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COMMUNICATION : The Graphic Display of Information #3 : ZEN

In the previous post i mentioned ZEN. I should expand on this topic a little because the word zen has found its way into many aspects of pop culture. We talk about a Zen approach to something as a minimal way to represent something or do something. 

Zen started out as a meditation technique that simplified Buddhism of its scriptural religious dogmatic complexity. Basically the injunction from the Zen meditation school teachers  to the students was to ‘SIT DOWN & JUST SHUT UP !’  & focus on the breath to still the mind. This no frills, no nonsense approach to enlightenment  began to catch on in Japan Monasteries and later it became associated with a minimal approach to doing anything.

In recent years it has found its way into the world of design.I mentioned presentationzen in the last post as a site dedicated to incorporating Zen guidelines into graphic design and communication. Essentially its key message in information transfer is :


Strip away the unnecessary, include only what is essential in your message. Apple use a Hip / Zen approach in much of their advertising.

In this iPOD ad from Apple you see an image that clearly demonstrates the freedom & experience of music that comes with the device. There is no complex data provided about the device, no specifications, no selling points other than the image and the logo /device name.

Even their old ads were simple & visually direct. The only text is Chic.Not Geek Which was an important brand aspiration when computers were still looked upon as geeky un cool machines.

As a contrast to the JUST DO IT … heres another minimal ad for NIKE 4 words 1 logo 1 image 


Another from NIKE a great photo image and just RUN +logo


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