Minimalism is one of our favorite styles of web design. A well-designed website with a minimalist style and a clean layout may look simple, but they’re not always easy to design. Many of us have an appreciation for an attractive, yet simple, design. And since this is the case, I’ve taken a look at what makes minimalistic designs successful and I’d like to share my thoughts here. After I cover what I think makes a successful minimalist website, we’ll go over 25 of my favorite examples of minimalist websites.
1. Plenty of White Space
One of the keys to minimalism in design is the effective use of white space and a distinct lack of clutter. Of course, white space doesn’t have to be white, it simply refers to open space in the design, whatever color that may be.
Clutter can have several negative impacts on visitors. Most significantly, visitors have a hard time focusing on the most important parts of a page if it is cluttered. White space makes the contents of the page easier to digest.
2. Effective Typography
Many of the best minimalistic designs compensate for using fewer photos and graphics by making better use of typography. Excellent typography is capable of replacing many of the visual benefits that are lost by not using a lot of images. For this reason, typography is even more critical in a minimalistic design than it is for other styles of design.
3. Effective Use of Color
Color choices are important for any design, but more so for minimalistic designs. With less busyness on the page, the color combinations play a larger role in the look of the site. There is nothing to hide poor color choices in a minimalistic design. Color can be a very powerful method for helping particular content to stand out. The simplicity of a minimalistic design allows color choices to have more of an impact.
4. Clarity of Purpose
One of the biggest reasons for using a simple design is that it’s easier for visitors to quickly see the purpose of a website or a particular page, rather than being distracted by excessive things that are going on as well. With this approach, you have better control over the message that is portrayed to visitors.
5. Elimination of Extras
Minimalism is a lack of anything that is not necessary. By getting rid of what is not needed, what is left has more of an impact on visitors.
6. Focal Point
Many websites have so much going on that it’s difficult for visitors to know what is the focal point of the site, or what is most important. Simple websites have an advantage in that they can more effectively direct the visitor’s attention to the most important content of the page.
Beautiful Minimal and Clean Websites
Below are 25 of the best-crafted website designs that exhibit minimalism and/or clean layouts.
Nuvo is a Canadian lifestyle magazine and their website features a very clean and minimal. Like almost every other magazine or news website, Nuvo includes a lot of photos. However, the design and layout are very simple with nothing extra included.
Eric Paul Snowden
Eric Paul Snowden is VP of Design at Adobe and his personal portfolio website uses a nice, clean layout. It’s a simple website that shows his work on the homepage and also includes an About page with a bio. If you click on any of the projects on the homepage, you’ll be led to another page with more details on that project.
Temple is a design agency with a portfolio site that uses a minimalist approach. The only color on the site is provided by photos and images, although many of them are black & white or only include small amounts of color.
DAUM&CO is a management consulting firm based in Australia. Their website is different from many others that are featured here because of its dark background. The layout and style of design are very simple, yet professional.The are no photos or images on the site.
IGNANT is an online magazine and production company. The site includes a lot of photos, but even the photos have a minimalist style. The design and layout of the site is very clean with a preference for simplicity.
Hotel Palette is a creative consultancy that works with hotels. The site uses a light background color to give it a distinct look. The layout is very basic and photos provide the only visual elements, aside from typography.
Australian design studio Swear Words takes a minimalist approach with its website. The site uses a very light gray background and no text on the homepage aside from the text-based logo and navigation. The about page is a simple two-paragraph bio with no images. If you’re looking for an example of a simple portfolio site, this is it. Swear Words really lets its work do the talking through the images.
Hemster’s homepage includes several photos that add a lot of visual interest, but the style of design and the layout are both very simple. This site is a perfect example of a clean website that looks elegant and maintains a high level of usability.
Graphic designer Amanda Kirkman’s portfolio site features a clean layout and design. The homepage includes no photos or images above the fold, although the portfolio page provides plenty of visual interest.
You may think that huge companies don’t use a minimalist design style, but Facebook proves that to be wrong with their website for Facebook Designs. This content-based website tells stories related to design, with an emphasis on Facebook apps and technologies. The homepage and the story pages themselves feature a very clean design and layout.
Is it a surprise that a website named Minimalissimo would use a minimalist design? Minimalissmo is a gallery site that showcases outstanding examples of minimalism in various types of design. If you appreciate minimalism, you’ll love this site. The site itself uses a simple black & white color scheme with a clean layout.
Venn Studio offers architecture, interior design, furniture design, and other related services. The website is extremely clean with a very minimal homepage design. If you click on “projects” in the navigation menu, you’ll see a large list of the past projects, and a photo of the project appears who you hover the mouse over the link.
Parker is a Seattle-based graphic and interior design studio. Their portfolio websites uses a nice, clean layout.They work a little bit of color into the design throughout the site, and like most portfolio sites, a lot of images and photos are included.
Onplace is a new (yet to be released) platform for building a portfolio site. At this point, it’s a simple one-page website with links to their social forms and an optin form to join the waitlist. The design is very clean, leading visitors to assume that portfolios built with Onplace will benefit from the same minimalist style.
The Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation
Proving that minimalist designs can be used for any type of business or organization, The Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation uses a beautiful, clean design. The background above the fold is dark but lighter as you scroll down. Aside from a nice layout, the site also features excellent photos and typography.
Vicarious offers intelligent automation through robotics. The company has an impressive list of investors (Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg) as well as an impressive website. The layout of the site is clean with strong use of photos, video, and animation.
Foundry is one of the few e-commerce websites featured on this list. This site sells luxury fine art, and the style of design of the site is very appropriate, promoting the feel of luxury. Foundry uses a black, white, and gray color scheme. As you would expect from a site that sells fine art, there are plenty of photos throughout the site.
Nowhere Famous is a design studio with a beautiful portfolio website. The layout and design style is simple, but there are loads of photos on the site that provide plenty of visual appeal.
co: is a design agency that uses a dark background for their site. The layout and design is clean, which keeps the emphasis on what’s important.
The website of Ferrumpipe features a lot of large photos. The site itself has an extremely clean design. There’s not a lot of text on the site, it relies mostly on the photos. Even the photos that are used are very clean with few distractions.
This portfolio site for the creative agency Justified Studio uses a clean and minimal design. The color scheme is black, white, and gray, but plenty of color is introduced through the photos. The site is user-friendly and very easy to navigate.
This PR agency uses color in their site while still keeping a clean layout. The background of every page includes color. The text and photos on the pages are laid out in a nice, simple way.
This electric bike company uses a very minimal and clean design for their website. Of course, there are many photos of bikes, but the site maintains a stylishly clean look. The area above the fold is especially simple.
Garrett Elizabeth Office
The G.E.O. creative agency’s website features a very clean design. The site uses a lot of large images and photos, which is appropriate for a portfolio site. Aside from the images, the site is very simple, making it easy to navigate.
Anthony Burrill’s website features a full-width background image. There are a number of photos on this site and aside from the photos, the design and layout are fairly simple.
Linear’s website uses a dark background very effectively. The design is more clean than it is minimal, but it’s a beautiful design without a lot of extra elements.
As you’ve seen from the examples above, businesses in just about any industry can use a minimal or clean design for their website. Certainly, some types of sites (like portfolio sites) are more ideal for this style, but this approach can be useful for other businesses as well.
For more design inspiration please see: