Start by changing the way you think about the word “simple.” Simplicity is not easy. Simplicity is innovative. It is more challenging and takes more discipline than the “kitchen sink” theory of design. If applied correctly to your brand strategy, you can say more with less.
5 key advantages to simplicity in design and messaging.
1. It is easily recognizable.
2. It is memorable.
3. It reduces visual and emotional tension.
4. It is easy to understand.
5. It allows for a direct, coherent, consistent message across all brand channels.
Take advice from the experts.
Marissa Mayer, Google’s director of consumer Web products, sums the importance of design simplicity excellently:
“Google has the functionality of a really complicated Swiss Army knife, but the home page is our way of approaching it closed. It’s simple, it’s elegant, you can slip it in your pocket, but it’s got the great doodad when you need it. A lot of our competitors are like a Swiss Army knife open-and that can be intimidating and occasionally harmful.”
Google stays true to the equation: Robust Product + Simple, Direct Presentation = Success.
Test your brand.
An easy way to evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing materials is to sit down and look at them briefly. Skim them. Don’t spend any more time than you would as a consumer looking at someone else’s materials for the first time. Now step away. Read a chapter in a book. Go on a walk. Do something distracting. Then sit down and think about your materials. What do you remember? Is you message clear? Is your design consistent? If you have trouble remembering your colors, focus or message, others certainly will too.