Minimal Film – Beautifully Simple – Book Review

Minimal Film – Beautifully Simple – Book Review

The Cinematic World Reimagined through Graphic Design by Matteo Civaschi

Minimal Film invites the reader to see cinema and classic TV shows from a different perspective. It takes you from Alien to Rain Man, Star Wars to Psycho, E.T. to Ghost… Minimal Film introduces cinema according to Shortology and in short, it is beautiful and the cover is probably the least minimal page of the entire book.

minimal film titanic

It’s fair to say that this book is truly a gem for film and graphic design lovers alike, but also anyone that’s tired of how complex things have become. This book both simplifies films down to just a few shapes and colours, but at times challenges your TV and film knowledge and conceptual problem-solving.

Some like E.T.  are obvious and must have been relatively easy to make. Titanic takes a moment or two but when you get it, you appreciate the skill. It must have been difficult for the creator Matteo to make, as making something this simple is much harder than it looks.

It’s fair to say that this is both a book on film narrated through the visual magic of graphic design and also a book on graphic design told through the evocative magic of cinema. Shapes and Pantone colours clearly marked on each page.

So it’s perhaps no surprise that the author, Matteo Civaschi is also the Executive Creative Director at H-57, a design studio based in Milan. Matteo is also the brains behind Life in 5 Seconds, a book that unveiled their concept of Shortology, in which an entire film’s synopsis is portrayed in just a handful of pictograms. We see this philosophy reflected within Minimal Film, which illustrates the notion of eliminating the superfluous and focusing on the essential and key moments that not only tell the story but spark the brain into life with memories that fill in the gaps.

For those who are ‘in the design know’ the book’s style and mood pay tribute to design from the ’60s and ’70s, mentioning artists, designers and architects such as Joe Colombo, Max Huber, Gio Ponti and Armando Testa. Admittedly lost on me, but I don’t feel like I’m short-changed as a result, if anything it makes me want to seek them out and find out more.

My favourite, well it’s hard to pick one, but I always stop and smile at the two white triangles that are perfectly perpendicular to a red field. However, you’ll have to buy the book to find out which film that is.

Beautifully Simple
  • Design
  • Coffee table potential
  • Likely to pick back up in 6 months
  • Present worthy


Whether you want it for yourself or as a present for a design or film buff, this book is simply fantastic. Friends that come round instantly pick it up and flick through the pages. Each one finds something different that makes them smile or challenges them.

About Author

Adam (Editor)

Editor of this fine Blog and not surprisingly I love living in and blogging about London