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Keep It Simple Stupid

Whatever the task is, the simplest way of doing something is generally the most effective, efficient and universally applicable idea.

Simplifying our thought process is not an easy feat, but it is something that everyone should try to do when approaching a task. Often times, in design, the smallest things make the biggest difference. Simple shapes, colours and patterns determine if your brand will stand out or blend in with the crowd. I find that when the design process is simplified, the best solutions are generated. But how do we get to that level of thought?

The process of achieving simplicity in thought is (ironically) innately complex. In order to generate truly successful solutions, we must disregard what we think we know about a certain subject or issue, and attempt to put ourselves in the shoes of others who will be directly affected by the outcome. By seeing the matter with “new eyes”, we are able to widen our horizons of thought. We are able to identify whether the result will actually work in the real world. Sometimes the simplest solutions are in plain sight, but we must be on the right (and relevant) level to see them. A thousand designers can approach a problem in a thousand different ways, yet there’s no guarantee the problem will be solved adequately. Unless of course, one of those designers is thinking simple. Simple things are always able to transcend any kind of language or cultural barriers. Think about the last website or app you had to use – Was it an easy and enjoyable experience? Solutions with simplicity are always easy to interact with and use. They feel native to humans and make things straightforward – Their instructions are clear and relevant and they should never leave you scratching your head.

Keeping it simple is an integral and important idea to hold onto when thinking business and design. Excellent results are ones which are able to communicate a great deal in a highly visual way. That means, that they are memorable solutions. For example, in terms of logo design, something which can be remembered and replicated easily by a child is a good example of an effective brand mark. All of the below brands can be identified without writing a single word – They communicate to the consumer.

So, next time your brainstorming on a project, remember – Less is always more, simplify the process and reframe ordinary thought.

Anthony Georges