Simplicity or Chaos, that is the question

Simplicity or Chaos, that is the question


Who said that the future would be a walk in the park? Get on Twitter to see what we’re up against: messages galore, contradictory opinions and the evergreen “don´t miss the trending topic of the moment” call to action. Ditto, when you turn on the news. What’s fake, what’s real?

Say you want to take a break and watch a Netflix series? It’s the same thing.

The choice is overwhelming and you spend more time making choices about what to watch than viewing. Then comes the pandemic with informational overload on its severity, treatment and the ‘new normal’.

With this in mind, it’s only natural that people would gravitate towards certainty, emotional stability and the illusion of knowing what the future holds. In response to this, administrations, companies and brands have shifted towards more transparency, responsibility and empathy.

That is why Minimalist Design is more relevant than ever though it is nothing new in the world of communication. Unsurprisingly, it’s a growing trend. We are reassured when we see structural order, sustainability with quality and  ‘less is more’ as an ethos. Communication is no exception. Audiences like concise, direct messages that avoid verbiage and that are  digestible like a snack.

With the digital revolution many brands have resorted to minimalist design at the expense of their own identities. That’s why so many brands look so similar. In their quest to become ‘simpler’ and  ‘relatable’ brand identities have become  interchangeable. What a paradox!

That’s why it’s so important to focus on the younger generations who are constantly on the lookout for icons, design, images and references that will make them stand out. As far as they are concerned,  minimalism=uniformity and from that comes their desire to break the rules.

That’s how you get the rise of non-normative trends that use surreal and dystopian universes. They play on our emotions by using visual tension and discomfort to stand out and create a new environment.

Take the latest campaign by Ignasi Monreal for Etnia the spectacle brand from Barcelona. He combines a design of surrealism, classicism and fantasy.

Some fashion brands such as Loewe and Balenciaga have already incorporated these new design trends into their communication strategies. Despite their long prestigious histories, they reach out to the  young through special collections and have their names associated with pop icons such as Bad Bunny.

Apple, the simplicity design brand par excellence has integrated this trend into their latest communication. For their Christmas mini Homepod advertisement, they have created a universe of magical surrealism design far removed from the traditional Christmas aesthetics and purity of the brand.

Minimalism Vs Surrealism, Simplicity Vs Chaos.

How do you achieve a balance that combines these forces? Can you even combine two at the same time? Fashion brands have historically prioritized attitude and personality in their communication. They have combined anarchy with rules, classicism with irreverence and order with chaos. Although some of this is finding its way into collections and campaigns some fashion brands have opted for a complete restyling of their brands.

Let’s see what the future holds to see if both trends merge or we enter a new era: the design of chaos.

                                                                                                   Design Team, Logic Design Barcelona

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