Simple design solutions the IKEA way

Design is about thinking on your feet — coming up with simple design solutions to problems that are often very complicated.

In a great example of keeping it simple, IKEA created a brilliant product for the launch of their iPad catalogue in Norway: the Ikea Beröra. It’s a sewing kit equipped with specialized conductive thread to sew into a glove, so gloved users in frigid countries like Norway could use their iPad outside without freezing their fingers.

All 12,000 kits of these were sold out in just two weeks. Goes to show the power of simple solutions, doesn’t it?

Product design isn’t the only place where simplicity is key. In graphic design, it’s often the clear and uncomplicated design that comes out on top. Here are simple and successful design solutions created by users on 99designs:

Irisz & Josz logo by RotRed

Problem: A logo design has to be unique, memorable and scalable. It has to represent a brand.

Simple Solution: With a clean text-based solution to this design problem, RotRed gives a sense of luxury to this fashion brand’s logo. The serif font is a great way to make the design look upscale and the customized ampersand (&) makes the design more unique and memorable and can easily be integrated into the company’s branding materials. web design by Hitron

Problem: A website has to be distinctive and has to present a lot of information in an accessible and easily navigable way.

Simple Solution: This design draws a users attention with illustration and bold color, while simultaneously organizing the information with bold buttons and a play between color and typefaces in the text. Hitron uses white space to de-clutter the site, while still including basic imagery to keep the design from being boring.

Guldbæk Vingård wine bottle label by el_fraile

Problem: A label has to make a product stand out on the shelves. It needs to lure in a customer so that they pick up the product and take it home.

Simple Solution: El_fraile uses abstract geometric shapes to put a creative spin on the traditional imagery of the wine business. The basic color scheme helps represent the white and red wines without being too obvious, and the elegant typeface is a nice, simple touch that leaves a lot of breathing room.

Melbourne Studio of Art Prints by paul107

Problem: Promotional posters need a design that gets passerbyers’ attention and makes them want to read more. It should then communicate the company’s mission effectively so it does not turn viewers away.

Simple Solution: Large imagery is a great way to keep it simple: paul107 finds a way to overlay imagery with text and opaque boxes. The text is atypically displayed and still easy to read. The bold shapes and color of the imagery makes the poster aesthetically appealing, drawing its audience to the text.

So take a hint from those guys at IKEA and your fellow 99ers: Get rid of some of the clutter, and keep. it. simple.

Do you have any other great examples of simple design solutions? Let us know in the comments!

The author

Kaitlyn Ellison
Kaitlyn Ellison

Kaitlyn is part of the Community Team at She grew up in Boulder, CO and went to school at Northwestern University in Chicago. When she's not blogging, she spends her time having adventures and being generally creative. She's all about having new experiences as often as possible!

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