Less is More…

Doing a lot with very little. It’s a hard sentence to wrap one’s head around, however, it is important, if not the most important thing I’ve learned about design. Many designers have trouble creating a minimalist (simplistic, clean) design; either they have a hard time making a page with so few elements look good or the final result just doesn’t seem “complete” to them.


When you create a minimalist design, the design is at it’s most basic state, free from superfluous colors, elements, and textures,– CLUTTER, if you will. The purpose for this is to bring the most important visual/content to the forefront and minimize distractions for the viewer or reader. When people get distracted they often miss the message in the design or story, because they are confused on where their focus should be. Part of minimizing distractions is creating SIMPLE design by using less texture, color, shape, lines, content or type–kind of like the clutter that I mentioned earlier.

This is KEY: When you as a designer can portray the message you want and bring it to the forefront with as little elements as possible, you have a minimalist design.

When thinking about minimalist design think about accurate use of white space, alignment, movement, and contrast. One last piece of advice for an over-designer, when the thought, “something is missing” enters your head, the first thing you should try is take something out and then go from there, even if that means starting over. There is nothing like admiring basic design elements used at their full potential.

“Design should never say, “Look at me.” It should always say, “Look at this.”

Here are a few to showcase:

Visual Storytelling

It is one thing to attract a reader visually, it is quite another  to attract a reader visually and emotionally. Another task layout producers face is keeping the readers attracted visually and emotionally throughout a story. This particular task is what peeked my interest in graphic design back in high school. It was a task I enjoyed to conquer and learn about. We are consistently bombarded with information that lacks empathy, disjointed and watered down to capture the attention of the viewers. Which is why in college, news reporting wasn’t my favorite. Storytelling is much more versatile and interesting.

Here is a few inspiring magazine layouts that are both visually and emotionally attractive:

11 Most Controversial Magazine Covers

When I found this article, I was intrigued and interested. This is a list of the 11 Most Controversial Magazine Covers that have kept people talking. It wasn’t a surprise to find that most of these covers “poked fun at” or imitated religion, which is ideally what make them controversial.

Have you ever heard the saying that any publicity is good publicity? Well in this case, I think that is somewhat true. Controversy is what sells in today’s time. Among today’s reality TV stars and celebrity scandals, people are so much after controversy that it doesn’t matter whether they are getting a positive makeover, or getting popular in a negative manner.

These covers have caused quite the commotion among the public, but also helped to increase these magazines sales.

  1. Rolling Stone: Kanye West poses as Jesus
  2. Time magazine: Is God Dead?
  3. Entertainment Weekly: Three Chicks in Trouble
  4. NME’s: Beth Ditto as Editorial Model
  5. New Humanist Magazine: Atheist Ricky Gervais Crucified
  6. Rolling Stone: Cast of ‘True Blood’
  7. Vogue Enfants: 10 year old Model
  8. Life Magazine: Vietcong Prisoner
  9. Vogue: Lady Gaga
  10. Golfweek: William Levitt: caught in a noose
  11. The Nation Magazine: George. W. Bush

First, the Rolling Stone’s cover of Kanye West posing as Jesus…. In the magazine’s description of this cover, it describes West as “full of contradictions” and “the most important new pop star of the 2000s”. It also said that he was a character who made the mainstream come to him, rather than the other way around.

Whether his music is great or not, that doesn’t mean people glorify him as they do Jesus (or their God of choice). I believe that Rolling Stone chose this image because of his belief in Jesus and some of the song choices that he has produced. They could’ve also chosen such a controversial cover because they wanted to ……create controversy. Whatever the reason, there was a significant purpose behind the decision. Like I’ve mentioned before, nothing in design is ever arbitrary.

Secondly, what were they thinking when The New Humanist magazine featured atheist Ricky Gervais in a pose as if he was crucified. There is no question why this cover is controversial. The star is posed with this arms wrapped around a microphone pole (with his wrists wrapped in the cord) and the word atheist word on his chest in what appears to be blood.

 So why is an atheist posed as Jesus? Doesn’t that mock Christianity? In my opinion, this was a poor choice for a cover. The magazine could’ve shown his sacrilegious beliefs in some other way.

View more on this story at http://slodive.com/inspiration/magazine-covers/