Reductionism to Abstract Shapes

Looking at the reductionism perceptive, the representation of the cyclists in my design can be seen as reductionism to abstract shapes because instead of using a detailed illustration of the bicycle and the cyclist I have reduced the shapes to the ‘bare essentials’.

Reductionism was developed by the De Stijl Movement, which was formed in the Netherlands in 1917. Main representatives were Theo Van Doesburg, Piet Mondrian and Garrit  T Reitveld. The reductionist aesthetic of De Stijl was characterised on a two dimensional plane which included simple geometric shapes such as circles and squares, or a three dimensional plane with shapes such as spheres and cubes. The geometric and reductionism principles of De Stijl can also be found in minimalistic design elements in Swiss graphic art.  (Bernhard E. Burdek)

Theo Van Doesburg and Piet Mondrian encouraged pure abstraction and stated that the universe could be reduced to the bare essentials of form and colour. (

Source: A typeface designed by Van Doesburg where each character was based upon a square divided into 25 smaller squares.

The above typeface is a great insight to what can be created from one simple shape.

Burdek, B (2005) Design: History, Theory and Practice of Product Design. Switzerland: Springer.

Design is history (2013) Theo Van Doesberg. Available at: [Accessed 2 January 2013]

Visual Arts Cork (2013) Piet Mondrian. Available at: [Accessed 2 January 2013]

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