12 November 2009

Following the rules

The White Stripes have rules.

Clothes must be red, black, or white.

No bass guitar.

No equipment made after the 1960s.

And so on.

In an interview in The Guardian, Jack White said:

OMM: You must have considered how life might be outside of the White Stripes framework. Does any part of you yearn to work beyond those limitations? Or extending them?
JW: No, they stay in place. We either follow the limitations, or once in a while we break the limitations, but the point is that there’s limitations, but if there's not any limitations there, there's no point to anything. ... (T)he boundaries are there for us to play with. Since we’re trapped like that, we can keep going, and find new meaning and new depth to something really simple. There’s a male and a female, and there's three components of the music, over and over again. It never dies.

No, you haven’t stumbled into a music blog by accident; this is still the posters blog. I’ve made many suggestions about poster design that limit your choices.

Laying out your poster on a grid establishes limitations for your poster. Choosing a font establishes limitations for your poster. Being conservative in your design choices establishes limitations.

Working within limits requires discipline. Setting yourself limitations does not necessarily limit creativity; it can do just the opposite.

And if you don’t like The White Stripes as an example of creativity working within self-imposed limits, ask if Shakespeare’s sonnets are poor examples of poetry because they follow a rigid rhyming scheme. Or, if both are too high falootin’ for you, see how much mileage Dinosaur Comics has gotten out of six pictures that never, ever change.

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