MIN: The New Simplicity in Graphic Design | Book Review


To say our eyes lit up when this new publication from Thames and Hudson landed on our desks here at OFFSET HQ would be putting it mildly. Minimalist graphic design has been having a renaissance as of late and Stuart Tolley’s MIN: The New Simplicity in Graphic Design showcases just how effective and successful this genre can be.


Author and founder of London graphic design studio and editorial consultancy, Transmission, Tolley photographed more than 400 examples of work from some of the best contemporary designers that are currently championing minimalist graphics. With numerous familiar OFFSET faces to be found among the pages, including Made Thought’s rebranding of G . F Smith, Veronica Ditting’s The Gentlewoman and The Designers Republic work for Aphex Twin.


Taking nearly two years to complete, Tolley carries out a thoughtful exploration of the topic, documenting the cream of the contemporary minimalist crop. Focusing on three categories: Reduction, Production and Geometry, we are introduced to each section with an interview from a design firm at the top of their game, such as BVD Design and Rosa Park and Rich Stapleton of Cereal Magazine.


Successful minimalist design is intricately simplistic as it is edited down to the bare essentials but simultaneously keeping those intriguing details. Min shows us a hugely diverse range of examples showcasing designs for corporate branding, to album covers, and independent magazines.


The pure nature of these designs leads to the need of additional ingenuity, which is supplied by tactile qualities such as clever dust jackets and glossy inks jumping off matte papers. A great number of the designs also forgo a colour palette in preference of black and white, keeping the style truly minimalist.


With this simplistic and complex genre coming to the fore over the last decade, Min is a must read for anyone in the design sphere. Get your copy from Thames and Hudson here.


Words and photos by Lauren Pritchard