New book dispels the cliches of minimalist graphic design and explains why less is more

If you love minimalist design and are finding yourself crafting projects where less is more, then we recommend MIN: The New Simplicity in Graphic Design – a new visual culture book by Stuart Tolley, the creative director and founder of Brighton-based creative agency Transmission.

Published by Thames & Hudson, the 288 page publication is the first thorough look at the rebirth of simplicity in graphic design and showcases around 160 outstanding minimalist designers working across a wide range of formats and media – from independent magazines, album covers, books, packaging and branding.

Only the finest international examples from the last three years are featured and includes work by Made Thought, Stockholm Design Lab, Gentlewoman, Wang Zhi-Hong and Raster Noton. Each example has been photographed exclusively for the book and is accompanied by commentary on the design and production processes involved.

The book is divided into three sections: Reduction, Production, Geometry, each opening with an exclusive in-depth interview with Cereal Magazine, BVD and Erased Tapes Records.

Speaking of what he hopes to achieve through his new book, Stuart said: "I aim to dispel some of the cliches surrounding Minimalism and highlight that a simplified approach to graphic design is far from the easy option and can take years to master through ceaseless refinement and restraint."

Of course, minimalist graphic design can get a bad reception these days. On that point Stuart said: "I think the main hangup with Minimalism is, when successful, it looks effortless. People assume that because it looks effortless, it was created with little effort. There’s a massive difference.

"For me, the appeal of minimal graphic design has developed over time. I find there’s increasingly more noise in our daily lives, from online advertising and social media, so a simpler, decluttered lifestyle really resonates with me. This thinking has filtered into my graphic design work and I love that there’s nowhere to hide with minimalism. It’s about being clever and experimental with the essential ingredients of composition, type and the all-important concept."

If you love minimalism, or just want to discover more, then grab yourself a copy of MIN: The New Simplicity in Graphic Design, out Monday.


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