11 October 2014

Maximum Meaning, Minimal Means

by Simon Richards

There is currently an Abram Games exhibition on at the Jewish Museum in London. While I may not get to go the exhibition, his work has left a lasting impression on myself and many designers. His manifesto – Maximum Meaning, Minimal Means, has depth and substance and is the essence of what we strive for – creating solutions for clients that embody visual ideas; ideas that motivate audiences – executed with brand ownership in a simple and crafted manner. Games’ manifesto leverages not only the aesthetics but the messaging – addressing the fact that messaging needs to be relevant, understandable and have purpose.

Too many designers create work that focuses on the minimal rather than the messaging. This minimal Swiss approach has a role and a purpose in many communications, but generally adopts a ‘less is more’ approach rather than maximum meaning with minimal means. Games broke new ground by creating striking propaganda posters through iconic images of modernism and optimism. Looking at designers from the past (recent and distant) a common theme is their ability to interpret messages into striking communications that created a sense of time, culture and craft; they had their client in mind, an audience to engage and a responsibility to themselves in creating work that they were proud of.

Games’ innovative approach, often looking at negative subjects in a positive manner is an inspiring take on how we should approach our work.

Hopefully I will get to go the exhibition before January 4th.