1 thg_minimalist1


Explainer Videos

I wanted to look at some explainer videos on the web to get an idea of how they illustrate ideas and information to the audience quick and memorable. Alongside this, I wanted to look at the diverse styles the videos use to visualise their company/brand. For example, the different styles between a website selling domain names and a video explaining a charity.

A design style can’t just illustrate information, but also give the impression of how the company want to be seen. These are just some aspects I will look into for my final piece.

I enjoy the colour scheme and motion of this explainer video as I feel it pushes itself to be something different to other explainer videos. It uses fun characters instead of silhouettes to tell the information and has a unique pace to the video. This is something I want to strive towards for my final piece and hope I can achieve this.

I chose this explainer video as it shows a good example of using visuals to assist in the information, in particularly 0:20 in the video. It uses the symbolism of “pause” to complete the sentence and shows that our brains instantly fills in the gap. This is something I want to take advantage of within my own final piece.

This infographic instantly looks appealing and professional through its motion, design choice and structure. Everything in the video has a purpose and communicates well with the audience. I hope to achieve a similar professional-looking video within my final product as it shows how flat design can be used properly and effectively.

Talking about the idea with Rob

I pitched my project idea to Rob (my independent tutor) to see what his thoughts were. As this project was based in his field, I knew that he would be critical and helpful in guiding my project to something that is achievable and representing of my research question.

I went through all the points (that I mention in my first post) that I wanted to achieve to Rob to see how it can be refined to create a final piece which answered the research question. He liked the idea of flat design being used within motion graphics but didn’t feel “telling a story without words” was a good way to do it.

He directed me into looking at informational film and explainer videos as a way to show how a design expresses itself through its style and how it tells the audience information, using the simplest way to explain that information.


He also wanted me to gather a lot of material that shows visual minimalism, allowing me to get a better understanding of what styles are out there. I will attach all my findings in another post with some of my thoughts.

Another key aspect Rob wanted me to look at was functionality over neutrality. In design, this means to make sure the message the design is trying to express is priority over anything else. Flat design in particular has to make sure the simplicity of the design still communicates with the audience instead of being lost without necessary details to the design.

The last important detail Rob left me to research was one of the movements that flat design is inspired by, Swiss Style (which is also known as International Style). This movement tried to achieve a style that communicates with all nations through mainly typography. This requires the design to be able to communicate to not only a specific nation, but all people in the world. I will look more into Swiss Style and how it can help me achieve a final piece to the research question.


The Beginning

At the start of the Independent Study Module, I wanted to refresh my memory of what my Concept and Generation research question was and how this could be achieved in this module. I had the following notes:

Research question: When is “less is more”, not enough?

  • Looked into the movements associated with flat design. Bauhaus, minimalism, swiss style.
  • What had to be overcome to achieve an effective design.
  • How flat design has been pushed to its limits of “less is more”
  • When the message is lost within the design as too little detail has been given and how to prevent it.
  • Flat design strips down a design to its basic, important elements.
  • Flat design’s method of communication through design and relies upon the interpretation of the viewer to successfully achieve its goal.
  • “Less is more” – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
  • Flat designed motion graphics relies upon motion to characterise an object.

The Actual Project

  • To form my own flat design style that accomodates all the issue’s some flat designers fall into and correct them in my own way.
  • Aim my project at a target audience (young adults) and allow them to feedback and help tweak my style.
  • A motion graphic piece that illustrates a story without any words/voice over, only the design and motion (and backing track) OR a video comparing my new style to another artists, pointing out where I have improved upon the style.