5 Great Examples of Minimal Websites

By / May 2, 2014 / Inspiration
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Minimalism is a design style that emphasizes simplicity and the removal of surplus elements in a design, stripping it down to its basic elements, colors, shapes and textures. This style was overlooked in the early dot com days of the internet, but it has now become very popular in website design. The fundamentals of minimal design in my opinion are balance, alignment and plenty of negative space. Here is my pick of websites from a range of genres that adopt this approach very well.

Teehan Lax – Design Agency

Great examples of Minimal Websites

Stripping a design agency down to its bare fundamentals is no easy task! Most design studios over-design the homepage when all that is really required is a strap-line clearly explaining what the company does and maybe some rich imagery to tease the user. The Teehan Lax homepage delivers. Even the menu has been reduced to the now acceptable 3 bars motif and those buttons with just an outline stroke are subtle but effective calls to action. If you skip to the blog page, this has been stripped back to well-formatted text with hints of contrasting colour to highlight links. Combining different-sized fonts is a great way to add visual interest without clutter.

Lacoste – Sports Commerce

Great examples of Minimal Websites

Generally Ecommerce sites are guilty of overpowering the homepage with products, offers and deals. Lacoste is different. Anybody familiar with the brand will know that Lacoste is all about lots of white, together with clean and simple contrasting colours. Lacoste carry these values over to the UK website. Lots of white space teamed with paired back navigation make for a serene online experience. The products frame the site using a clever grid system refining the alignment of everything. The product images are bold enough to add visual impact without adding clutter.

Squarespace – Large Commercial

Great examples of Minimal Websites

I think Squarespace deserves a mention here, if not for its commercial website then for the array of minimal templates that it offers for sale. Each template is individually crafted, usually filling the screen and giving the reader a breath of fresh air in comparison to other fussy design templates. Squarespace sites tend to balance large striking imagery with well-formatted type, keeping everything visually pleasing, organized and readable. Squarespace is becoming very popular with creative people, proving that minimal templates have mass-market appeal.

Mellbye – Architects

Great examples of Minimal Websites

If there’s one discipline that really understands minimalism, it’s architecture. Long before websites, architects were bringing pared-back structure to our cities. Mellbye is a provider of architectural services based in Oslo. Some might argue the Mellbye website looks unfinished with no coherent border/frame/footer in place. In truth the website makes great use of the white space; without it, you’d end up with some other style that’s not truly minimalist. The history page is a perfect of example of not aligning every element but still managing to retain a solid page structure. This style may look simple, but is not easy to design. What you leave out of a design is just as important as what you put in.

Layervault – UK Startup

Great examples of Minimal Websites

Being a startup and channeling a minimal theme is brave. It has to work for Layervault because the whole ethos of the company is ‘Simple version control for designers.’ A busy design would conflict with what is essentially a simple product. The homepage is very stark, opting for lots of white space and subtle animations. The animations are simple and clear, involving moving lines with primary colours to add a touch of interest. The design is also very narrow (580px) so when viewed on a large monitor can appear very contained. I think this adds to the overall feel. Grey dividing lines are used as borders between sections and the white space between columns are spaced evenly to create a sense of calm.

About the Author

Bryan Werbinski is the founder of Styles Webbin, an London based web design agency with a passion for clear, creative and engaging design . Follow Styles Webbin on Twitter for more design tips.

8 Comments

  1. david
    May 2, 2014

    the Norwegian architects site looks sharp

    Reply
    • Andy A
      May 6, 2014

      Yeah I agree the design is nice but don’t you also feel they’ve paired back the content too much as well?

      In the example shown here (and I’ve checked it on the website), the vertical garden project, they’ve got several lovely pictures, that lovely brown box at the bottom right for details on the project (which I do think is a gorgeous colour) and then inside it there’s a 6 word description.

      Nothing else. Was it built? What was the brief? Who was asking? What was their inspiration?

      Any information at all?

      Hundreds of hours of work to make that design and the web guy used 6 words and there’s nothing I can click on for more info or anything. Surely the site is there to help showcase their talent and drum up business, not just to show the output of Blender.

      That’s too minimal.

      Reply
  2. Josh Ross
    May 2, 2014

    I’ve always been one for minimalism as well. Just two colors for the branding and I let the work for itself. http://www.joshrosscreative.com

    Reply
  3. Sarah Sparkle
    May 4, 2014

    Minimalism is one of the favorite styles of web design and I think these are the great examples to learn something from, thanks.

    Reply
  4. Shawn Rubel
    May 5, 2014

    Worth noting that these are some reasonable sized companies, making hefty amounts of money from their online sales — that in itself goes to show how reliable a minimal design can be. Thanks!

    Reply
  5. Kieron Smith
    May 6, 2014

    Some good examples of minimalist sites. Particularly like the Mellbye site.

    Reply
  6. Website Creation melbourne
    May 8, 2014

    Thanks for sharing the concept of minimal websites. These are looking very good and attractive. In an overall judgment, most of the sites say about their services on the first page but it should not be done. As if there is vast content that the site will take much time to load which makes the site not SEO friendly.

    Reply
  7. Howard Steele
    July 17, 2014

    Squarespace won a Webby award this year (for its Welcome Page).
    It does deserve a spot in this compilation :).

    Reply

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