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Minimalism and De Stijl

large format bannersMinimalism in art and design refers to the principal of reducing a subject down to only its necessary elements. It’s a practice that has existed since at least the mid-20th century, but gained popularity and a considerable following in the ’60s and ’70s. It’s even more popular today, as minimalist compositions (sometimes in name only) have become a standard part of graphic design online.

You can trace the origins of Minimalism back to the traditional art of Japan, which often emphasized white space and as few lines as possible to convey a scene. Even more instrumental in the advent of Minimalism is the De Stijl movement from the Netherlands in the early 20th century. These artists advocated abstract shapes and lines over realistic forms and emphasized geometric forms rather than fluid or changing shapes. De Stijl artists were also fond of using only pure primary colors and black and white. Like Minimalism, De Stijl sought to express ideas using only the most basic elements.

Minimalism expanded this concept somewhat, but kept the basic idea of “Less is more,” as Minimalist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe has said. Designer Dieter Rams famously modified Mies’ motto slightly: “Good design is as little design as possible.”

Today, the tenants of Minimalism live on in contemporary design. In designing large format banners, simple elements with lots of clean white space continue to attract the eye. It’s a helpful philosophy to keep in mind when creating your own retractable banners.

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Posted on: Thursday, February 14th, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Posted in: Banners, Graphics, Large Format Banners

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