Who strive – you don’t know how the others strive
To paint a little thing like that you smeared
Carelessly passing with your robes afloat,-
Yet do much less, so much less, Someone says,
(I know his name, no matter) – so much less!
Well, less is more, Lucrezia.
Andrea del Sarto, 1855, by Robert Browning
This excerpt from Robert Browning’s famous poem introduced the less is more view to the world, that to take the minimalists way of thinking is to deliver a far better impact on the audience.
This is definitely true because trying to get a clear and concise message across to the target with only a few words or pictures easily captures their attention and interest and gives the work more meaning.
More does not always make something better; it might actually make it less special and too complex. I feel like we are in an age now where the less is more philosophy is being heavily worshipped. Multiple businesses have gone or have started to go this way. Microsoft recently simplified their whole line of products and services to fit one universal theme: the Metro look of simplicity and elegance. Every icon representing their products and services uses a simple color pattern and a minimalist logo that speaks volumes when targeted to a large audience. The major social networking sites use no more than two colors in their main logos, creating something that can be easily identified and significant. I have even used this approach in my own logo on my blog. MACBOFISBIL is the “brand” I am trying to sell and having a catchy, easy on the eyes logo (black outlined circle with a stylized ‘M’ over it) helps it become significant and easily recognizable by any readers going to and from my site. I also like the lowercase font approach as well, as in the way ‘macbofisbil’ is stylized on my page. I don’t know, there is just something about it that makes it less intimidating, less formal, and hinting towards a fun and engaging experience.
Let’s say you had a portfolio full of many different images and other works of art. They are all significant and exceptionally made but there are only three that really catch your eye and provide a deeper meaning. The others could be taken away and you would still be satisfied because these three works are special to you. You could even hang them on the wall in frames and admire them all at once; having all of the works framed and walled would take away this simple admiration because some of them would outshine others. This is the less is more philosophy at work. Having less of something proves to be more beneficial.
An article I hit up on the Internet about the less is more approach brought home the concept fantastically for me. It stated the fact that posting a lot of fresh content on a website does not always lead to more page views and likes, contrary to popular wisdom, simply because the quantity factor is ruling over the quality factor. Having less posts that are made with better quality gives the readers a chance to connect with the content more through comments. These well-crafted posts or articles can be appreciated more and sort of be like trophies on a shelf that shine and become timeless. Don’t hastily post something on your website just to have something on there. Or if the cupboard is bare put up something that serves as your ‘centerpiece’ or starting point and build other posts around it that complement and provide structure. Make sure your posts are well-crafted, easily readable, and keep the reader interested. The article also pointed out the notion that we are more organized and thoughtful when we focus on doing less and making it exceptional, instead of doing more and assuming that it will all go to show and people will appreciate it more because there is more.
This is one of the approaches I have taken while blogging for over a year now. Publishing fewer, but more thought out and carefully executed posts goes a much longer way than publishing many but more hastily and half-assed posts that do not have much significance and in the end garner the least attention.
So, take the less is more approach.
You’ll be more happy and satisfied in the end with what is in front of you and how you eventually reach the top of the success ladder (after a couple of falls back to the bottom rung).