Ask a chef what their favorite flavors are, and they will tell you about soft pasta with butter. They will tell you about a perfectly roast piece of beef. You’ll be hard pressed to hear about complex layered dishes. The experts tend to find pleasure in the smallest of details.
If you talk to people at the height of their profession, they will without fail have tastes humbler than you would imagine. It’s the progression of any art that eventually finds itself most happy in spare elements, and clever arrangement. The subtlety is the magic.
It’s true of graphic design as well. The designs that stand the test of time have a deft handling of simple elements. They speak simply, and truthfully.
A few quotes on the value of simplicity (From Wikipedia)
“Things should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” ‚Albert Einstein (1879‚1955)
“You can always recognize truth by its beauty and simplicity.” ‚Richard Feynman (1918‚1988)
“Our lives are frittered away by detail; simplify, simplify.” ‚Henry David Thoreau (1817‚1862)
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ‚Leonardo da Vinci (1452‚1519)
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” ‚Antoine de Saint-Exupery
And a few examples of backwards progress: