Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Is Less More in Terms of Design?

Is Less More in Terms of Design? In general it depends on the artist’s or designer’s ability to express his thoughts and ideas clearly and viewer’s willingness to interpret given visual language. Minimalism plays a very important role in art and design. It is a universal quality that can be found in any kind of art or design form. Minimalist design has been highly influenced by Japanese traditional design and architecture.

However, while talking about minimalistic approach in art and design, one thing should be kept in mind – minimalism is not a synonym with primitiveness. Simplicity and minimalism is actually one of the hardest things one can achieve as an artist. Also simple designs usually have complicated theories and conceptions behind them. In order to create satisfying work designers have to move in different directions at the same time pulling together such qualities as: conceptual integrity, simplicity and straightforwardness, captures the right abstractions to provide clarity and unambiguous representation, etc.

The conceptual integrity is one of the key qualities that characterize minimalistic design. It is not an easy thing to achieve in any art form. Every part must reflect the same philosophies and the same balance of desirable ideas. Every part must even use the same techniques and analogous notions. Ease of use dictates unity of design and provides conceptual integrity.

The visual code should be clear, easily understood and have a quality that is best described as self-documenting. Designers are paying great attention to the idea of the gestalt - "parts... bound together in such a way that they create a maximum resistance to perceptual separation." These ideas could be expressed by using basic elements such as lines and planes organized in very particular manners. In general, minimalism's features include: geometric, often cubic forms purged of all metaphor, equality of parts, repetition, neutral surfaces, and industrial materials.

Finally, the reason why postmodern design looks like what it looks like nowadays is because simplicity and minimalistic design are truly processes and not just products. It proves that theory “less is more” has been working for designers as well as for consumers.

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