Some people think of design as strictly an artistic process where the primary goal is to make things look attractive. Design however, is as much about usability as it is about aesthetics. Designers use the various tools at their disposal to solve their client’s problems while creating solutions that look good. This could include creating compelling graphics or designing a website that meets a business objective. It could also be the creation of intriguing package design to encourage sales. While it ‘s easy to focus on aesthetics, creating the ideal experience through design is more complicated and more important.
If you follow my work or explore my portfolio you will notice that I like simple and clean designs. This is not a cop out from designing more complex works, but rather a decision based both on personal preference and usability. It is actually often more difficult to keep it simple than to just utilize all concepts that come to mind. Imagine a magazine where pictures of all the stories in the issue are considered for the cover page. Due to limited space and the desire to make maximum impact a simple design featuring one main picture is usually used as opposed to a montage of all images from the magazine. Here are a few reasons why I prefer to keep my work simple.
Simple is more memorable
It is easier to remember something simple than something complex and this concept is as true for design as anything else. You may not know all the lyrics for the most popular song out right now but you probably remember a few of the nursery rhymes you learned as a child. Without a doubt simplicity helps you to remember because there are less details to process. Simple information can also be processed much faster which means there is less chance of you being distracted while processing simple details.
Simple reduces bloat
Unnecessary elements can actually distract from the message and diminish the effectiveness of a design. Simplistic design strategy involves eliminating this bloat and concentrating on the important parts of the design. Why use a paragraph to describe something that could be said better in one picture.? People are busy and may not appreciate having to spend a lot of time to get the gist of your message.
Simple is less intimidating
Simple designs tend to have a psychological impact on the viewer. It is not as overwhelming as complex designs and that can make the viewer more comfortable. Some people may just skim over complex designs that look hard to understand (even if they are not). This is especially true with websites which only have a few seconds to impress visitors before they leave.
Clean and simple designs are easy on the eyes and clients usually like them. There are times when a more elaborate design is appropriate and I get a chance to splash my creativity around. These opportunities are also fun once they do not defeat the purpose of the design. The ultimate goal is to appeal to the target audience and most times a simple approach will do the trick.
Inspiration can come from many sources and we can all learn from the talents and experiences of others. As a graphic designer I am interested in many different forms of creating art. Photography, illustration, image editing and videography all help in artistic expression. This is why I was so impressed when I saw samples of work from artist Marcello Barenghi on Colossal.
The artist’s time-lapse videos show how he moves from a blank canvas to some pretty realistic drawings of everyday objects. You can browse his catalog on his YouTube channel, his website or his deviantart page. This work is inspirational for anyone who likes to draw or likes to see how art is made. The number of tools needed and attention paid to detail demonstrates what hard work and determination can achieve.