23 September 2021

Deliver more, not less

< = >
A common thing people say about poster design is the old adage, “Less is more.”  

The phrase probably originated in Robert Browning’s poem, “Andrea del Sarto.”

Well, less is more, Lucrezia: I am judged. 

But it was popularized in architecture by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

I don’t like this expression as it applies to poster design.

I have this memory of watching an interview with songwriter Jim Steinman. I think it was for Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell.* I have never been able to find it again, but from memory, Steinman said something like:

Less can never be more. Less is always less. Only more can be more.

I suppose the problem I have with the “less is more” aphorism is that there’s too much emphasis on the “less” and not enough on the “more.” 

Just hacking away at poster content with no rhyme or reason so that there is “less” will not do anything. 

Rather than prioritizing “less content”, think about how to deliver:

More focus.

More efficiency.

More value for the reader.

* Maybe I associate this quote with Bat out of Hell II because it contains a song that so perfectly describes Steinman’s style, “Everything Louder Than Everything Else.”

No comments: