Made by Pen : The Principles of Minimal Design
Made by Pen : The Principles of Minimal Design

Embracing Simplicity

At Made by Pen, we strive to create unambiguous beautifully designed pieces. We balance innovation with creative flair and translate this to its simplest form. We are an australian homewares studio that imbues the values of minimal design. In this blog, we briefly introduce this principle which influences our work. We acknowledge that in outlining principles we have drawn our work from expert sources which are listed at the article end.


Minimalism as a trend

Minimalism began as an art movement post World War II in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The movement was most closely associated with visual arts at its core. However as minimal influence grew; music, fashion, writing, and design also became part of its importance. Today, the influence of minimalism has broadened and been adopted as a philosophy, and a way of living. Minimalists resolve to live with only the bare essentials and shun anything else they deem non-essential¹


Minimalism influence in Design

For many people who are new to the idea of minimalism, their perception is often misinformed believing minimalism to be an empty room or incomplete works. In contrary minimalism does more with less, leading to a seamless, fluid, balanced design. Minimal design leaves space for thinking, and being unobtrusive it blends with its inherent environment.  

Minimalism has three characters as defined by understanding minimalism.com²
1.    Repetition
2.    Formal simplicity
3.    Use of voids

Repetition in this context is a variation in applied design elements. In latent terms, this is a paring back of aesthetics, a simplification in design. This simplification of clutter allows the consumer to comprehend the objects with less cognitive load and for this reason, minimalist design is described as peaceful, nourishing and kind to your soul².

The second characteristic, formal simplicity, refers to the minimalist’s preference for structured and symmetrical shapes – perfect circles, squares and triangles, as well as uninterrupted lines².

The last characteristics use of voids is what gives minimalist design a certain tension² Perhaps one of the best examples to understand this characteristic is to look at this influence within architecture. Here space is the quality of design that is stressed, pairing back the structural design to the bare form you naturally allow more space to remain. Casa AR by Mexican architect Lucio Muniain².



Minimalism in Product Design

Minimalist designed products, express only the essential and necessary elements of an object. In the design process, there is no excess,  no unnecessary components and features. While minimalism by its very nature appears a simple design form the visual cleanliness is an accomplished art. It is often hours of skilled practise that goes into achieving a piece. Pairing back an idea to its cleanest form, and maintaining a visual restraint but without compromising on functionality and user experience³.

“Our goal is always to pair back the design to its basic form but without losing its purpose and character. In doing this we can appreciate the product truth. We design without additions, and nothing to distract from the materials and the object’s form”

 Amy Sellick, Director Made by Pen