The “One Slice Only” Approach to Marketing and Design

Estimated Read Time: 3 minutes.

You’ve finally managed to snag a reservation at one of the most popular restaurants in town. Just as you're finishing the last bite of your entree, the waiter comes over and offers the dessert menu. Being the chocoholic that you are, you gladly accept and choose the most decadent chocolate layer cake you've ever laid eyes on. You savor every bite and barely finish it as each layer gets smaller and smaller. Richness, though pleasant for a few moments, eventually becomes too much. Rich design and marketing are like chocolate cake—good as a little treat every once in awhile, but bad when enjoyed too often.

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While it’s tempting to think that the flashier and more eccentric you create your marketing campaign and design to be, the more people you’ll attract. But the truth is, you can end up being too overwhelming. The bottom line is this: people like simple. Effective and creative does not mean lavish and ostentatious. In fact, we would argue that the greatest marketing and design happen when simplicity, creativity, and effectiveness all intersect.

Simple does not mean boring or lazy—simple design requires a lot of thought and ingenuity. It also requires several rounds of editing down. Paul Rand, an American Graphic Designer, who created logos for ABC, IBM, UPS, and many other main companies, once said, “Design is so simple, that’s why it’s so complicated.” Good design takes hard work and planning, along with strategy and a knowledge of what will be effective. The intentionality of the simple approach, though made to look effortless, will be seen by the consumer's eye. That intentionality is what’s going to win over the consumer ultimately. There will be no flash or garishness—just pure and straightforward design.

Think of what happens when you browse the aisles at any major grocery or department store. What catches your eye? Every product is vying for your attention (and your hard-earned dollar). In a sea of different colors, patterns and bold fonts, it’s the slick and the simple that stands out. Many products are trying to be elaborate in their design, leaning on the false notion that those who scream the loudest are the ones heard most. The well-designed stand quietly, secure in what they do and who they are—not needing to shout to gain attention.

Adding a little pizzazz to your marketing and design is best in small, short doses—even Coca-Cola and Starbucks change things up from time to time to promote something or increase sales. However, if you chose an overdone design for your everyday look, your product would inundate the consumer and eventually lose its effectiveness. When your business focuses on simplicity, over richness, like good design, we promise you’ll be able to have your cake—and eat it too.

Written by Elizabeth Lambert, Lead Copywriter