January 29, 2016
Todd Henderson


4 lines, simple, elegant and breathtaking. 4 lines that could have been drawn by a 4-year-old in 4 minutes but took a lifetime of observation, admiration and respect filtered through the mind of a genius to emerge with child like simplicity.

I first encountered this print when, on the advice of my parents who were terrified that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up, I was working as an intern for the financial firm RBS. It was hanging in the break room next to the refrigerator, yellowed from the afternoon sun and universally ignored by everyone except me. During my six short weeks punching an adding machine, I used to disappear into its complexity engulfed in the culture of microwave popcorn and diet coke.

Much to my parents’ relief I have been a graphic designer for over ten years now and for most if not all of that time I’ve tried to find that simplicity in the work I do for clients. That moment where the story is clear, the emotion is overflowing and the work appears effortless.

One of the best compliments a graphic designer can get is having someone say that a design looks like it was easy to do. Little do people know those are the hardest projects to work on and the biggest challenges we face. I say that because the fewer elements you have on a design the more people will notice every detail, and if you can make something that people gravitate towards with the minimal amount of elements, you’ve done something not many people can do.

In our media-saturated world of bigger screens and shorter attention spans, it is even more important to create emotion and wonder in the most minimalistic of terms. It is those master-strokes of simplicity that we work towards for our clients and for ourselves.  Those magic 4 lines, simple, elegant and breathtaking.