Keeping Simplicity in Design
Focus on Essential ElementsWhen you work on a project ask yourself, “What elements need to be the focus?” Research the industry to completely understand what will make the company stand out from its competitors while effectively communicating its mission to the target audience. When designing graphics, make the information as straight forward and user-friendly as possible. You don’t want a confused viewer clicking off the site because the design was too distracting. If you are working on a logo icon, focus on simplifying the image so it’s readable when scaled down. There is a process some designers go through to simplify icon designs. If you are like me, you will start by searching for inspiration. It’s good to look at different images and not base your design off one.
Take Out Unnecessary ElementsWhen you have a solid design, don’t keep adding to it – decide what unnecessary elements to take out. What lines can we take out that will still make the chick a recognizable object? I have taken out the details like its hair and decided it can still be recognizable with one eye. From there I am going to create unique lines that make the chick look interesting. Have fun and play with line weight to give your icon an original abstraction.
Reduce Color and TypefacesThe colors and typefaces you chose can be distracting even if your design is simple. Colors need to compliment your beautiful chick, not distract it. Try to include as few colors as possible by limiting your design to 2 or 3. A lot of designers use shades of the same color when designing. For example, in a website design you can use dark blue in the background and light blue in the foreground.
Hierarchy of ScaleHierarchy of scale is also important when simplifying your design because it helps a viewer’s eye easily move from element to element. When a designer uses hierarchy of scale, they manipulate the size and space of each element based on how important it is. Designers differentiate design elements through scaling, color, spacing, and weight. These different techniques help signal a change from one level of importance to another.
If the company’s name is the first thing you want the viewer to notice then it needs to be big, bold and closest to the audience. Placing a graphic in the center is also a good way to get it noticed first. In this monochromatic website example, I have numbered the design elements in order of what a viewer would notice at first glance. The first thing a viewer might notice is the huge font. The illustration directly under the title would draw attention because of its huge size and accents of red.