Less is More
Finding simplicity, balance and longevity has been a part of our society for some time. We seek to bring forth the best in ourselves and others. Less is more, is a statement that means so much to so many in slightly different ways. Focusing heavily on being grounded in life and in the moment while achieving the stability that is comfort and work.
First Popularised in Architecture
It may come as a surprise to some people but it is true, architecture is where the idea of less is more took its first steps into the public eye. Eventually breaking into the movement that was minimalism. Though the style is becoming more and more popular as people look at downsizing in work and home.
The phrase, less is more, is mostly associated with architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. His buildings embody the very essence of minimalist design. Taking the eye on a journey through simple lines, elegantly culminating in a spectacular view or image. Taking your breath away with the utter serenity found in such seemingly vulnerable yet confident architecture.
Paving the Way
Though the minimalist movement was a short lived art movement in the 60s, it is non the less a lifestyle many have come to enjoy. The art movement may have left this modern idea behind, but the world is not done with the ideology of using what you have at hand, making the most of what is.
Delving into modern architecture we can find elements of minimalism or the idea that less is more. Stepping away from complicated curves and unnecessary columns. Creating a space that is adaptable to the application. This visionary way of stripping the concept to its basic form appealed to many artists or professionals in a variety of fields. Graphic design was no different in how it leaned towards modern iconography. Particularly when we look back at great designers such as Wim Crouwel and Dolly Rudeman. Both heavily influencing the way we look at typography and the icon in a logo design or movie poster design. For more on these two amazing people check out a previous article: THE INFLUENCE OF DUTCH GRAPHIC DESIGN & TYPOGRAPHY.
So more graphic designers moved into the less is more mindset. This would open the world to intensely modern and abstract imagery, especially when talking about logo design. A logo needs to represent a brand, be relatable, be daring and recognizable. By embracing that less is more we can look at the bare basics of an image. Keeping in mind that logos need to be able to adapt from a tiny favicon all the way to a billboard. It needs to work everywhere. Minimalism offers a clean perspective on your brand, showcasing just enough to be interesting to your audience.
What it All Means in Graphic Design
Though graphic design requires an element of artistic understanding it remains a tool of communication. Relaying the right message is crucial to empowering your brand message. Making the less is more idea an essential rule of thumb when designing for both digital and print media,
Knowing your brand message and brand voice will contribute highly to creating accurate and meaningful engagements with your audience or target market. Logo design, print media design, digital design, and so on all require one thing, consistency. It can be difficult to create a consistent brand message if you have over complicated imagery. You may find the message being confused which in turn creates a distance between the brand and audience.
Keep the message simple, clear, and concise. This is the best way to ensure that your brand is being perceived in the way that you intended. So less is more because you want to have clarity in your message and adaptability with your design.
For an example of taking a complex concept and refining it into recognizable iconography have a look at MÁ BAKERY.