Merriam-Webster defines minimalism as a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity.
With respect to minimalist music, Google defines minimalism as an avant-garde movement in music characterized by the repetition of very short phrases that change gradually, producing a hypnotic effect.
While theses definitions refer directly to other art forms such as sculpture and music, the themes are analogous to those portrayed by minimalist web design. Very spare, simple features sprinkled with subtle accents draw the reader into that hypnosis referred to by the second definition. Then slight changes and simple twists in color and font become much more powerful in juxtaposition with the uniformity.
We analyze how pomade and nthn use (or perhaps misuse) minimalism to present themselves as chic and stylish, whereas Github uses minimalist traits to reinforce productivity.
We discuss how testpilot effectively uses color and how dcjones effectivly doesn't use color. We look at the different font choices and how for some cases such as nthn’s single serif sprinkle, the power of minimalism is misused.
Nthn’s font choice in particular is interesting, because everything falls into the boundaries of minimal design, but because of the isolation around the changed font, it looks more like a mistake than an accent.
These sites are analyzed around a central theme that working with minimal material is walking a thin line between a powerful design and a bland page, and how the power of minimalism needs to be harnessed if it is to be used in a controlled manner.