Monday 18 June 2012

Just enough is more

As everyone knows Less is more is an aphorism that is associated with the modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

But the motto appears to go back a lot further than that. In 1855 Robert Browning published a poem Andrea del Sarto which used the phrase.

Even earlier the same motto in German;  Und minder ist oft mehr was used by Christoph Martin Wieland in his literary review series Der Teutsche Merkur, published on page 4 of the January 1774 edition.
The graphic designer Milton Glaser has his own take on it;
Being a child of modernism I have heard this mantra all my life. Less is more. One morning upon awakening I realised that it was total nonsense, it is an absurd proposition and also fairly meaningless... However, I have an alternative to the proposition that I believe is more appropriate. `Just enough is more.'

M. Glaser (2001). Ten Things I Have Learned. Part of AIGA Talk in London November 22, 2001.