Photo by Paula Schmidt from Pexels.

Great design is simple design. And simple design is the ability to portray a concept or idea in the most clear and concise way possible. This applies to all forms of marketing and branding, and is a great way to boost the credibility and overall appeal of your business.

Because the truth is that with all the myriad tools available to the modern designer it’s easy to get caught in the net of “more is more”. And sometimes we can be led to believe that originality and complexity go together hand in hand. But of course that’s not the case. In fact in many cases it’s the complete opposite. And we only have to look back in time to see that the most seemingly time-proof designs also, more often than not, happen to be the simplest designs

There’s even a Google study showing that users tend to rate simple websites as more beautiful than complex ones.

So, working on the idea that less is, in fact, more, we’d like to share with you some thoughts on the art of simple design.

Simple design = simple language

Sales copy, blog posts, and even strap lines can all benefit from a literary strip-down. As a rule, try to avoid jargon at all costs, and where possible use layman’s terms to describe products and services.

The likelihood is, you’ll find that people respond more positively when they don’t feel as though they’re being talked down to. If you treat your customers like equals, they’ll be more open and trusting.

Simplicity creates clarity

One of the most amazing aspects of simplistic design is that, like all forms of minimalism, it evokes a sense of clarity. When we see a simplistic logo, or business card, or website, it implies purpose, confidence, and honesty. We get the feeling that this business knows exactly what it’s doing and how to do it.

It’s also important to remember that design is often the first point of contact between a brand and a prospective client. So the complexity or simplicity of that design will, inevitably, play a part in the impression it leaves. If it’s too complicated and too loud then it stands to leave people confused and uncertain.

It’s economical

In minimalistic design images and words compliment each other. If you can use a picture to communicate a message that would otherwise require a paragraph, then go for the picture.

An economical approach also allows you to experiment with taking up less space. Whether it’s online or on the page, giving your message room to breathe can not only add to its aesthetic appeal, but will make it stand out from its cluttered rivals.

White space and wide margins also go very well with a more concise style. 

It’s memorable

Just as an experiment, call to mind a few logos you’re familiar with. Chances are they’re all pretty simple in one way or another. That’s because it’s much easier for us to remember smaller amounts of information. So, just as it’s easier to recall a single sentence as opposed to a full page, it’s easier to recall a minimalistic design over a complicated one.

The formula is simple: the more elements a design contains, the more difficult it is to commit to memory. So one very effective method for making designs really stand out is, simply, to make them more simplistic.

Simplicity is scalable

Scalability is an incredibly important factor in design. When we create logos, for example, it’s crucial that they remain legible at all sizes. Whether they’re printed on business cards or billboards, our designs must be readable, clear, and easy to digest. 

Simplicity, then, is often the best tool for the job. And the more simplistic the design, the greater the chance that it will remain clear and legible on any scale.

Embrace minimalism

To bring more simplicity into your own designs, why not try reducing the colour palette of your website or logo? Fewer colours will make your images bolder and will create more striking impressions.

Also consider reviewing your business’s strap line. Can you shave off a word or two? Is your strap line even necessary?

Finally, where possible, try to avoid combining large images with large amounts of text, as too much visual stimulus can sometimes be off-putting and confusing.

The power of simplicity

Never underestimate the power of simplicity in any form of communication. Not only can it make you appear more confident and credible, but your clients will appreciate the much needed break from the world of clutter. 

For more on simplicity and minimalism, why not take a look at our post on Feng Shui in the workplace.