As I was digging through some stacks of magazines the other day, I came upon this issue of V Magazine from Winter 05/06. Right away, the cover draws you in, there’s no question about that. But then, as I flipped through the issue, I was struck by the power of simplicity and consistency from cover to cover. There weren’t loads of trendy typefaces but instead the same condensed font for the titles throughout, the same sans serif for all of the body copy and for the larger stories, there was one custom treatment. The grids were very basic as well. Through this premeditated simplicity, the images took center stage, often in full-page portraits.
This post is a reminder to you (and to myself) to not overthink things. I’m guilty of sketching and then scouring Pinterest and then sketching some more, trying to find that golden, perfect solution when sometimes, the most obvious, simple, powerful answer is right in front of me. I’m one of those designers that wishes that I’d had a chance to take courses before everything was computerized — I have a lot of old design books (my favorite series is by Jan V. White, especially the Graphic Idea Notebook
) because they force me to think in a different way. A way that involves using the grid and the basic tools versus what’s trendy on various design sites.
Step back. Look at the big picture. This eye (belonging to the beautiful Jennifer Connelly) takes up a full page in V. If anything else had been added, it would have taken away the power and emphasis.
Always, always remember the beauty of simplicity. Sometimes the most impact comes from the most basic solution. Next time, instead of asking yourself what you can add to a layout or logo, ask yourself what you can remove.
You can view all of The Typofiles right here.