FILL THE SPACE: Maximalism is here to stay
“The limit does not exist.” -Mean Girls
Expand your design toolkit by understanding design trends, styles, and history. When we say “I like how this looks,” what do we really mean? In this series, learn the history and principles behind your favorite designs, and apply them to your next Projector story.
Behold the bedazzled, boisterous, and often bonkers world of maximalism. Its recent resurgence in pop culture and design challenges the simple idea that less was ever going to be more.
Although maximalism can be a tad hard to conceive (where’s the ceiling?!), we can easily chart its historic rise and fall as a design trend. One arena to look to is fashion. Maximalism reigned supreme in the ’80s and ’90s with big hair, big pants, and gaudy accessorizing. In the ’00s, maximalism was seen through discordant styles like trucker hats on the red carpet, and, of course, chunky Uggs.
By the ’10s, however, maximalism diminished and gave rise to the pastel minimalism we all know so well. Apparel turned functional, white space returned, and treading gently became the norm. Influencers stripped their feeds down, posting simple shots in neutral outfits with tiny text and delightfully pale ceramic cookware.
BUT NOW BOOM! WE’RE BACK.
You can see maximalism in the multi-color, multi-texture, anything-and-everything energy you see in many parts of fashion, graphic design, and advertising today. In the world of interior design, there’s even a rush to literally fill the space more.
Below, you’ll find three ways to rev up your maximalism, plus some free design templates from Projector.
1. Fill that white space with bold highlights
When you think of maximalist design, think of overlapping elements without bounds. Feel free to allow many components to exist at the same time — dissonance is what makes the image POP. When in doubt, turn to yellows or acidic-feeling neons, and don’t be afraid to play with gradients.
Leave no stone unturned, and don’t get hung up on spacing things out appropriately. WHO SAID TEXT HAS TO BE ENTIRELY LEGIBLE?
2. Go overboard on imagery
One of the most fun elements of maximalism is the freedom to scrapbook your look. The more photos you grab, the better (in Projector, you have access to Shutterstock, Unsplash). Consider throwing some icons (Noun Project!) and stickers (Giphy!) on there as well.
As Coco Chanel [never] once said, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and ADD A BUNCH OF STICKERS.”
3. Mismatch your fonts
Maximalist graphic design tends to reject the regular rules of typography, opting to mix and reorder serifs and sans serifs. Generally speaking, there are no rules here. In Projector you can add dynamism to your fonts by filling them with media, or adding outlines and special effects. You can even access your inner WordArt nerd, which is part of a design trend described as “adorkable.”*
*This blog takes no responsibility for the term “adorkable.”
Our Maximalist Set is for the visual rebels looking to hyperstimulate the creative senses of any audience. Just because this set skews more dynamic, unexpected, and adventurous in its design doesn’t mean that it’s not super usable for everyone looking to make a statement. Here are three ways to start testing out your maximalista abilities in Projector.
Say your message out loud
As Millennial minimalism has already established itself as a core aesthetic for the modern-day twenty-to-thirty somethings, brands are taking it upon themselves to experiment more boldly with maximalism. One of our favorite platforms for seeing what sticks? Instagram.
Whether in post or story form, combining your brand’s core product or message alongside whimsical imagery, surprising gradients, and diverse icons will draw the perfect amount of attention to any asset. There is absolutely no way to get it wrong. With maximalism, getting it wrong is getting it right.
Turn your e-blasts into treasures
Raise your hand if you either delete a marketing email the minute it hits your inbox, or you roll your eyes upon opening said email with a “Why did I do this” attitude? That’s a lot of (metaphorical) hands we see!
Transform any email banner into an important look-at-me real estate for your brand with maximalist energy that will keep those emails in the inbox. Why? Because expansive visual communications — and we mean mixed media — can differentiate any conventional marketing message (i.e. a sale, offer, testimonial, etc.) into a story worth reading.
Presentation, but make it fashion
And we mean fashion. Take heed from beloved young starlets like Bella Hadid and Dua Lipa who are giving the maximalist trend a #moment. It is time to inject this true maxing out into everything we do.
When you’re looking to present an idea or product that is meant to skew more towards the hip and happening audience that is Gen Z (we know hip and happening isn’t a cool term anymore), consider using the Maximalist Set to hype your idea. In the world of e-commerce, maximalism is the perfect fit to catch the eye of any client or audience while showing that professionalism can be combined with pop culture.
At the end of the day, maximalism is a great excuse to throw all design norms out the window and break all the rules. Our Maximalist Templates were made to be changed, mixed, matched, and messed with. When you paint outside the lines, you might just see that the lines never mattered in the first place!
So, what are you waiting for? Find a maximalist template and make it your own for free in Projector here.