From Jonathan Ive’s one-button iPhone, to Haiku poetry, I’m inspired by the beauty of, and intellect behind, simplicity.
In my mind simple is what you get when you boil down a product or an idea to its essential elements. It means stripping an interface (in the case of the iPhone), or a language (in the case of the Haiku) to its most basic form. It means relying on my audience to draw on its life experience to understand what it is that I’m trying to communicate. This is really, really hard, and somewhat risky. Hard: it requires a deep understanding of my audience. Risky: strip my idea / product down too far and nobody will know how to use my gadget / understand my advertisement. (Good example? Perfectly round hockey-puck mouse that came with the original iMac — I never knew which was way up!).
The reward for striking the right balance, however, is a concept that resonates deeply with those who engage it. Below is an example of a pretty complicated advertisement that saves itself with a really simple tagline (at 1’16”): She arrived as Ms K Mathieson, Executive VP of Sales. She departed as Kate.
Having worked in the corporate sector for a few years, I totally get it. Simple, powerful stuff and, was the rest of the advertisement even necessary?
Watch the ad: