The latest in design: minimalism
Design trends are ever evolving. Labeling a period of time as being stylistically situated on one design trend or style is an ambiguous task. We can, however, narrow it down to major trends that have a substantial impact on the world we saw this year and what we will be seeing next year.
As 2013 comes to a close, its time to reflect upon the design trends that have shaped the year. In 2013 we can see the trend of minimalism in almost everything from website and package design to the Christmas card your grandmother sent you. Minimalism certainly isn’t a new trend; it has been around longer than you have and has been rearing its beautiful face ever since.
In 2007 we saw the release of a product called Zune. Zune starts as Microsoft’s first multimedia player and ends as Microsoft’s first failed attempt at creating a multimedia player. In the process we are introduced to the elegant simplicity of flat typographical design.
The Zune system is a perfect introduction to the trends that were to develop in multimedia design. Employing the use of flat colors and relying on type helps reduce the number of visual assets and in turn overall footprint of user interfaces in things such as apps and websites.
This trend does not stand to undermine the utility of photography; it in fact serves as a complement. In turn we can clearly see the established look evolve and apply itself in the imagery of the new Windows 8 and Windows Phone designs in 2013.
Following the same trail we see Appleʼs iOS7, they made a concerted effort this year to flatten their colors and iconography which helps to push their ʻless is moreʼ ideology. Companies across the board made moves toward flatter color and simplified interfaces. This includes the use of skinny and minimalist iconography, understated elegance and heavy use of sans serif typography.
All of the above elements get the proverbial ball rolling for the new looks that will emerge in the coming year. Looking forward to 2014 we can expect the continuation of the minimalistic trends that have developed in 2013. To offer a speculation of how the minimalistic trends of 2013 will translate into the future, I believe that the flatness of design elements used in 2013 will become more dynamic with added layering and depth. As designers push the envelope on what trends will rise in fall in modern design we will see the further integration of more responsive and adaptive user interface within the realm of web and multimedia interaction. The future of design trends is an exciting prospect to discuss and predict. But hey why wait for design trends when you can get out there and start one?