Good designers know that less really is more; more succinct, more understandable, more elegant. When we pare away what is frivolous or only marginally important, we get to the beautiful core of an idea. Einstein himself said “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
As creatives, our skill lies in understanding what is essential, and what is not. We must continually hone this awareness in the face of new trends and technologies which can easily overwhelm us with possibilities and “features”. We are continually learning to spot the shiny bells and whistles, then determine whether they assist or detract from our client’s message. That can be hard, when everyone else seems to be bedazzling everything from jeans to websites with shiny buttons. That’s hard to resist, and it is easy to get fooled into thinking that more is more.
One way to make our job feel more ‘normal’ is to listen to what others have discovered in their own pursuits of simplicity. Lately, I’ve been in a reduction/minimalist type of mood when choosing audio books for my car ride. Below are a few with wisdom worth sharing. But, if audio books aren’t your thing you can check out (and laugh at) my obsession with organized closets on my Pinterest board ‘organized life’. It’s…kindof the same thing…
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less By Greg McKeown
There comes a point in life where you realize, for better or worse, that your time is not unlimited. That realization naturally leads one to wanting to make the most of the time you have. Determine what is most important, and reinforce it, moment by moment. This book tells us why and how. Cue that Bon Jovi song.
Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World By Cal Newport
It’s not just other people that pull us in multiple directions. Technology does this too. This book offers a radical method for determining what you actually need from technology in your world.
The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss By Dr. Jason Fung
We’ve been measuring the wrong data in the fight against obesity. It’s not fat, sugar or protein. It’s not even calories. Spoiler alert: If you want to control weight, you need to understand insulin. This books provides both clinical data and eye-opening evidence to support this claim.