You’ve probably heard of ‘Less is More‘; the art of taking away all that is superfluous and/or superficial of an overall design, without removing or hindering it’s core function.
To achieve such a feat can be gruelling and time consuming.
Taking away the unnecessary is no mean trick. Adding ‘things’ is fairly easy, but there’s a high chance that whatever you’re creating becomes overworked or bloated, which can result in complexities that distract from what you were trying to achieve or convey in the first place.
Dieter Rams has his 10 Principles of Good Design which are synonymous with minimalism and minimalist design theories. His work for Braun between 1955 and 1995 is a true reflection of reduction in design, which although was aimed specifically towards the aspects of product design, his long standing design principles have a place today in graphic design and other creative disciplines.
However, this approach is not for all to enjoy. Not everyone wishes to or has the desire to work in this minimalistic way.
Thank goodness for maximalism – which, as the term suggests is at the opposite end of the scale to minimalism. More is indeed more.
Flourishes and detail are all the rage. Intricacies mixed together with bold colours, patterns and vivid photography form part of the overall look and feel. Maximalist design is busy and full of energy, complexity and more often than not, lacking in white space. That emptiness is purposefully replaced to add extra meaning and additional life to the final design.
There’s certainly no right or wrong regarding these two methods of design. It might be the brief that dictates the creative direction, or perhaps the subject or product which pushes the design towards the sparse or plentiful.
For someone who is very much an aficionado of minimal design, there are times when I truly admire the ability to keep adding.
It’s certainly a good case for trying to escape the safety net of what one knows, and to step out of our personal comfort zones, and to delve into the unknown.
Want to know more?
Here’s a few articles you can head to to find out more about Maximalism, and the difference it holds between minimalism.