These posters are actually good, I think because print costs keep them minimal
I’ve been doing some design work and seeing some design work, and the contrast between minimal and overdesign is striking. A lot of Sri Lankan leaflets, banners, etc are a cacophony of elements and fades and fonts ad nauseum. It’s as if someone grabbed Photoshop and shook it violently until it spewed its entire contents on the page. I think part of the problem, the dearth of minimalism, is that software removes the scarcity from design. There are no physical costs to extra layers and effects. The other part of the problem is that graphic design classes teach technique, but they don’t teach understanding. Design isn’t meant to fill space, it’s meant to communicate, and that’s hard to teach.
With oils or woodcuts or even the printing press, there was a physical cost associated with design. If you added an element it was A) difficult to get there and B) difficult to remove. With a computer getting and removing are easy, but no more necessary. Like our sickly tendency towards gluttony, the removal of natural limits on design has lead to corpulent communications.
Whenever I do something I do it once and then try to remove everything that can’t be removed. I also try to remember that the human mind can only hold about plus or minus items in memory at once, so I try to keep the coherent chunks down to three. The computer doesn’t let you feel the cost with all the effects and layers, but I find that laziness often keeps me true.
Another issue is that many pieces of design say a lot but communicate nothing. They have all the colors, words and images that the clients wanted, but are impossible for a reader to understand. I’ve found that maybe one sentence can be communicated immediately if that. I’ve also found that design needs to flow from an understanding of the material, not the software. If you an Illustrator wiz and you don’t understand the audience and product, it’s pointless.