Cutting Through Design Clutter

Guest Contributor: William Foster, Creative Director at Clear Vision Development Group

Media people like to throw around the phrase “cutting through the clutter.” This is in reference to all the advertisements we encounter on a daily basis – somewhere around 5,000 ads on average.

Yet, there is another type of clutter in advertising that is often overlooked and happens all too often – design clutter. Placing too much information into one design and/or an unorganized visual presentation. Either will frustrate your viewer and assure they only give the ad a passing glance. And there are scientific studies to prove it!

Research has found that the human visual system is limited with respect to its capacity to process incoming visual information.When we overload the brain with an environment that is cluttered, the chaos restricts our ability to focus. It actually makes us irritable.

The study also shows that our brain prefers an uncluttered, organized, and serene environment.That is why good design is so important. It’s not just about making an ad look “pretty.” It’s more about prioritizing the information and making it easily understood.

Here are 4 basic rules to help keep clutter at bay in your branding:

First, always ask, what is most important? The one thing you would like the viewer to understand or act upon. Once this is established then all elements are arranged to support the objective.

Second, use a variety of scale. Give more visual weight to what is most important on your branding campaigns. If everything is the same size, then nothing will stand out.

Third, be sure to keep the design tidy. The basic cause of messy design is slight, unintentional differences among elements.

Lastly, edit, edit, edit. Don’t overload the ad with copy.When information is difficult to extrapolate quickly the viewer tunes out and moves on.

We have all seen what design clutter looks like because our first instinct is to give up reading.That’s why it’s so important to clear the clutter. Not only will you have a better-looking branding campaign, chances are, it will be more effective.

Download our free guide, Attracting The Buying Eye, to understand the science behind what attracts the buyer and how you can create more effective branding ads.

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