Less is more: the art of simplicity

The British graphic designer, Abram Games, famous for his wartime posters, worked by the motto, ‘maximum meaning, minimum means’. Taking inspiration from some of the great visual thinkers - from graphic designers, like Games, to cartoonists, fine artists and animators - this workshop is an introduction to the art of keeping it beautifully simple.

You’ll see how the discipline of drawing hones your instinct for picking out the most important information and forces you to make choices about what to leave out.

You’ll explore techniques for breaking down rich and complex subjects and stories, in order to organise and prioritise the information within them in a way that suits your needs.

And you’ll learn how combining visual elements in witty and unexpected ways can be the key to communicating ideas memorably, engagingly and economically.

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unecessary so that the necessary may speak.”

This workshop is not designed for people who are confident at drawing (though it doesn’t exclude them), and its objective is not to turn attendees into more technically accomplished artists (though their skills will probably improve). The aim is simply to use drawing as a way of thinking. Figuring out how to turn something into a picture provides a unique opportunity to look at it afresh and analyse what really matters. In an era of time poverty and short attention spans, the ability to present information in a way that is simple, engaging and true to its source is highly valuable regardless of the field you work in.

We hope to convince you of the power of pictures as a tool for problem solving and idea development. But even if you never pick up a pencil and draw again, you can still apply the principles of visual thinking to the way you process, organise and communicate information. By honing your instinct for elegant economy, this workshop will help make ideas leaner, presentations smarter and communications more succinct.