Names, Signs, and Designs: Is simple and straightforward better?
When I introduce myself, and people say, “What’s your company name?” I tell them and then always add, “I know super unoriginal, but I promise I’m actually very creative.
What’s in a name?
For starters, I knew that I was still trying to figure out where I wanted to take the business. My vision was to start as a marketing/communications generalist, identify what I really like doing and focus on that work as I grow the business. So, I didn’t want to commit to something in the name that I ended up not pursuing. For example, on my list was The Social Media Maven, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to commit to social media exclusively. Nor did I want to give the impression that was all I did. I knew I needed something all-encompassing.
I had a few other names that were more sentimental and meaningful. Poppy Communications, after my beloved grandfather. I considered Nor'easter Communications because I'm a New Englander, or Throw Me a Bone Media, since I'm obsessed with my dog. Ultimately it just felt better going with something more straightforward. I didn’t want my business name to require an explanation, confuse people, or bring the wrong audience. So that’s where Lauren Perna Communications came in.
Sometimes it’s all about keeping it straightforward and simple.
Boring can be better!
I ran into this conundrum again recently. I am running for an elected position in my town, representing my precinct. It’s a minor election, but still, I made a sign for myself to hold outside the polls on election day. When I picked up the sign at Staples, I was disappointed. It was somewhat boring and plain, and it didn’t feel like me. Then after a few minutes, I hyped myself up about it. I realized that this is another situation, like picking my company name, where simple is OK.
I had sent out a campaign postcard to my precinct, but I know many people will need reminding on voting day. And on voting day, people are just running in, so I’ll need to get my point across quickly and easily. The sign needs to be legible and understandable.
We have all seen something that’s hard to read because of style or encountered a business name that is confusing. And, we’ve all read something super long that the person could’ve summarized in just a few sentences (probably on this very website🤣). These are situations where I wish they had just kept it simple.
I realized that if I put in the time and effort to create a more intricate sign, it wouldn’t have paid off in this scenario. Dare I say...
Sometimes boring can be better.
Keeping it simple in all senses
A few weeks ago, one of my Content Tips of the Week was KISS—Keep It Simple Silly. In the digital content sense, I was talking about keeping your posts simple. Don’t go too crazy giving away all the juicy details because often you can stretch that out over several posts. However, keeping it simple is also about being clear and concise. It’s about deciding when beautifully crafted text, clever names, or intricate designs aren’t needed.
KISS is a pretty standard principle in design, but for a creative and wordy writer, like myself, it can be harder to embrace. But, there are times when you need to resist the urge to incorporate too much flair and accept that plain isn’t necessarily bad. In these situations, you risk distracting from the actual message or spending unnecessary time creating something that your audience didn’t need.
The key is determining when those situations are happening! It isn’t easy, let me tell you! The number of times I’ve been so proud of a piece of work just for no one to notice the effort….well, far too many times than I care to admit.
Hopefully, you made it this far, and the article wasn't unnecessarily long. 😉