The art of KISS-ing (it’s not what you think)

KISS-ing is hard, we often overthink things. We often make decisions we regret later and we may need to retract, say sorry it do it again, again, and again.

Sounds familiar?

The art of Keeping It Stupidly Simple

Gotchaaaa, didn’t I? KISS, otherwise known as the hairy metal band or “Keep It Simple, Stupid”, is a principle held closely at heart by minimalists and practical people, even in the design world. Yes, there are practical people in the Design field, c’mon.

Why KISS the hell out of your designs

There is a reason why KISS-ing is so popular. Most of all, it is not supposed to be easier to come up with a simple design. Contrary to what people think, simple design is often the most daunting to finish. You always think there’s something missing, and it’s often easy to forgo function.

Simple is a sign of sophistication. There is a reason why museums with expensive art have bare walls, and huge amount of spacing between pieces of art. The same can be applied to websites, logos, photography, and basically anything else that you create. That’s because your brain has less to process and you have more mental space to appreciate and further understand what you are seeing. Every element thus present will have a bigger significance compared to a busy design, which in that case, your brain would be too busy separating elements.

Want a sure fire way to ruin a logo or a website? Put a lot of elements to it. Your audience will be so busy trying to puzzle it out they will forget to focus on your product or service.

Simple is not generic

Simplicity is not a synonym for generic, despite what people think. Logo designers tend to confuse a simple logo design with “boredom”. That only comes to tell us that they don’t understand branding at all. Branding is not a logo, and thus it is not a complete assessment of the value of the logo. The logo itself might cost the business thousands to millions, but it’s really its contextual uses that it give its deserved value.

Being generic is having a bare, unassimilated brand without context, or a blatant copy of another proven business (much like medicine). Generic is not having a voice, pursuing brand values and creating your own competitive advantage.

Simple is easier to remember

Your goal is not to have your industry compiled in your logo — that’s the recipe of looking unprofessional. Your goal should be on people, and people remember simpler things over complicated things.

Thus said, it takes about 6-15 times for a user to make a purchase, and online, that number doubles. If your branding or website is complicated, not only you won’t be remembered, it also shows you don’t care about their experience. Bad deal all around.

It’s more practical and more recognizable, really

If you have, let’s say, a complicated logo, how do you think it will look like when you put it as an icon for your website, or the mobile version of it, on a pen, or any other small media? Blurry and unrecognisable.

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