Important Factors of Minimal Web Design

‘Less is More’, an aphorism coined by the German – American architect for Coining suits the term ‘Minimalism’ in an apt way. In today’s world where everything is growing in a fast paced manner, we have to compromise somewhere to catch up with the speed, like a skyscraper cannot be constructed with all the architecture and the fine details as in case of a palace, but a skyscraper does justice to its part and everybody accepts this. In the world of darkness, a simple candle can light the whole place rather than a chandelier or heavy lightings. Similarly a minimalistic design is created to justify its purpose rather than incorporating all the materials and create a chaos.

Important Factors of Minimal Web Design

In the design world too, a minimalistic design is approached to achieve precise information where the attention is given only to the content and not to the colors and graphics.

In a Newspaper, even though the whole story is printed, but what catches our attention is the ‘Headlines’ in minimum words which speaks about the whole content. The same principle is applied here where only the necessary elements are defined and the most important part lies in identifying those ‘Elements’ which are to kept and which need to be ruled out. The maximum usage of Minimalism can be seen while designing portfolios where only the work speaks and not the person.

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Origin of Minimalism

Minimalism, the term itself would give a minimal idea about itself, mostly used in the context of art and painting the principle has been applied to many areas like music, theatres, interior design, and literature and in web design also. In simple terms, minimalism means to eliminate the unnecessary elements and focus only on the essential features to achieve the complete task. This idea has been around since 20th century especially in visual arts and music post World War II in the late 1060’s and 1970’s and often is rooted with Modernism and as a reaction against Abstract expressionism.

Minimalism in Web Design

A web design need not be always surrounded by heavy graphics and attractive images where the visitor has the risk of sometimes losing out the important matter. Colors are beautiful, but with everybody in a variety of complex colors a simple white color makes you stand out in the crowd i.e. any element which does not add to the final results is removed.

In a same way, a minimal web design can be the best since it focuses only on most important aspects of a web design, ‘Typography’, ‘Layout’ and ‘Good design’. Minimal websites aim in creating simple, lightweight and modern websites which are pleasing to look at; fast and effortless, things are presented in a clean and attractive manner with a lot of space.

Principles of Minimalist Design

Minimal web design results in the maximum simplification of the design. The design should be simplifies to an extent until there is nothing to be minimized. There should be a focal point which should be given the most importance. Some of the most important principles to be followed before practicing the minimal designs are.

01. White Spacing

A minimal website is most often characterized by the white spaces since it gives the content and the other details to breathe its space and all the other elements are highlighted or properly balanced with the white color as its background. It emphasizes the other elements and keeps them uncluttered.

02. Balance, Alignment and Contrast

These are the fundamentals of design which should be followed by adhering to the principles.

A contrast in a design gives a distinct look to maintain the focus because full of white spaces may become quite boring after certain time. So a contrast maintains the interest of the user and provides the necessary variety.

Balance is applied to give uniform importance to all the elements in a design like the smaller elements balancing the design i.e. it gives and over all importance on the whole and make sure every element is highlighted well and is not losing out its importance.

Alignment makes sure that the elements are properly placed in their places and nothing is overlapping with the other and on the whole all the elements are uniform in their places.

03. Typography

Typography is used to do the job of an interesting image in case pf its absence. They add a graphical twist to the otherwise white background with big and designer fonts. They convey vital information and add an interactive visual look and can give more details when the page has minimal content by combining multiple font sizes.

04. Grids

Though the Grids are not essentially required in a minimal design but they can bring a different look and order to the overall design by organizing images of equal sizes without making it too complex.

05. Background Images and Patterns

A simple pattern or an interesting image can enhance the look of a minimal design like a grey background neatly organizes the contents.

06. Minimal Colors

These websites don’t have much colors used but the right mix of colors should be used be quite meaningful and significant and should interact with the website on the whole. Like bright colors may substitute a black and white background, certain colors can be used for highlighting.

Fonts for Minimalist Design

A minimalistic design sans images owes a lot to the kind of fonts used because the entire design is on the Font. A change in the font design can affect the entire design. There are no strict rules to be followed while choosing a font for a design but Serif fonts give a literary design. The choice of fonts should be selected keeping the readability in mind like Thick fonts are used to display the headlines etc.

Fonts are also used to create text based logos replacing images. These logos are simple to understand and at the same time they don’t occupy much size, making them perfect for a minimal design. All logos can be created using True type fonts with a few exceptions since they need to be simple without any color graduation. Some of the popular websites which are identifies with their text are Twitter using Pico Alphabet in modified form, Digg in FFF Forward in modified form, Vimeo in Black Rose Font, Flickr in Frutiger Black, you Tube in Alternate Gothic2, Facebook in Klavica, Google in Catull BQ and more.

Extravaganzza

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Sans serif fonts by Inquietto in two formats of Regular and Bold presented neatly in a black background displaying the uppercase and lowercase letters.

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Delicious font family

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This combination of fonts is a complete family with combinations of italics, consistency in shaping and shape of the characters.

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Danube

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A variety of font with a modern touch designed by Levi, gives a different shape and dimension to the normal letters and other characters defined in a special way.

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Cicle

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Sans serif fonts designed by La Tipomatika as Cicle fonts in 7 different combinations as Cicle Fina, fina Italic, Cicle Gordita, Gordita Italic, Cicle Semi, Semi Italic and shadow.

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Mentone

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Mentone, named after the author location in beautiful bayside of Melbourne is an extension to great Sans-serif fonts with round corners and subtle chamfers which add an upbeat and irreverent expressions.

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Dezen-pro

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Dezen Pro fonts designed by DizajnDesign has 8 variations as Dezen Pro Thin, Extra light, Light, Regular, Medium, Bold, Black and Heavy and can be purchased either individually or as a group.

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Otari

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Otari fonts are designed by TK Type which includes a family of 11 fonts as Otari Light, Light italic, Regular, Regular Italic, Medium, Medium Italic, Bold, Bold-Limited, Bold Italic, Heavy and Heavy Italic and can be purchased individually or as a whole family.

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Sansation

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Another Sans Serif font Sansation by Bernd Montag, comes as Sansation Bold, Italic and Light with improved spacing, kerning, added glyphs and additional weights.

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Circula

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Circula is a simplified geometric display typeface based on circles. It contains capitals and small capitals only (no lower case), basic symbols, superior and inferior numbers and common fractions. It supports Eastern European, Baltic and Turkish character sets.

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Minimalist Design in WordPress

WordPress, the most popular blogging platform has seen a phenomenal development in its growth. More than blogging, it is also seen as a social networking site attracting a lot of visitors and interacting with lot more new people. New themes and added plugins and new version made WordPress more graphical with great designs.

The minimal design in WordPress brings back the meaning of blogging in its original term, a simple text based diary. All the graphical elements are stripped down and WordPress is brought down more as a text based interface with the focus only on the content. These minimal designs are a showcase of what; originally the blogging was in terms of WordPress.

Oulipo

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Oulipo is a minimal theme compatible with the most of the features in WordPress 2.7 like the Custom menu support, Widgeted sidebar, Threaded comments for WordPress, Post thumbnails and more and created by Interaction and Visual designer, Andrea Mignolo.

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Sharpfolio

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Sharpfolio WordPress theme enables the designers, photographers, artists or anybody to create a portfolio in a minimal design which focuses only on the work and is licensed under the Cretive Commons Attribution Noncommercial license.

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Theme Lab

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Just Lucid is a template designed for a minimal WordPress web design by DemusDesign. It has a separate style sheet of 800px as well as 1024px width. Has a widgetized sidebar and footer.

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Magatheme

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Magatheme is a classy and minimal WordPress theme which has a three column layout with six sidebars, 4 color schemes, Feedburner integration valid XHTML and CSS and has highlighted author comments and is compatible with WordPress 2.7.

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Snook

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This minimal design website created by Jonathan Snook which has some of the striking features like sidebar with a beautiful illustration, social icons which can be used by others too and custom fonts like Museo Sans 500 and League Gothic.

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Minimalism in Poster Designs

Posters which were known for their vibrant colors and images have seen a recreation of themselves as Poster designs in the digital world. The colors and the images which dominated the main part were replaced by heavier designs and typography later on. Not only the 3D and other advancements but also retro designs were introduced in these Poster designs.

After all this, now it’s the period of Minimal designs which focuses only on the content and they have actually given a new dimension for Poster designs too by cutting off those images and colorful backgrounds. Confused? A showcase of these minimal poster designs may surprise you with minimalism.

Eastside Bookshop

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Eastside identity bookshop is a neat, simple and clean design with an attractive logo which makes it highly suitable for bookshops.

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MINIMAL Lot

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A collection of graphics in minimal designs which are highly creative with minimum design and maximum of white space.

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Colorcubic Encompass

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A minimal design of a Colorcubic compass which has a great composition and combination of colors with a retro feel with interesting shapes and textured background.

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Weekend

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A perfect representation in a minimal design for a Sunday in a Serif font in a rainy window background as a 13 x 19 poster.

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Minimal Maximal

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A minimal poster for an electro minimal design with excellent combination of graphics neatly crafted in a twisted fashion.

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Uses of Typography in Minimal Web Design

Typography is the most important aspect in a web design because the communication happens through Typos. Huge fonts can catch the attention of the user instantly and communicate the idea. It is not always necessary to use the same kind of black fonts on a white background but contrast in color of the fonts and design can greatly add to a beautiful design. Big typography can be used to convey vital information; they can be used as a focal point in the design, or used as text based logos.

Typography can be selected for a web page using 4 main categories which are Contrast, Size, Hierarchy and Space. For e.g. though a contrast in color may seem attractive, but reading them for a long time may be tiresome, Size is the most important factor, because the site should be readable and should not cause any strain to the reader. If you are using different sizes, then varying type sizes can be used to differentiate contents and page elements. The most important of all, is give enough spacing for your fonts to achieve the perfect balance and the line spacing should be at-least 140% of your text size.

I love Typography

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Big typography in contrast colors of blue and white on a patterned black background for an attractive and minimal display.

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No Type no Life

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Huge white font on a black background with variations of bold and slim text in Uppercase and lowercase letters.

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Ben Cardy

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Lines and letters with a retro feel as the background in different shapes and Typography in its minimal design and form.

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Two-slate

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A beautiful example of a minimal typography with the letter in uppercase presented as the keys in the keyboard with a plain black background.

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Big Difference

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A combination of bold and normal fonts in a typed black background

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Minimal Web Design Galleries

Minimal Sites

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Minimal Sites is designed with a goal of “Doing more with less’ and is designed and built by Jung also features the sites or portfolios in minimal design of other artists and other favorites by Editor and guests.

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Minimalexhibit

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Minimal Exhibit is a gallery that exists to showcase the best websites that feature a minimalist design style.

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Thebestdesigns

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The Best Designs recognizes the best Flash and CSS web sites from around the world. Websites are categorized by CSS or Flash and also by elements of the design.

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Designbombs

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Designbombs is a CSS Website Gallery and a provider of top resources and tutorials from the best of the web.

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Examples of Minimal Website Design

Made by SOFA

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An interaction and design company, SOFA features a minimal web design, they develop and design and help others for designing their products. A gallery of their previous works is also showcased.

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Arty Papers

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Artypapers is designed in a grey background with minimal images which was created by R.Marie Cox in 2003. They produce high quality websites with custom designs standards based CSS and XHTML.

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Berit Somme

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Berit Somme minimal website design features many illustrations and categories separating them as ‘Thumbnails’ and ‘Preview’.

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Tic Toc Family

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Tic toe is an integrated digital agency offering Research & strategy, Design, Technical development, SEO, Analysis & Reporting.

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JasonMayo

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A minimal web design featuring the Interactive, Website, Print, Motion and Graphic design which also showcases the selected works from the designers.

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Hallworth Design

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An interaction, Web application and User Interface design from Hallworth which features the Latest News, Blog categories as a ‘Business process’.

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Rodrigo Galindez

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Designed by Rodrigo Galindez, an interaction designer who features the collection of thoughts about design & technology, typography and life who focuses on tackling the communication issues with a simple approach.

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Wevio

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A digital agency in the global market, Wevio provides Web designing & development, SEO, SEM, CMS, Email marketing and custom blog design.

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Pixel Umbrella

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Pixel Umbrella is designed by the Web designer Nick Robinson for his Online Portfolio, makes quality designs and hand coded solutions for people.

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Minimal Web Design Tutorials

Less is More, is what a minimal design preaches, but that is under appreciated since it is reduced to its fundamental features which most of them don’t find up to the mark. Bu the beauty lies in creating a sensible design which appeals to all without nothing being there. This section provides you with some of the tutorials which give you guidance in creating a minimal design.

Create an Awesome Minimal Design in Photoshop

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A step-by-step tutorial of creating a minimal design in Photoshop which uses a 16 column 960 grid with creating separately the top bar, content, arrows and about designing a portfolio slider.

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Minimalistic Layout for Your Personal Site

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A minimalistic yet a stylish web layout in Photoshop for your personal site which uses the tools, effects and some of the blending options to get the perfect logo and the arrangement of images.

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Minimal and Modern Portfolio Layout in Photoshop

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A modern and minimal portfolio layout created in Photoshop which explains about designing the portfolio in the first part and conversion of PSD to XHTML / CSS in the second part.

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Design a Minimalistic Blog Theme

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A beautiful theme for your blog in Photoshop created with a Bokeh image as background and drawing the layout and the contents producing the final result.

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Simple Portfolio Layout in Photoshop

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This tutorial creates a dark-themed minimal web layout for a portfolio design which uses only the basic parts like making the navigation menu, designing the content area and and finally adding the necessary elements.

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A Minimalistic Poster Design

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A minimalistic poster design creation in Photoshop with a paper textured retro background with a combination of stock photos, blend modes and filters.

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Slick and Minimalistic Web Layout

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Create a slick and minimal looking website in Photoshop using the 960 grid system as a template to arrange the design elements and adding the navigation, sub-navigation and content for the design elements.

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Light and Sleek Minimal Website in Photoshop

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A light and sleek minimal website created with 960 grid system and altering the structure, quality, gradients, layers in the initial steps and designing the search bar, making the Recent Projects and Services area.

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Guide to Create a Minimalistic Design

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A step-by-step guide of creating a minimal design website with a detailed explanation on the areas which are the prime things for a minimal design.

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How to Create a Minimal Design

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Creating a design with only its fundamental features means a lot of things to be sacrificed, but what to omit and where to be more focused. This portion will help you explore the details.

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What Experts Say About the Minimal Designs?

  • “Minimalist web design relies on subtraction and the preservation of empty space.”Tokujin Yoshioka
  • “It has nothing to do with minimalism, more to do with cutting away to find the true strengths of my idea.”James Irvine
  • “Minimalism in interior design has become a caricature. Everywhere you find shops or hotels with an ambience that makes you feel like you are in a refrigerator.”Andrée Putman
  • “Minimalism and anonymity are the two elements which make up the essential nature of the muji.”Enzo Mari
  • “Minimalist design ‘make the simple things simple, and the complex things possible. My aim is to combine simple elegance and functionality to a timeless form.”Xavier Lust
  • “My father adored the concept of minimalism, zen culture, the essence of things.”Barnaba Fornasetti
  • “I wrote a little manifest once about what I thought my style was, and I called it ‘sensual minimalism’ or ‘sensualism’.”Karim Rashid

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18 Comments

  1. Hey, nice article.

  2. One of the best articles I’ve red on minimalism.

  3. Thanks Siva for the nice post and appreciate sharing the links too :)

  4. Great post, I also believe strongly in minimalism

  5. very useful post, thanks…

  6. Yes – Exactly.

    Minimalistic designs are mostly appealing if they have big spaces and that typical typography helping the overall picture to appeal the viewer the first instant itself!

    I remember designing a brochure where the client wanted a global feel to it – actually he meant that minimalistic feel with wide spaces and light font fitted in boxes and border-less images…

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. useful post..
    minimalism is not more faster and easier to do…

  8. Thanks your great article for minimalisim

  9. its awesome….
    thanks for sharing….

  10. Yes, I would agree that less is more at times but a website should be professionally designed in order to project the right image of the company along with the products or services that is being promoted.

    Lauren

  11. Its really great, this blog has got really very great article . keep up the good work going.

  12. Thanks for including the design and link. Description doesn’t really make sense though.

  13. These are really interesting. Thanks for the insight!

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