It should be strongly stated that minimalist graphic design is not a new design movement. Nowadays, it seems that the internet is inundated with minimalist poster designs for the latest superhero movie or the newest Xbox game, but the fact is that using clear space and flat color in a design has always been an effective design strategy. When you can throw out all the graphical elements that you don’t need, you are left with a super-clear and distinct message that is easy to visually read and immediately appealing. In this post that covers the history of graphic design minimalism through a series of 10 posters, we have attempted to show you a glimpse of some of our favorite minimalist graphic design posters and artists of the last century to the present day.
Original source: http://www.makefive.com/categories/entertainment/art/top-5-graphic-designers/el-lissitzky
1. Lazar Markovich Lissitzky
The idea of “minimalism” as graphical artform has its roots in artists like Piet Mondian and Henri Matisse. However, the genesis of minimalism in a graphic design environment came from the Russian Constructivist movement of the early 20th Century. The movement represented a major breakthrough in graphic design in which art became highly geometric, stylized, and minimal in form. It was in this propaganda art era that artists such as Lazar Markovich Lissitzky created masterpieces of simplicity. His artwork was especially expressive of the idea of graphical minimalism and could be considered as the birthplace of the minimalist poster. It represents simple but high-contrasting imagery and beautifully composed typography that instantly appealed to the public in an age of political mass-persuasion.
Original source: http://blog.wearefreerange.com/?p=412.Emil Ruder
2. Emil Ruder
Emil Ruder was one of the foremost members of the Swiss school of design thinking. His almost mathematical approach to graphics was based on a grid layout in which there are 24 possible positions and shapes of image. These limitations of positioning and composition gave rise to a distinctly minimal approach to design in which only the most important typographical and image elements are needed to communicate a design message. Fanatical about typography and the importance of the sans-serif font, he has become one of the most important figures in graphic design history.
3. Paul Rand
Pioneer graphic designer, Paul Rand is famous for his corporate identity development. Probably the most influential logo designer of all time, his uncanny ability to give meaning to the simplest shapes and symbols made him a legend in the world of graphic design. He brought the Swiss style to the USA by creating designs with simple and clear typography, crossed with minimal visual choices.
Original source: http://www.saulbassposterarchive.com/
4. Saul Bass
The Godfather of minimalist poster design is Saul Bass. He is arguably the greatest protagonist of this design style and the most famous movie poster designer of all time. His visually simple but impactfull poster designs are the antithesis of minimalism and the “less is more” school of design thought in which original typography and graphics are the lifeblood of the artwork. His high-contrast, action-packed movie poster designs of the 1960’s are particular works-of-art that people use as examples of “high art” movie posters. The resurgence of his unique illustrative style that was based in strong concept and idea is apparent in many of the posters we are seeing in 2013 ( a backlash to the “screenshot” style movie posters that people are tired of seeing.)
Original source: http://www.designishistory.com/1960/shigeo-fukuda/
5. Shigeo Fukuda
Shigeo Fukuda was associated with the Pop Art movement but used Constructivist and Modernist ideals to create minimal designs in a three decade period that began in the 1960’s. His graphic design style has been massively influential on a generation of visual artists and in particular, those designers who strive for a more minimal yet meaningful design approach. Like Saul Bass, his designs are based upon strong concepts and ideas. He is particularly known for his use of visual illusions and high -graphic concepts that are beautiful, imaginative, and sometimes perplexing.
Original Source: http://butdoesitfloat.com/filter/Ilmars-Rumpeters
6. Llmars Rumpeters
Llmars Rumpeters is a Latvian graphic designer who has been creating brilliant minimalist design works since the 1960’s . His work is somewhat of a personal discovery of mine while researching this subject, and although he’s not as well known as other designers in this list, he is a wonderful proponent of the minimalist style. He was the main contributor to a Latvian magazine called Jauna Gaita that is an absolute masterpiece of graphic design and minimalism.
7. Neville Brody
Neville Brody is the UK’s most influential graphic designer. His work in the 80’s and 90’s on publications such as the Face and Arena set the graphical tone in the UK for much of those decades and beyond. Particularly known for his font and logo design, Neville Brody is a main proponent of the Swiss design movement of cleanliness, readability, and objectivity that was established by Emil Ruder, Paul Rand and other graphic pioneers. His work is often edgy, provocative, and minimal in composition. As shown in the Ocean’s 12 example above, it is also still relevant, commercial, and appealing.
Original source: http://www.swissted.com/
8. Mike Joyce
Mike Joyce is a rockstar in the world of design. His clients have included Communication Arts, Graphic, Rolling Stone, How, Computer Arts, NME, The Village Voice, and The Huffington Post. His ongoing project called “Swissted” represents a massive design library of fantastic minimalist punk rock posters. Mike is a design and typography purist who lives and works in the West Village of New York City and refuses to design wedding invitations.
Original source: http://www.empireonline.com/features/2010/olly-moss/
9. Olly Moss
Of all the new generation of minimal poster artists who blog and share their work online, Olly Moss is probably the most shared and tweeted of them all. This is probably because his work is so visually compelling and his particular brand of retro poster artwork is far beyond the typical art bloggers skill and understanding. His work regularly appears in magazines, video game covers, and comic books.
Original source: http://bltcommunications.com/Project/the-wolverine
10. BLT Communications
BLT Communications is a media design company that specializes in posters and movie promotion graphics. Their most recent success was the Wolverine 2 poster campaign that took advantage of the popularity of minimalist poster design to create a truly memorable campaign that was deservedly applauded by both the graphic design and fanboy communities. This example has been included in this list to show how popular and mainstream this graphical style is becoming once again. Almost like a complete reemergence of the visually exciting poster work of Saul Bass, BLT Communications has recognized the power of keeping a poster graphically clean, neat , and full of energy – it’s so much more interesting than the typical movie photo-snapshot.
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