Less is More

Visual Aesthetics (ICM 502) was the first course I ever took in design, although I’ve been a creative wannabe for a long time.  Talented and extremely skilled graphic designers at work surround me.  After learning some basic principles and using tools like Photoshop for the first time, I can honestly say to my colleagues at ESPN, “I get it”.  Now I get why a change in type size could result in resizing every element on a page.  The list of “I get it” goes on.  This is not to say that it all makes sense now and I’ve become a guru, after finishing a seven-week course – far from it.

One of my biggest struggles, which I’m still trying to figure out, is to know when enough is enough. The critical voice in my head tells me, it needs one more imagejust a little bit more colormaybe I should move that text a hitch to the left… Presumably, experienced designers know when a design is good enough as-is.

My husband often tells me that simple is better.  Less is more.  He generalizes this sentiment to all things in life.  I’m in complete agreement with him, from a philosophical standpoint.  However, I find it difficult to apply the principle of simplicity to design.  Overly simple designs can be boring and easily forgettable.

At what point does a design cross the threshold from simple to busy?  When is less, more?

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