Ever have a Lemonade stand when you were a kid?

Lemonade stand

Lemonade stand

When I was a kid, I used to make a little stall in front of our house during the holidays.  We used to make Lemonade to or go up the back of a farm nearby and pick blackberries or passion fruit to sell.

I always remember getting excited about how much money we would make while picking the berries or lemons.  Followed by the boredom and frustration after hours of sitting waiting for people to buy our produce.  Sometimes we would knock on doors to try and sell some faster.

One holiday when I was a bit older, I spent a whole day writing a leaflet offering my services to do odd jobs washing cars and the like.  When it was finished I had to talk my mum into going to town to make lots of copies on her work photocopier, and then spent a few more hours posting them in letter boxes around the neighbourhood.  I got a few jobs washing cars and cleaning swimming pools for my efforts, giving me a tidy sum of pocket money.  The thing I remember is the making and distributing the leaflets took twice as long as the actual jobs, which only took a few hours to do.

I always think of these experiences when I hear people mentioning celebrities getting paid huge sums of money to front brands.  Back in the early 2000’s Nike reported paid Tiger Woods more to market their products than they paid their workforce in china to make their shoes.  Many people considered that unjust, but I can’t help thinking, that you make money from selling products, not just making them.

photo credit: EvinDC

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Less is more…

Sometimes the most effective visual devices are the most simple.

I was reminded of this over the weekend, as I read to our wee 16 month-old son, and we poured over the illustrations of some of his favourite books.

The ones he enjoyed the most had loads of white space, bold illustrations and simple catchy text.

This is a formula often overlooked in printed media.

The saying, “Less is more” was often overheard where I studied. A reminder to keep students from over-working drawings, or adding too many elements into a design. A bit like the ‘too many chiefs’ analogy; building in too many elements can create confusion.

Giving the eye less to decipher and making the most of the choicest components in a design offers the most impact in the shortest amount of time.  Lets not forget that amongst the hustle and bustle, thousands of businesses compete for those precious split seconds where a glance from a potential customer is the door to a sale.

It’s well worth considering how you can say as much as possible with as little as possible.