Go Simple, Go Marvel

It is quite often when people ask me this question.

What is your secret sauce in Design?

Well, normally I would answer it with kind of general answers. Because I will not just easily hand over my secret tactics and strategy in Design. Furthermore, I would like to see those people reaching their own characteristics and workflows in doing Design Process.

But today, I will explain it. Not that I will reveal entirely, but just so you know what kind of perspective I used in Design.

Well, the title is already implicating what general idea used when I am Designing.

“Go Simple”

1. Simple is Rich

Do you prefer a room full of stuffs and furniture around the space, or a room with necessary furniture with the right placement?

I guess you would probably choose the second one.

The misconception in Design (or everything) is that people tend to see that more elements means more skill and efforts. While the Designer who produces simplistic design is considered lazy and effortless.

Simplicity means the Designer can focus enriching necessary elements on the Design outcome. By implementing the right elements according to the needs, a simplistic minded Designer tend to put the ‘more effort’ or ‘the 100%’ by tweaking the elements into more beautiful, meaningful and therefore creating an emotional piece of design which leads to the satisfied feeling for the clients.

One of our Interior Projects. We always go simple but detail for each elements.

But simplicity does not always mean ‘empty’ or ‘shallow’. Simplistic Design seeks what it needs and does not need to be implemented. And the details came afterwards, following from the basic design framework.

2. Simple is Clean

Society tend to or absolutely love something that is clean.

Clean shoes, cleans shirts, clean house, clean bathroom, etc.

That is the same thing in Design. The difference is, Design can not be cleaned by a soap.

The Clean Design tend to eliminates unnecessary elements. So the elements that last in the Design are only directly-related or functional. Furthermore, those elements are formulated (only us who know how to formulate the design decision so we are kinda confused on how to convert this into text) to achieve the same level of dynamics as it has plenty of elements, but stabilized into the reasonable ‘cleanliness’ level.

In a short, what we are doing is to keep less things more, without feeling more.

One of our Concept Architectural Projects in West Java, Indonesia. We are using simple geometrical play in the best dynamics possible.

3. Simple is Saving Time

I need to mention that using Simple Mind and Simple Style in Design is quite time-saving to accomplish the Design Outcome.

Using Simple Style and Simple Mind in Design means Designers will have more and total control on how and when the Design Process will reach certain stage of it, because it is more focused. It is obviously faster to produce several alternatives and tweaking a wireframe-style or flat-design logo compared to doing the finishing of hand painted style logo with ornaments.

Simplicity is also related to the workflows in Designing. It is recommended to create a design workflow system that is progressing, not going backwards and each stage should have at least 75% differences in terms of used skills. It is to keep the Design mind flowing by doing different work in different flow. Not to mention that the well designed workflow enhances the time saving strategy mentioned above.

The Logo for E+A+S+Y. The basic logo is finished in less than 10 minutes, but several hours to make it masterpiece.

With the perfect workflow and perfect strategy, Design Process is no longer time consuming process. While the good Design Process is considered long journey and needs lots of consideration, the time saving concept is more into the necessary time (not quick time) spend in the process, and the ability to manage other time to make the design much better. Not the opposite, spending much time for unimportant process and the design is limited, can not be developed into something more meaningful.


While every Designer is unique, this article is not intended to brainwash all designers to accept the ideology, nor to generalize that every designer is the same. This is pure my thoughts and exactly how, myself, and the Designs that produced under the name of my company, Future Shape Worldwide Co., is designed following those mindsets and characters that we actually develop it for distinction.

Have good thoughts? Let’s have a good talk.