Reactor

Minimalist Posters Tell Stories at Their Essence

by An Xiao on March 16, 2012

A minimalist Snow White poster design by artist Christian Jackson.

A minimalist Snow White poster design by artist Christian Jackson. Image via http://www.squareinchdesign.com.

LOS ANGELES — Minimalism, as streamlined and simple as it is, is hard work. How do you boil down the essence of your subject matter and capture that for your audience? Creating minimalistic imagery is an especially challenging task when you’re working with pop culture.

Rinee Shah's Seinfood series captures the famous TV show in its most distilled moments. Image via http://seinfood.bigcartel.com.

Rinee Shah's "Seinfood" series captures the famous TV show in its most distilled moments. (image via seinfood.bigcartel.com)

So coming across these “Seinfood Posters” in Dwell piqued my interest. Artist Rinee Shah has created a series of minimalist Seinfeld posters, from the iconic Tom’s Diner to the famous “No soup for you” that propelled the TV series into mainstream success in the 1990s. Any Seinfeld fan knows exactly what these posters are referencing, while the visuals give them more vintage flavor.

And then I discovered the minimalist children’s story posters of Christian Jackson (via).  The classic stories are distilled, almost into flashes of memory, as a long strand of golden hair is all he needs to evoke Rapunzel. The posters are almost diagrammatic in a sense, with the Three Little Pigs depiction reading like a step-by-step materials how to.

What this all means is hard to say. It’s a good project, even for professed maximalists, to understand the heart of your subject matters. Stories have an essence and a center, and these two artists have captured those quick effectively.

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