We live in a world where brands and visual language are constantly evolving and fighting to be heard, but among these endless layers of communication, is it the directness of expression that we all really crave and connect with? Underscore Designer Chris Noone offers his thoughts.
Simplicity in design engages with people on a different level. It is often the directness, as consumers aren’t distracted by excess elements that lead the eye away from the core essence of the design. Removing the unnecessary and keeping the fundamentals through a process of thoughtful reduction also allows the brand to be direct with their messaging, keeping the consumer focused on important points of difference rather than trying to offer hundreds of reasons to believe.
Take the latest YPlan tube adverts, for example. These deliver clear messaging with an engaging tone of voice, cutting out virtually everything else. Their clean design and uncluttered message instantly cut through the naff, over complicated advertisements that are often splattered across our daily commute. Simple, to the point, no b*llocks, and personally I like it. It could be my admiration for white space, but more importantly I think it’s the directness of the message showing the fundamentals of the offering. If YPlan offers what no one else does, why say more than that?
Simplicity, however, isn’t always the easiest to achieve. Apple has demonstrated time and again how simple, clean design can build a brand’s reputation, but it hasn’t been easy for them. Steve Jobs has been quoted to say “It takes a lot of hard work… to make something simple, to truly understand the underlying challenges and come up with elegant solutions.”
What Steve Jobs and his design team realised long ago is that it’s often not about what you put in that makes great design, but what you take out. When executed at the highest standard, whether it’s the design, copywriting or concept, is simplicity the ultimate sophistication?