Minimalism trending amongst designers today deserves special attention; the characteristics of “postmodern art” that have been described as neo-minimalism involve a general “re-evaluation of earlier art forms”. As an amorphous art movement of late 20th and early 21st centuries this art form is alternatively been called “neo-geometric” or “neo-geo” art. Other trending nomenclatures include Neo-conceptualism, Neo-op, Neo-Futurism, Neo-pop, Poptometry, New and Post Abstractionism, Simulationism and Smart Art. As its various titles suggests, it’s the movement with developments in traditional Minimalist art form, Abstract Expressionism and its offshoots, plus pop art, op art and other threads of artistic development.
Although Neo-minimalism concept is also based on the simple and clear art form but as compared to traditional Minimalism art form i.e. De Stijl it uses many more practical colour shades over conventional primary colours and many more geographic shapes. As a result Neo-minimalism can’t be considered extravagant in terms of colours and shapes but it definitely goes much beyond squares, rectangles, horizontal and vertical lines and primary colours. It uses multiple shades of colours but the total numbers of shades are still limited.
Palettes, Shapes and Fonts:
As described Neo-Minimalism is all about simplification of form, as a result one can’t expect a complex design and the subtle shades of a colour. Use of colour and shapes varies through time, Neo-minimal designers today use more complex shapes and rich colour palettes as compared to traditional De Stijl artists who limited themselves to basic geometric shapes and primary colours. Simple forms apply to the fonts as well, Neo-Minimalist fonts are straightforward, crisp and most of the times lack any kind of decoration. Serifs are not prohibited but by default their usage is quite limited. Two of the old but widely used fonts for Neo-Minimalist design are Helvetica (Developed during late 1950s) and Mr. Phone (Developed during 1997 by Glyphobet Font Foundry).
Neo-Minimalism in Action:
Google which today is synonymous to search; is also un-arguably one of the best example of functional Neo-Minimalism as far as its user interface design is concerned. With lots of white and clean space along with limited use of colours (in logo), single search bar and two search buttons its start-up interface for most of its services is the best example of Neo-Minimalism in user interface design.
Also modern architecture presents numerous instances for Neo-Minimalism, for example IBM Plaza in Chicago built during late 20th century and House Grangegorman built during the first decade of 21st century represents the modern Neo-Minimalism in Action.
Some of the contemporary artists who have been linked to the Neo-Minimalism includes Lorenzo Belenguer,Ashley Bickerton, Peter Schuyff, Christopher Willard and Tim Zuck