Focusing on what matters most

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Do you feel like your brain has too many tabs open? I can relate. We all struggle with the sheer amount of information in our lives. It feels like everyone is trying to grab our attention and we’re less present as a result. As a designer, I try not to add to the clutter too much.

Less but better

I find the concept of essentialism to be very helpful in this regard. Essentialism is all about pursuing “less but better”. This is not necessarily the same as minimalism, although the two concepts do overlap. Rather than saying “less is more”, essentialism is about keeping that which truly matters. How much this is, will differ in each situation. Keeping only the essentials is a mindset that you can apply to objects, relationships and also to branding.

Thoughtful brand communication

Branding and marketing are some of the biggest contributors to our mental (over)load. That also means there is an opportunity here for brands to be clear, focused and meaningful in their communication. A chance to have a brand that doesn’t shout but speaks calmly and thoughtfully. Whenever you speak to your audience, you do so to add value to their lives, not clutter.

Seeing the bigger picture

Design can help people to pull back and see the bigger picture. It can allow them to see what is essential and what is not. I apply these principles when I design simple, calm brand identities that have a few things in common:

  • A calm colour palette, with lots of natural basics and muted shades.
  • Just a few carefully curated typefaces that are legible and fit well together.
  • Clean layouts with lots of white space and a strong visual hierarchy that makes it easy to see what is most important.

Perhaps contrary to what you might expect, a calm brand will increase your chances of being noticed. It will also make it easier for your audience to actually read and engage with your content:

  • Natural tones will allow you to slow down and take notice. A clean layout will give your eyes space to rest.
  • One good typeface can make a text so much easier to read than a mix of all kinds of text styles.
  • Enough white space will increase the chances that you notice and click on that button.

Let's design and create content that helps people to feel better and less stressed. If you have any tips for dealing with all the tabs open in your brain, I'd love to hear them over on Instagram

Naomi den Besten