How The Minimal Design Movement Stunted My Skills & Ruined Everything

Mahnoor Nadir
3 min readMar 25, 2021


Ask me for a sphere and I’ll draw you a circle.

An all white rubik’s cube
Photo by pure julia on Unsplash

I am not a designer, nor have I ever been. Have people thought I was a designer? Yes. Is it a product of a perfectly curated image I present of myself online? Also, yes.

That is not to say I don’t know anything about it. I know how the general interface of design software works and I can make a mean looking social media post.

But it’s finally time to come clean.

When the world was first swayed by the ‘minimalist’ design movement, I added my voice to the chorus of bandwagoners.

The only reason being, I didn’t know how to do anything else.

It’s been 10 years since then and my designs are still flatter than Phineas and Ferb’s face.

Of course, I became smarter about it. I knew how to manipulate shapes, make the most of the drop shadow tool, etc. but I knew zilch about what goes into a more technical design element.

Ask me for a sphere and I’ll draw you a circle.

“That’s what Apple is doing. Don’t you want to look modern and sleek and shiny?” I’d say to my unassuming clients.

The apply logo with spherical cutouts showing their design process
Apple Logo

The minimal design squad reminds me very much of the Yuppie culture that drove Patrick Bateman mad in American Psycho.

So, to save my own butt, when I designed something, I pretended there was so much more going on in the background.

Exhibit A

This star isn't just a star, it’s a cross-section of 4 circles. My, what exquisite thinking. I dazzled them with my expertise.

Negative space, I’d seductively whisper. That’s what Apple’s bite is.



and Voila! Your minimal design is ready in 10 but I charge by the hour. (Note: As designers should)

So in this mini-rant, I guess I just wanted to come clean and own up to the mess that we’ve created in this industry.

First, we lost Google. I play app roulette every time I try to access my email

Google App logo redesigns
Google App Logos, 2020

Then we lost the Pringles guy to the void of an existential crisis.

Pringles can redesigns
Pringles Redesign, 2020. May not be in effect yet.

It’s high time to quit while we’re ahead or we will be allowing yet another generation of flat designers to graduate and ultimately return to cave paintings of yore.

Even If it’s only to weed out the hacks like me, disco must finally die.

Disclaimer: This is a semi-satirical rant.