Clint Eastwood, Artistry, and Law #3

A few weeks ago, MGM ran the “man with no name” Western trilogy in hi-def. You know the ones: Clint Eastwood as the drifter gunman in black jeans and green pancho, a man of few words but never without a cigar. Starting with “A Fistful of Dollars” in 1964, followed by “For a Few Dollars […]

The Art of Connecting the Dots

(Note: this article appeared first in Fast Company Design.) What do the Mona Lisa smile and the Wall Street Journal have in common? They both employ a design principle related to subtraction and minimalism. By limiting information, they engage the imagination. In the case of the Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci purposefully blurred smile lines […]

Doubling Down on Less(ness)

In 1969, the year in which he won the Nobel Prize in Literature, Irish dramatist Samuel Beckett (pictured above) published a short piece of experimental prose entitled Sans in French. He then rewrote the piece in English and called it Lessness. It begins this way: Ruins true refuge long last towards which so many false […]

How 2 Million Dots Can Restore a Life

If you’ve read The Laws of Subtraction, you know that I spent time with Kevin Sprouls, the originator of the Wall Street Journal dot portrait style, known as a hedcut. Metaphorically, the art of strategically placing dots–limiting just the right amount of information–so that others may connect them (in their own way) engages the imagination. […]