How Designing for Simplicity makes your Business more competitive ? (A Calendar Case Study)

Are you a fan of the flat, minimalist aesthetic that seems to be all the rage these days?
If you are not, it’s still worth a look.


This whole sorcery started up with Google, they gave pretty much the tone, many companies followed (including Apple), and now we’ve been invaded : flat design is everywhere.
Flat design is simple! That simplicity gave us, creatives, pretty much efficiency and speed in our workflow. No more complicated effects: blur, shadows, gradients. We are finally way more creative this way, more focused, more productive. That’s a really good thing.

Let me tell you about Calendar design. It’s a painful experience. Coming up with a brand new calendar for a client is not fun at all. Because:
1. They always want every single information displayed on a A4 format (It really feels like writing a novel on a napkin.)
2. We’d rather draw, design, conceptualize something else. It’s way more fun and interesting !

Clients hate empty spaces. There! I’ve said it.
We are surrounded by this Everywhere-you-see-a-blank-fill/kill-it! syndrom. Are they scared about their customers reactions?
May be they think a customer might say “Oh, not so much information on this, may be they have nothing important to say, let’s dump them!”

Neatness is a weapon. For example, cleaned, well-organized premises attract customers, because they’ll think that’s how you manage your business. What’s wrong with that? Nothing!

We will take Calendar design as a case study here. It’s really challenging: on one hand you have to make it functional (something people will look at everyday) on the other hand, you have to make it beautiful (something people will eventually share, remember it’s the beginning of a new year!).

Tear-off calendar part will take a major space on your canvas, then you’ll have less room to make an impact. (Forget your client’s voice saying: we want phone numbers, e-mail, location, photos of us and our employees, maps, fax numbers, greetings…) Of course, you can only choose three elements you’ll communicate on but anything can’t goes there.

This is a pharmacy calendar. We liked the layout,  the green ribbon at the bottom. We didn’t like the clutter with random elements: photography, logo, typography, colors. To our dismay, such type of design is common. Plus, the pics aren’t retouched, that gives you the washed out sensation, and the eyes don’t know where to focus.

Before the simplicity

Photography is a great tool, but there is a caveat: it makes us lazy. Retouching is hard work, many businesses don’t have time and the ressources to deal with it. That’s why combined with bad design, non retouched work leads to bad results.

After a few sketches, drawing, testing, this is the concept we ended up with:


The green ribbon surounding the layout, medicinal plants as an extension, the constant typography, and a simple logo on top.
The user can focus more on the Tear-off calendar part. That’s an elegant calendar which breathe. Isn’t it?

Apply this concept of simplicity by design to every projects you will have, and you’ll be sure to meet your marketing goals.
If you don’t know where to start, the folks at Creative Bloq do a very good job at providing you examples of stunning calendars to use for your inspiration.

Leave us comments down below, tell us if you agree that simplicity in design is the best advertising and marketing solution? Did you rip its benefits?


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