When seeking for minimalist web design inspiration, our go-to pick would be to look at the East. Specifically, we love exploring Korean websites. Why? Culturally, Koreans are fond of minimalism and simplicity. This fondness is seen throughout their city, art (museums), engineering (buildings), and even their web design.
For this month, we’re exploring five great examples of minimalism in web design in South Korea. Disclaimer, minimalism does not necessarily mean boring, simple, and “empty.” Through these five websites, we hope you realize that minimalist design is more about technique, composition, and restraint. Let’s check them out!
Gentle Monster is a luxury sunglasses brand in Seoul. Their popular oversized glasses are prominently featured in Korean Dramas and have notable brand ambassadors. Like their exclusive brand, Gentle Monster’s website captures their luxury with a uniquely postmodern hero section, without any text, of painted individuals wearing sunglasses. As you scroll through the homepage, you will stumble upon an image that compliments the hero section as well as large thumbnail images of their products. The whole site is guided by this design, a large header image with wide clean images of products displayed. Gentle Monster’s website embraces white space to highlight the colorful images and products. The website’s minimalism is truly inspirational.
Project Produkt is another notable South Korean glasses and sunglasses brand. Similar to Gentle Monster, Project Produkt has also garnered famous ambassadors and has been featured in Korean Television and Cinema. They boast “Modern, Minimal, Classy and Wearable” products. This philosophy is clearly seen in their minimalist website. On the homepage, the brand greets you with three full-size hero images, which is revealed as you scroll down. Each image takes you to a catalogue or article. As you navigate through the website, you will notice how “simple” and effective the design is. Through the empty white spaces, the large product images are highlighted beautifully.
The Studio K is a successful lifestyle / fashion brand in Seoul. It boasts it’s brand through its famous loyal customers as well as on the small screen. The clothing line specializes in high fashion minimalist pieces for women. These statement pieces are highlighted as you enter the site’s homepage. The homepage is one full-size vertical carousel that consists of three of the brands latest or favorite pieces. The navigation is placed perfectly on the left to avoid crowding on the large image. Going through the site, you will notice large gaps between images to bring empty spaces throughout the website. No other design elements are used in the website aside from photos of the products itself.
The GoldMedalist is an entertainment agency in Korea. They have signed many popular actors and actresses in the Drama industry. The developing celebrity management agency aspires to be one of the leading agencies in the country. Their bold desire to revolutionize their entertainment industry is embedded in their web design. The entire site is pitch black which highlights their bright gold brand theme. Each page has little to no images and the text is also very minimal. On the homepage, you are greeted with a large gold company logo as well as large images of their signed actors and actresses as you scroll through. These images have no text at all and as you scroll through you will see nothing but the images encapsulated by a dark background. Truly a beautiful minimalistic design.
As you might have noticed, these minimalistic web design styles of Korean brands have a lot in common. They all share a full-sized homepage and value empty spaces to highlight key elements of their brand or store. Minimalism when used right, can evoke the right message. Like all the brands mentioned, the minimalist design style supported their brand image and emphasized key elements of their shop or business.
Minimalism is truly a great style and value to embody if you want to create a well designed style.