We out here in the land of design, branding and advertising like to trumpet the idea of simplification. The simpler the message, the look, the design the better. We like to say this makes our clients easier to understand, gives them a more relevant emotional impact, and that if the message is simple and powerful it will be memorable and draw in more customers. We get frustrated when clients want to fill all the white space with more useless clutter. We piss and moan on about clients wanting to insert business jargon and industry lingo. We fume when clients want a logo to literally explain everything their company does, or when they want to put 50 words on a billboard.
Yet we do the same thing when we try to convince them of what we're doing. We invent trademarked "design processes." We obfuscate what it is we really do by coming up with oddball titles and asinine lingo, and we wonder why it is they don't really understand what we bring to the table. We work so hard to explain the how that we never amplify exactly what we're providing.
Perhaps it's the feeling of inadequacy of all of us as former art and English majors. Perhaps it's our innate desire to please the people that make widgets and liken our business to widget making. Or perhaps it's just that when you're livelihood is on the line you want to be damn sure that you put everything out there you can. You want to cover all your bases. You don't want to feel like you've let anything slip.
Remember that feeling next time you're in a meeting with a client and they want to fit a novella into a 3x5 ad. Remember that you need to practice what you preach in order for your clients to trust you. Make what you do simpler for them, so you can make them simpler for themselves.