Why I Use Occam’s Razor Principle in My Design

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Leonardo da Vinci

As one of the smartest people who ever lived on this planet once said: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”  and I cannot help but wholeheartedly agree. That is why I tend to use Occam’s razor principle in my design.  Occam’s principle in a nutshell:  the simplest solution is usually the best/correct one. To apply this principle to the visual design, one must “drill down” and get to the bottom of the design “problem” (aka solution!). Using the KISS = keep things simple stupid, which is essentially the message behind Occam’s Razor. When we focus on the message the visual design has to convey, be it the logo, a poster, marketing peace or a packaging design, it becomes much easier to create a beautiful, stylish and functional design.

If you want to practice the Occam’s Razor principle, you can start it by following this simple mental exercise. When you have put a design together, and you are self-assessing your design before you show it to anyone, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is all the essential information included in the design?
  2. Does this design element serve a purpose, or is simply there as a decoration?
  3. Do all the design elements serve a function or am I simply filling in the “negative” space?
  4. What is the feeling I want to convey, do the colours I’ve chosen convey this feeling?
  5. Are there any elements I can take away and have the design still have the same impact?

After this quick self-assessment and any necessary adjustments – you are ready to go! You should be rest assured that you’ve trimmed the excess and unnecessary bits and pieces from your design. In the words of my childhood’s favourite writer:

Truth be told, if I had my way – all the catalogue and brochure covers would have a minimalist black or white embossed heading on a white background, probably typeset in Helvetica Neue (bold) – that is the extent I always take the design in my head! Luckily my ideas are safely confined to my head-space and are only allowed out once-in a while! Just kidding, of course!

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