Clean lines, natural fabrics, hushed seams and pure hues. The simplicity reflected in today’s fashion, design, food and trends is preoccupied with unraveling the tangles of contemporary life. A favorite publication, Kinfolk Magazine, exults the simple act of communal gathering. Visiting the Heath Ceramics alcove in the Ferry Building, I reveled in their shelves stocked with unadorned bud vases, milky-white platters and utilitarian utensils. Designers are bringing the outdoors in, hacking down branches to mold into subdued dinner table centerpieces, and wreathing nooks with dried flowers and foliage. Mr Porter’s new “Style Wherever You Are” campaign depicts dapper men standing in remote locations around the world carrying a white, branded, shopping bag. An abbreviated campaign slogan paired with clean art direction successfully relays the versatility of the brand and communicates Mr Porter’s global reach, refusing to dilute the core message by saying too much.
There is a collective urge to dissolve life’s clutter in an attempt to ascend the ever present rat race. Clever advertising tells stories and sells brands by leveraging simplicity. Research tells us people are tired of the racket. They are not asking for more information, more apps, more work hours, more traffic. The desire is for less. As marketers, leveraging the desire to connect consumers’ technological lives with simpler times, is a challenge worth pursuing. By cutting away the noise and focusing on the core messaging of a product, campaign or company, consumers will appreciate our efforts to deliver something that is well-designed, straightforward, useful and ultimately, meets them where they are.