How to Be Basic and Get the Best Out of It


Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist when he (or she) grows up. — Pablo Picasso

The circle, the triangle, and the square. Ever consider that the solution to your complex design problem might lie in simple basic shapes?


Last month, we took a refreshing trip back to basics at a workshop with Natasha Jen. The Pentagram partner believes that critique is one of the most important aspects of the design process.


Critique is an important, if not the most important, part of the design process.

We got to experience this first-hand at the three-hour workshop hosted by

–ing creatives. After a brief introduction of Bauhaus principles, a challenge was set forth to invent a logo for a fictional brand.


The Rules:

  • The name of the brand must be ‘OXO’.

  • Only circles, squares, or triangles could be used to create the logo.

  • We had about thirty minutes to present our work.


Design is Fun

Designing things can be a lot of responsibility. While we were scrambling to make the time limit, we were reminded that designing can also be fun.

Let’s face it, that’s why we became designers.

Strip away the presentations and the formalities and you’ve got an exercise in pure concept. Dwelling on the thought process of arriving at the logo can bring out the whimsy in our work.

It was rejuvenating to be in the midst of a jangy mix of graphic designers and creative directors and to observe the way everyone thinks.


Complexity Through Simplicity

All complex forms originate from simple shapes. Bauhaus has taught us that, yet we seem to forget it. Starting with simple forms helps us resolve design problems with originality, rather than finding a solution on Google.

Don’t just Google it.

Starting with simple forms helps us resolve design problems with originality…

The combinations of simple shapes to form a complex idea is truly infinite and not everything has been explored yet. Baring the essentials shows us how a design outcome can be elegant and intelligent.


Fight Club had a lot to teach us.

The Outcome:

OXO — Logo for a postal service using only circles, squares, and triangles.


OXO — Logo design for a pizzeria using the Bauhaus shapes.


Have a go at it.

Show us what you came up with through studio@anaforma.com

Anaforma is a Graphic Design group fighting against visual pollution. Check out their work or follow them on Instagram.



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