Updated: Aug 1
I’ve been watching my next door neighbor as she paints a giant mural on her garage door. The amount of detail in the scene is daunting and likely packed with symbols and stories that could take hours to explore.
I couldn’t help but contrast that busy beehive of a project with my minimalist approach as a graphic designer. I want the viewer to get the message at a glance with the cleanest, clearest, and fewest design elements possible.
I want to first speak to the visceral, emotional, intuitive, spontaneous (childlike?) part of the brain, not the logical, rational, analytical part. Of course our rational brains usually kick in to explain or justify our gut first impressions (and desires and aversions) anyway.
Lately I’ve been challenging myself to push my creative limits with drawing assignments. On a recent (childlike) sand castle project, I observed that a pennant flag on one turret nailed down the concept of “castle." But two pennant flags were distracting. They were redundant and competed for the viewer’s eye.
I recalled these principles from my early graphic design training:
I strive for two things in design: simplicity and clarity. Great design is born of those two things. —Lindon Leader Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. —Leonardo Da Vinci
The big art of design is to make complicated things simple. —Tim Parsey
The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. —Hans Hofmann
Perfection is finally obtained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there’s no longer anything to take away. —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Simplicity, carried to an extreme, becomes elegance. —Jon Franklin Confusion and clutter are the failure of design, not the attributes of information.
— Edward R. Tufte Genius is the ability to reduce the complicated to the simple. — C.W. Ceram
My major aim is really to get to the essence of the problem, and just throw away everything that’s not pertinent to it. —Massimo Vignelli
So now I’m making simple, inspired artworks for myself, along with the usual business identity, packaging, and promotional projects for my clients. There’s a definite leaning toward the tropical and the festive in my work/play.
Not wanting to just file my images away in some folder on my computer, I’ve started uploading them to a stock image website so other designers and creative types can download them for their own purposes. With 444 million images in their library, though, getting found on shutterstock.com will be challenging.
As a loyal reader of my blog (or at least one who hasn't unsubscribed) I’d like to offer you two free images of your choice from my portfolio at: www.shutterstock.com/g/Linda+Pizzitola.
As of this writing there are 38 choices. If interested, just email me your selections and I'll send you the files at no cost or obligation. Offer expires August 31, 2023.
(Normally, to acquire a single image from Shutterstock.com, you can purchase a 5-pack for $49 or a subscription (including 10 downloads/month) for $29/month.)
No matter what your creative interests are, I highly recommend Rick Rubin's new book,
THE CREATIVE ACT: A WAY OF BEING, which helped me get out of the way and start joyfully bringing inspiring ideas to life.