We’ve all heard it before — keep things simple. But what does simple really mean? And is it always the right way to go, or do we risk omitting valuable information when trying to achieve simplicity? This month, inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, we dug into the concept of simplicity to answer these questions, and uncover the true value that simplicity itself has to offer.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci
When simplicity, or the state of being simple, is defined as uncomplicated or uncompounded; freedom from pretense or guile; clarity; directness of expression, it’s clear to see why this aligns so strongly to consumer needs and values. People want their experiences, products, and interactions to be clear, quick, and easy — and if they’re not, most consumers have no qualms about walking away. As organizations, however, we often run into hurdles and challenges when it comes to achieving simplicity. We fear being perceived as boring, or not communicating the full value of our offers, products, or services.
So, can you be simple and still stand out?
The answer is a resounding, yes. Simplicity is not about looking generic, stripping away information, or hiding what makes your brand unique. It’s about clearing clutter, focusing on what is most true to your organization, and adding value for your audience. In today’s very crowded markets with distracted audiences, it’s more important than ever to get your message across, quickly, clearly, and simply. According to Siegel+Gale, an average of 64% of consumers globally will pay more for simpler experiences. And if you align to your own truths and value, you can achieve this while still fostering all the perceptions you want to own with your audiences, and giving them all the information they need in the process.
What does visually signaling Simplicity look like?
- Visuals and messages have a sense of “realness” and transparency – it is what it is, and that can be beautiful.
- Clean lines and shapes with touches of curve or personality.
- Clear and natural lighting and color with little to no special effects.
- Ample white space in both design and composition.
- Singular subject or clear focus is highlighted within compositions.
- Clear information hierarchy and scale play in typography.
- Clean and clear typefaces juxtaposed with sophisticated, legible scripts.
- Messages may be clever, but never hidden or complicated.
Check out our Pinterest board of other examples that visually signal simplicity.
Who’s signaling simplicity?
See these examples of brands using simplicity to communicate with and entice their customers.