The first of the six ‘American Lessons’ was dedicated to lightness. Starting with a classical reference, Calvino recalled how the only hero that could behead the Medusa was Perseus, thanks to his winged sandals. So lightness is defined as the opposite of heaviness. Following the heavy millennium of the industrial revolution, steam and steel, came the light age of information, communication and bits.
“we still have iron machines, but they obey weightless bits.”
In the transition between millenniums, we have witnessed the decline of
heavy brands in favour of their lighter competitors. One example is how Microsoft lost a lot of power to Apple, which has always adopted a simple approach to technology. From experience, we think this is a success of lightness.
Visual language, the way many Brands express themselves, has also become lighter in recent years. The lightness of language is achieved through subtraction, which does not entail sacrifice, but rather means focus, synthesis and ultimately greater stature.
The tone of voice used by Brands can also become lighter, almost as if it were a direct response to the weight of living as suggested by Calvino. We have seen the birth and development of brands that are able to handle very important themes, such as sustainability and the future of our planet, with lightness.
These are just a few possible examples, we invite you to reflect on these ideas with us and follow us over the next few months in our discovery of the values that might inspire us in the next millennium.