less is more
We're a like-minded team who share the belief that the most successful designs have the least amount of noise and clutter. We've borrowed the mantra 'less is more' from architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and repeat it religiously every day.
There are a multitude of busy and confusing brands popping up every day that look & feel the same, we do our best to create bold and distinctive brands that stand out from the crowd. We care about the work we do, every big idea and small detail come together to make a difference.
Our short and straight to the point blog posts are inspired by our 'less is more' mindset and 'do better' approach, and we have more content on our medium.com page.
LESS IS MORE - we use this phrase all the time, even when we’re not saying it out loud we’re saying it to ourselves. It seems to be universally applicable but it resonates particularly well in branding and marketing, where the focus is usually on more: more calls to action, more features, more messaging, more noise... here are two examples where less proves to be more:
1. Google - their success is down to many things, but we’re convinced their less is more approach plays a major role. This is basically how Google started: type something into this box and search for it. Perhaps they already had their sights set on world domination when they launched, but they resisted the temptation to do everything at the same time and started with doing just one thing, and doing it well.
And most impressively, since its launch nearly 20 years ago very little has changed. Yes, there are many more facets to Google today, but www.google.com is pretty much still the same old search box. Compare that to Yahoo who throw in the kitchen sink… and then some. It's no surprise we can't really tell you what Yahoo does; guess it's some kind of platform where a lot of stuff happens, but we’d rather stay far, far away from it.
For anyone starting a business: spare a thought for the Google search box. Instead of trying to perfect all 50 features of your tech start-up and constantly delaying the launch, try picking one feature that sets it apart from the rest and just launch that. Start small. Start with less.
2. Audi - most car brands agonise over how they can make their car seem like more than a car. The result is that the car gets compared to a cheetah, or the car is depicted on a beautiful stretch of road with the latest trending pop song. The hope is that the coolness of that cheetah or that song will somehow rub off on the car. What more can we add to this car to make it cool? It's a symptom of insecurity.
Audi decided that less is more and did the opposite with their ad for the R8V10. No Rihanna, no stretch of alpine road, no lion metaphor, no masculine voice-over, no sexy models, no fancy computer-generated effects. And why stop there? Less car is more car, right? Let's tear a chunk off the rear... read more of our content on MEDIUM.COM
DO BETTER - yep, we know that you've heard a thousand times how great Apple are. Their products and services are consistently ticking the right boxes. They’re famous for thinking differently to everyone else and making big changes in the world of technology, always challenging the status quo. However, they never stop surprising us with their attention to the small details, the the little things that might easily get over-looked.
After unpacking the box of a new i-Mac recently we were left with a pile of cardboard packing bits. No ordinary packing bits, these are designed by Apple and are 100% on brand - engineered cardboard triangles that are beautifully designed and easy to use. We just couldn't part with them and ended up using them as book ends.
Apple have proved again that they understand what it takes to be a great brand. The best brands are curious and never settle for ok or good enough, they are always pushing for new ways to do better with the big and the small details... read more of our content on MEDIUM.COM
MORE IS LESS - we agree with Barry Schwarz 100% and have referenced his ‘Paradox of Choice’ TedTalk in many of our brand workshops. Too much choice is not good. As humans we are not designed to be able to cope with too much of anything.
We believe that less will always end up being more. It’s a mantra that we follow religiously every day. A mantra that we annoy our clients with on a regular basis. Whenever we start a new project we always make one simple request: "Please let us help you do better by doing more with less". However, no matter how many times we say this to a room full of nodding heads and knowing smiles, we often find ourselves being asked at the 11th hour to throw in the kitchen sink (with bells and whistles)... which ultimately results in us doing less with more.
Some clients want proof and ask us to validate our mantra with hard data (whilst they are dumping a truck load of content for their new one page responsive website into our shared Dropbox folder). This can be tricky as up until now less is more has been our belief system, a feeling, intuition based on many years experience of knowing what consumers want... rather than a science.
However, our friend Malcolm Gladwell has come to the rescue with some data to back up our theory. His book "David & Goliath" has a reference to Barry Schwartz and some inverted-U curves. They are a very simple but effective way of illustrating the less is more theory. The subject matter for each inverted U-curve is different, and you probably need to read Malcolm's book to fully understand the context, but they are relatively easy to follow. This is what Barry had to say about it: "Across many domains of Psychology, one finds that all positive traits, states, and experiences have costs that at high levels may begin to outweigh their benefits."
We're big fans of Barry and Malcolm, they can't both be wrong... read more of our content on MEDIUM.COM