A komplex line leading to a question mark above a straight line leading to a light bulb.

Amplification Through Simplification

We’ve all heard the common phrase “opposites attract.” While that might not be the case in every situation, I have one for you that is worth exploring. Whether you are a teacher, a client or a business, the concept of amplification should sound familiar. Scott McCloud’s contradictory model amplification through simplification  allows opposites to attract and work well for each other. Breaking the words down to their essential letters, we are presented with engaging and promising ideas that drive our understanding of the concept.


Amplification Through Simplification

McCloud’s concept derives from his exploration of cartoons and their underestimation. While generally perceived as eliminating detail and only capturing parts of a story, the truth behind visual images in comics is quite the opposite as they emphasize a focus on particular details. The main idea is to reveal the essential meaning by releasing the image of any unnecessary baggage, allowing for an amplification of its meaning. In the centre of the approach lies the idea of revelation and abstract clues to guide the viewer into understanding a message more clearly. It challenges the brain while it draws connections and uses personal experiences and ideas as a safety net to convey the message. While a comic with simple illustrations is seen as a lower piece of work, an essay with simple language is seen as non academic. McCloud draws attention to our pursuit of complexity to appear more intelligent and less simple. But is what is simple actually more intelligent? We must be exposed to the idea of stripping an idea to its essentials to make it stronger.

Amplification Through Simplification in 4 Steps 

Verworrene Linie die in einem Fragezeichen endet wird zu einer geraden Linie die in einer Glühbirne endet.Let’s turn the idea around and go with the phrase “less is more”.

1. It’s about YOU and YOUR MESSAGE!

Messages are powerful! Make sure you go for simple (easy to understand) rather than simplistic (pretending it is easier than it really is). As long as you understand the topic and use your own words, your audience is likely to understand your ideas better.

2. Balance text and images!

Use images and illustrations to support what you say without repeating or deviating from the content.

3. Trust yourself and what excites YOU!

It has been revealed that we are more likely to represent an idea if we are passionate about it ourselves. Our enthusiasm allows us to provide our message with a meaning.

4. Create a sequence!

To make a good presentation it helps if you create a story whether only visible for you or the audience as well. By creating a sequence you can ensure that information is conveyed. Likewise you can trigger an aesthetic response.