Minimalism has been a prevalent theme in branding for a long time, and it has worked well in many different fields and for a lot of different companies. Many products have benefitted well from minimalist brandings, such as skin care, eco-friendly products and health products. But what is minimalist branding, and how has it evolved in recent years? How has it evolved to look the way it does in 2023, and does it have a future within 2023’s branding trends? This article will let you know everything you need to know about minimalist branding and how it has evolved and will discuss whether it has a future in 2023.

What Is Minimalist Branding?

Minimalism isn’t a new concept- after all, the flags used by each individual country could be described as minimalist. However, factors in everyday modern life have made minimalist branding more prevalent. For example, in many large cities, many companies use a minimalist branding style. To stand out in a bustling metropolis, ironically, less is more. Modernisation is often linked to minimalist branding.

But what could it be defined by? The minimalist brand design could be spotted by its simplicity, clean lines, and usually a monochromatic palette. Many minimalist brands tend to be defined by that one colour and shy away from using any others. A flat logo design is one of the best indicators of minimalist branding and has worked really well for social media companies and modern brands. This is because it stood out, as pre-internet, people favoured intricately designed logos. Negative space and simple icons make your brand a bit more memorable- depending on your company, minimalist branding could really work in your favour.

How Has It Evolved?

Minimalism began as an art movement after World War II. The clean lines, striking materials and simplicity evoked a sense of the future that was needed after the world wars. It meant that the world was rebuilding and looking to the future. Elements of minimalism could be seen in everything from architecture to fashion- and it wouldn’t be long before it made it to branding strategies.

It could be said that the pioneers of minimalist branding were Starbucks and Apple. In 1976, Apple’s logo was a detailed sketch of Isaac Newton under a tree- however, by 1977, it had changed its design to a flat, simple apple outline. This logo has become iconic today – it is instantly recognisable almost everywhere. In 1971, the Starbucks logo was a detailed black-and-white sketch of a two-tailed mermaid- however, over time it has evolved to become one of the most simple and recognisable logos ever. McDonald’s is renowned for its iconic logo- the two golden arches. These companies were pioneers of minimalist branding, making their companies instantly recognisable even after so many years.

A few years ago, many companies started to make the move towards a more minimalist look, and it soon took over the artistic direction of thousands of companies. The most notable could be the number of fashion houses which changed their logos and key font to something less intricate and more simple- notably, Balenciaga and Balmain. The fact that these fashion houses had seen that there was a future in minimalist branding made it explode as a trend- which helped some businesses and compromised others. For example, when Tropicana tried to change its branding to a more minimalist design, it lost sales as it became unrecognisable.

Minimalist branding can sometimes be controversial due to this- while it can make companies become more iconic, it can also mean that some companies lose what gave them their market edge in the first place.  However, many companies still choose minimalist branding for the look of their business.

What Does It Look Like In 2023?

Minimalism has subtly changed over the years. For example in 2023, it has been noticed that complete monochrome palettes have fallen out of style. Instead, many companies favour using a few shades of colour in a group. Experts from a branding design agency Sheffield based have predicted that interesting colour palettes, experimental typography and elegant fonts will revamp minimalism this year.

Minimalism sometimes gets a bad reputation for being ‘boring’ or ‘stifling’ but designers are set to change that this year, with innovative new flat logos and brighter colour schemes. Designers are predicting that minimalist branding in 2023 will adopt a more retro, bright, 60s style. It is predicted that minimalist natural shapes will become outdated and fall quickly out of fashion as the year goes on. The minimalist trend for 2023 will include ‘doing more with less’ – rather than utilising empty space and beige tones, minimalist design in 2023 will involve using the least amount of elements to project the most personality. These brands will only use one or two colours with large, clear fonts – but they will be moving away from the old neutral minimalist style.

Does It Have A Future in 2023?

Just because minimalism has changed, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a future in 2023. Minimalism has developed from a distinct style to becoming more of a set of design rules- it could be said that the modern ethos of minimalist branding is ‘less is more.’ While brands are turning away from traditional concepts such as blank space and neutral colours, doesn’t mean that the fundamental drive of minimalist branding will be over in 2023.

In fact, it is predicted that minimalist concepts will influence many branding trends predicted for 2023. For example, mascots are predicted to become a big thing next year- however, the design of these mascots will be a bit different than those we have previously seen. Mascots will be seen to take on a simplistic, one-colour design so that customers may more easily recognise the mascot as a brand representative. This can be seen with such brand redesigns as the DuoLingo Owl, which has become an iconic representation of the company and also become a really effective marketing tool on social media. In conclusion, minimalism will not die out but merely evolve to fit into the expectations of the consumer going into 2023.

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