Less is More: Creative and Inspiring Minimalist Print Ads

March 17th, 2011

We’ve all become aware of how important advertisements can be to help put any company’s message across. Many ads contain a lot of content as well as colour even though this is not a must. In fact, a simple ad can also do wonders — given that it carries a particular strong message. Take a look at these ads and share with us your opinions on minimalist designs!
Feel free to pass by our recent collection on more effective ads to boost your inspiration.

Minimalist Print Ads

CNN: Net – This minimalist ad illustrates CNN’s strong network saying that there is no story that can escape from the CNN network:

Dig2go Glasses – This uniquely designed ad for Dig2go audiobooks suggests that Dig2go audiobooks allow listeners to read with their ears:

Black Ribbon R.I.P. Michael Jackson – A wonderful example of a minimalist ad by MTV that represents the legendary singer Michael Jackson’s legs through a ribbon:

Olay: The ‘Undo’ Effect – This ad brings to mind that Olay skin products can ‘undo’ the effects of aging. Creative use of Ctrl + Z:

LA Bicycle: Folding bike – A folded sheet of white paper is a symbol of the simplicity of collapsing and constructing the cycling machine. A great example of minimal simplicity:

Stairs : Parents Say / Children Do – A simple and creative use of colors and composition that embodies a health care plan for children:

Columbia: Shades – The Prolam Y&R Santiago advertising agency has creatively illustrated this minimalist ad of titled shades for Columbia’s clothing and footwear:

ATM: Connecting the City – This creative ad clearly represents the concept of ATMs being capable of ‘connecting the city’ with the help of a puzzle:


Lego: Tank – This minimalist ad shows that real objects can be created by LEGO toys by showing a shadow of a tank:


CNN Turk: Lightning – This creative piece of advertisement shows that 99% of the weather reports by CNN are accurate:

Micro 16 GB USB Flash Drive – This visually alluring minimalist ad suggests that a relatively large amount of data can be stored in a SanDisk Flash Drive:

Subaru Impreza STI: Scars – A truly unique concept for a car ad that does not feature the vehicle itself, rather just shows the stitched-up road that has been apparently damaged by the ‘unkind’ wheels of the Subaru Impreza:

Assault in Israel: Two Seconds to Spot – The excellent use of negative spacing demonstrates the hand of a criminal holding the neck of a girl:


Canon: There’s More Under Water – Simple and effective use of color palettes and the shape of a whale represent that there is more to see under water:

FedEx: Statue of Sugarloaf – Another great concept portrayed with the help of minimum elements. This ad features two statues colored with the FedEx purple and orange colors:


Nestlé Kit Kat: Vuvuzela – The controversial horn used in the FIFA World Cup 2010 has been featured in this ad — communicating the concept ‘Break a vuvuzela, have a Kit Kat’:


CNN International – A simple and easy way to relate CNN’s concept to get a story behind a story:


Garden Cafe: Opening – Opening of Garden Cafe is being represented in this ad with a handle of a mug:


MasterCard Canada: Darkness – This darkness ad was served up to the hungover masses in morning papers on New Year’s Day:

McDonald’s: Medium – The menu in McDonalds in Israel has changed to less calories and fat and so the M represents a healthy diet:

Levis Slim Jeans – This minimalist ad signifies that Levis Jeans simply cannot get any slimmer:


BMW – This BMW ad is quite clever in having swapped the ‘M’ and ‘W’ to convey the message efficiently:

Tzomet Sfarim Bookstore: Faceabook – This ad signifies the importance of reading a book and encourages people to disconnect from Facebook and the internet overall:


Volkswagen Snow Tires: Crystal – This minimalist ad represents that Volkswagen’s snow tires have significantly improved their grip in winter:


Orbits: Small – A straightforward ad for a device that shows you can start your car from a distance:


95% Advertising Academy: D&AD – A cool iceberg aesthetic is used in this visually pleasing design:


Smoke it Outside – This ad highlights the restriction of smoking inside pubs, clubs and restaurants from the 1st of July 2007:

Listerine: Ashtray – With the minimal usage of elements this ad successfully portrays the message of the product:

Zoo Bucuresti – This ad promotes love for the Bucharest Zoo by portraying a lipstick kiss with a bear’s muzzle:


Bosch Electric Screwdriver: The Fly – This ad represents that Bosch cordless drills are pretty much faster than you think:


Listerine: Fish – Listerine’s breath-freshening effects are being reflected by this speech bubble design:


Jeep: Bushman & Eskimo – This minimal ad represents that the 4×4 is appropriate for adventures at all ends of the Earth:

WWF: Shark – This WWF ad illustrates a game of fish and food to represent how important it is to consider the dying out of certain species:


Coca-Cola Light Lemon: Lemon Peel – Another simple yet creative minimalist ad that only uses a twisted lemon peel forming the characteristic shape of Coca-Cola’s standard typeface against the plain background:


3M Scotch Brite – Although the message of this ad is a bit ambiguous, the design is simply minimal and fun to look at:



Aquil Akhter is a web graphic designer and has been working in this field for 8 years. He also runs the blog, which focuses on free web resources and inspiration for designers and developers.


29 comments for „Less is More: Creative and Inspiring Minimalist Print Ads
  1. Martin on March 17th, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Wow !!!

    Very creative and inspiring … I don’t know how much work has been done to get to results like that !!!

    Thanks !

    • Azhar Kamar on March 18th, 2011 at 10:47 am

      Super creative ads. Love the Lego, Kit Kat, BMW and Bosch ones especially.

  2. Amir on March 17th, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    WOW, great stuff. Dig2go Glasses is the most amazing out of them!

  3. Angel Jasica on March 17th, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    I Appreciate this Great Work. it is really great to see.

  4. sourabh on March 17th, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Awesome. beautiful… Nice collection

  5. gourav on March 17th, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    amazing stuff thanks for sharing…..

  6. Kimball on March 17th, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    This are really clever ads.

  7. artyxd on March 17th, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Awesome I really truly like it!!

  8. Emma on March 17th, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Great collection here – the BMW is especially inspired!

  9. Theo on March 17th, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Great prints in this collection, inspiring!

  10. Shaun on March 17th, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Love this post. I have to say, though, I’m pretty sure you have the Lego ad wrong. I don’t think the point of it is to show how you can build real things of it, I think the point is to show how your imagination can turn a rudimentary arrangement of legos into something more complex.

    I only say that because it pretty much describes my childhood memories with legos =P.

  11. TheKoolDots on March 18th, 2011 at 3:56 am

    Nice collection!

    I think the ‘Levis Slim Jean’ is really slick.


  12. Andris on March 18th, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I’m loving it. The Olay ad is brilliant.

  13. Sourav on March 18th, 2011 at 10:44 am

    The lat one for Scotch Brite denotes that the product makes vessels shine so bright that the rooster (gloves) thinks it is sunrise!

    • Deeno on September 10th, 2012 at 9:18 am

      Wow! These are some awesome print ads. Very simple and very creative. Thanks you for taking the time to put these together.

  14. Sarah Lynn on March 18th, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Excellent post! I have to say the Tic Tac Toe idea is very clever. I also love the slim jeans ad from Levis. Thanks for putting these together. Simple design is tough to achieve yet is much more powerful. Kudos to all the creators that put these together!

  15. Adriana on March 18th, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    These are some really cool and creative minimalist print ads. I really enjoyed the ad “LA Bicycle: Folding bike”, I would love to have a folding bike :X

  16. all the same on March 18th, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Every one of these follows the same formulaic layout. Call me when you have more than one idea to apply across the board.

  17. Robert Greene on March 19th, 2011 at 7:04 am

    I am working on a design solution right now for my resume! When I saw that Lego’s advertisement, I realized my solution!

  18. Nima Heydarian on March 19th, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Very nice post. I have to say I like the Remote Start one the best.

    I wish I could find designers with this much creativity (that I could afford).

  19. Kendra on March 20th, 2011 at 5:28 am

    Great Post! I love seeing all of these different ads in one place. It’s nice to compare how different each minimalist ad is and which products use what kind of advertising. Thanks for the post!

  20. Daveido on March 20th, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Wow, the lego ad is just ingenius! I love it, minimalist design has been my favourite for some time.

  21. Jaime on March 20th, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    great! simple, easy, funny and with great impact, all the works

  22. willterbean on May 29th, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    a lot of these I wouldn’t have understood without your descriptions, such as the dig2go one, and the listerine ones. Some I still don’t get, like the columbia ad. as well “all the same” was correct in saying that they are all quite formulaic Minimalism can only go so far, when done right it resonates in the minds of the viewer and forces them to think about something, to “fill in the blanks” so to speak, but often times when someone sees an ad they don’t have time to contemplate it as they would a piece of art in a gallery. the only real plus to a minimalistic style is to stand out in the cacophonous setting of the modern world, but other information has to be offered along side it as well.

  23. Rich on July 19th, 2011 at 1:37 am

    My favorite pictures are:
    1. Michael Jackson: great combination of Michael Jackson’s unique dance move and the simple image of a ribbon.
    2. Tic-Tac-Toe: I like the portrayal of sharks vs shark fin soup. The obsession with shark fin soup could lead to the loss of some species of sharks. We aren’t sure who gets the next move.
    3. Coca cola: From an advertising perspective, I think this is a nice crisp design. It also plays to the iconic logo of coca cola.

    Thanks for the creative inspiration.

  24. Ajay Kalwaniya on August 19th, 2011 at 3:39 am

    one of the best pages i ever visited..nice collection :)

  25. Leif Berg Jensen on August 30th, 2011 at 9:46 am

    The yellow rubber glove in the Scotch Brite add says that Chicks dig it.
    Great collection – really creative and inspiring =)

  26. Ebony on January 21st, 2013 at 10:06 am

    I think the admin of this web site is actually working
    hard in favor of his web page, since here every data is quality based data.

  27. milita on September 22nd, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Your ads are AMAZIIIINNNG. It reminds me of my days when i was making ads. But now I hold a position in a bank. Or rather the bank is holding me :p Please let me know if you know of any place on the net where i can also share my ideas and conceptuals. It would be fun contributing to the creative world once again.