Minimalism in Email Design

Minimalism in Email Design

Minimalism in Email Design

Bex Osborn

Marketing Strategist

10 Jun 2021

After an unpredictable and miserable year, as the world begins to open up again we all need room to breathe - and this includes email design! Minimalism has always existed across many art forms to provide a cohesive, succinct message as well as presenting the sense of effortlessness and calm.

Within the confines of an email this may seem counterproductive to reduce the message as its prime objective is to inform.

However, numerous brands have been utilising these minimalist techniques to enhance their email campaigns, presenting a bold impact within the inbox.

Here are some great examples of brands who have done just that, making us stop scrolling, and appreciate their design aproach.

AllSaints All Saints have always been good at letting the products speak for themselves through the use of beautiful imagery.

Here we see it takes up the majority of the hero with the first thing you see being the recognisable logo, and then the main visual.

This elevates the brand to the forefront of the hierarchy and allows the reader to scroll to see more of the outfit leading into the main body of the email.

The text is kept succinct leaving ample breathing room around it.

This simple use of padding and white space gives the whole email a fresh clean style allowing the eye to move slower from module to module rather than a mass of information fighting for attention.

The images themselves are all placed in sharp square frames again to aid the simplicity of the email.

If one was placed in a circle or a random geometric shape the whole flow of the email would be interrupted and jarring.

At the footer of the email (where the majority of this text lies) it is broken up with the use of very thin key lines.

These lines provide the email with segmentation whilst still allowing for white space both above and below allowing the key line not to stretch the width of the email.

This technique manages to create blocks without having a harsh grid interrupt the flow of the email.

Apple Simplicity and minimalism has been synonymous with Apple’s marketing for years, and their email campaigns are no exception.

With this example they use a narrow single column design for the text, allowing it to stand isolated surrounded by a mass of white space.

The accompanying image is then seamlessly placed below on the same background, avoiding a harsh line and presenting the clean and sleek design that resonates with their products.

Their use of colour is important to note here as well, keeping the palette limited, they use the blue to highlight the interactive links and CTAs.

This contrasting blue among the sea of white immediately draws the eye to where they need to click and the overall purpose of the email The use of icons is also implemented well here.

They wanted the email to present as much information as possible through imagery (hence why the product itself takes up the majority of the page), and icons allow this in a more subtle way than photography.

These icons are kept minimal and are recognisable shapes that the reader can associate with the different sections.

They are also kept at a subtle size so as not to overpower the email.

Spotify Unlike the previous emails, Spotify tends to use a vast palette of colour with bold neons and graphic angular shapes that gives their emails a real sense of playfulness.

However, they still maintain a minimalist approach but use information and text as the main design feature.

The typography within this email is designed to present statistics in a fun way, whilst also not creating a large block of text that sits in a squashed space.

Each section is given enough space to really highlight each stat and piece of significant information, presented quickly and effectively with minimal body copy.

They again use a single column design approach but have opted to left align the text.

This allows for a better readability and as the majority of this email is text, this increases the enjoyment of the email.

Even though the email contains multiple colours the use of “white space” is still apparent with the padding either side of the text and the spaces between modules.

There is also a good amount of leading between headlines again allowing for the design to breathe.

Hawthorne This email uses similar methods to the Apple example.

The top presents a simple and clear body of text with a good amount of space surrounding it.

The large image sits on the same coloured background to create a cohesion between the header and image itself.

The remaining body of the email is contained in a separate block but as this is placed in the middle of the email, it allows for space around the edges.

The box also has curved corners which tie in well with the email’s relaxed tone of voice.

As with the other examples the copy is kept succinct and there is a heavy focus on imagery to provide the majority of the information.

Each image is placed on the background of the module making it float amongst the space giving a real sense of cohesion and allows the email to function as a single flow of information with each module linking to the others.

Overall a minimalist approach allows for an email to stand out by making use of space.

Allowing an image or text to breathe means that the message is presented clearly and with an obvious purpose.

These emails have an almost editorial design quality to them and provide a visually interesting experience for the reader.

It is not about using less information, it is more the case of creating a message that only requires the simplest design to portray.

Ultimately, less is more! Chris Pidsley Designer




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