Simply Genius


When I was in art school there was a mansion just across street from the printmaking studio. Looking out of the window at night I would often see a man hosting opulent parties. Waiters. Tuxedos. The house had a full-time gardening staff even though the house sat on only about a quarter of an acre of land. 

I was always curious how he got so rich. So one day I decided to ask one of the gardeners. 

The owner of the house had the patent on the twist tie. A little piece of wire covered in plastic. Whenever anyone used a twist tie, a few cents would end up in this guy’s pocket. I couldn’t be jealous because this guy was obviously a genius.

Innovation is born of necessity. He had a lot of bags. And damn it if stuff wasn’t always falling out of them. What to do? The solution was incredibly simple.

Design is a process of subtraction. Good design becomes great design when there is nothing left to take away. When it offers the solution to the problem in the simplest possible way. Has your brand’s design become overcomplicated? Is it time to simplify?