When you are driving on a highway and you see a billboard, how many words do you take the time to read? If you try to read more than a sentence, please let me know which highways you frequent and when so I can avoid them. I don’t think it’s safe to try to read much more than a few words when driving by, so why make a sign with more words than we should read? When working with your client or designer, be careful not to say too much.
This simple approach to design should not be limited to billboards, but to flyers and brochures as well. I can see how saying too much may be tempting for clients in particular. You want to make all the information about your company available in order to promote your product. But just like I mentioned a few blogs ago, we don’t want to make the client work too much when reading your marketing material. It shouldn’t seem like work to them at all. Reading an ad or brochure with tons of cluttered text will be too cumbersome for most. It will also be difficult to design effectively because you cannot equally emphasize all the information. The result will be an ad or flyer that looks like a jumbled mess, and a jumbled mess does not look professional.
One way to prevent yourself from saying too much is making sure you have plenty of white space. This may be counter-intuitive, but maintaining an ample amount of white space or negative space is very effective in keeping your design looking clean and professional. Only one word is necessary to prove that this minimalist approach is very effective: Apple.