Less is Most


Whether it’s text in an ad, graphic elements on a webpage, or the subject of a photograph, minimal is powerful. It’s been proven that human beings are more likely to read small nuggets of information than large paragraphs or text. We remember simplistic imagery over complex designs. We pay attention to what is isolated rather than what gets lost in a crowd.


With this in mind, we recognize the value of negative space. Resisting the urge to fill the space with more and more information prevents us from overcomplicating the message. Just like people, design needs room to breathe.


Here’s 5 ways to simplify and pull your message out of a mess.


1. Don't be Afraid of Negative Space

I've often heard clients refer to negative space in an ad as "real estate" with the mindset that every inch should be covered with more words or images. In reality, a cluttered ad gets overwhelming and is often ignored. Open space with a strong image or a few words is much more effective at catching the attention of your audience.

Negative space was a strong asset in creating the campaign for New Orleans Shakespeare Festival's 26th season.



2. Zero in on One Thing.

It can be tempting to want to show off everything you have to offer. But when you're giving attention to too many things at once, they begin competing with each other. Instead choose something that appeals to your general target audience and let that image draw them in to learn about everything else that's on the menu.

In creating marketing materials for Koboshi sushi restaurant, we took lots of beautiful photos but selected one dynamic image to represent the menu.

3. Cut the copy

You have a lot to say about your business, but you only have so much time. So get down to the heart of the matter. The things that you may feel are essential to communicate are often unimportant to your audience. They are only interested in how your product effects them.

We could have filled pages with information about Atlas Beads and how they are made from recycled paper, they fund women in Uganda and they are a great alternative to Chinese plastic, but the target audience was much more interested in unique fashion. So that's what we focused on in creating their print advertisements.


4. Isolated photography

A great way to make sure you have a lot of negative space to work with is to create it in your photography. Photographing your product against a solid or simple background gives you a great starting point for a clean design.

When creating the campaign for New Orleans Shakespeare Festival's 25th season, we photographed objects against a solid white background for some very dynamic imagery.



5. Go Monochromatic

Sometimes something as easy as reducing the colors used in an image can make it feel more breathable. Using black and white or monochromatic images will not only create simplicity, but it’s also a good way to stay within your brand colors.

This photo we shot of Sarah Gris Gris in Jackson Square was simple enough with an empty street and mostly black and white setting, but when we removed all the color from the photo, the image became much stronger.

Minimizing and simplifying can lead to difficult decisions. What to cut and what to keep? What to focus on and what to move to the background? 2nd Story is here to guide you in making those decisions and create for you a campaign that draws attention.


Contact us to schedule a free consultation and let's work together to get your business to the next level!


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