Photoshop 101: Minimalism

Minimalism is definitely trending right now, for interior designers, architects, and graphic designers. Everywhere I go, whether it be furniture shops, art museums, or even buzzfeed, minimalism has become the ‘it’ thing. Which is awesome because back when this art movement came to, it was totally underrated. The main objective of minimalism “more is less, less is more.” The meaning behind minimalism is a little complicated, but basically it’s a more conservative way of doing things.


One of Donald Judd’s works. Image here

One thing I can say for sure, this art style has captured the hearts of young graphic artists wandering online. I see this style all the time, little variations here and there, but the basic idea is the same. These artists use minimalism to depict a lesson they’ve learned, a character from their favorite tv show, and sometimes even symbols or character motifs. The whole editing behind these graphics are pretty basic, so I’ll give a basic tutorial on how these graphics are made in photoshop. I believe that most or all of the photoshop programs—CS2 to CS6—can follow this tutorial.


One of my graphics from this post.

1. Choose your base image. The base image MUST be a png (a transparent image) and not a jpeg in order to do the other steps. If your image isn’t in the png format, here’s a quick tutorial on how to cut out images in photoshop. Here’s a transparent crow that’s nicely cut out. If you’re not sure where to find these types of images, deviantart is a good place to start.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 5.56.54 PM

2. Colors! What colors do you want to use? Personally, I’ve always been picky with color so I usually find color palettes because they look 100x better. I’m going with these three colors.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 5.58.40 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 5.58.48 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 5.59.29 PM

3. Go to layers, find new solid layer, and click. This box will pop up and you NEED to check the little box in order to change the color of your base. It’s VERY important.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 6.01.10 PM

4. Boom! Now, you can choose your color. You can either eyeball it—not recommended—by dragging the circle around or you can type the color code into the bottom.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 6.05.51 PM

5. So you have your base, now you need to choose a background. Go back to layers, new fill layer, solid color, and the box will pop up again. This time, you do NOT need to check the box. Just click ‘okay’ and pick your color.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 6.10.09 PM

6. Woah, look at that. You’ve pretty much got the gist of it! Now, there are options for little add ons like text, textures, etc. My finished graphic looks something like this.


As you can see, minimalism edits usually have one thing going on: simplicity. No blending, no color balance and all that jazz, just good old layer on layer. Nice.

P.S. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to comment below. I’ll help to the best of my abilities. Good luck! If you want to advance your photoshop skills, try making a gif with this tutorial.



2 thoughts on “Photoshop 101: Minimalism

  1. Along with interior design, architecture, and graphic design, minimalism elements are also embedded in fashion design, especially in these recent years. You should check it out, it’s pretty neat. Nice blog post by the way. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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