Every time I near the completion stage of a logo design presentation I ask myself the question, “What else can I eliminate?” What else? What else? What else? What is the most clear yet clever way to communicate the story of my client’s identity? Simplicity is complicated.. It requires us to strip down our message and communicate what identifies and distinquishes us. Why is the simplist solution the most effective?
Minimalism in design approach allows the logo to be translated across a wide variety of media: Website, promo products, print, video, and so on. All graphic designers know this one thing: There is nothing more frustrating than struggling with a logo that is busy with a jumbled mess of irrelevant and unneccessary elements. You know what happens? Your logo will look great on one piece of media, then it will look horrifying (I actually shutter sometimes) on another. You won’t be happy with the pens you ordered. And do you know why? Let me tell you why. Because your logo’s fine lines, mother’s maiden name, twenty word tagline and phone number jumbalaya of a mess cannot shrink down to 1/8” height and be legible on a small product like a pen. I will get a frantic call from you when the electronic product proof comes in. I will then need to call the factory and in effect, REDESIGN your logo, or rip it’s elements apart to an unrecognizable version of it’s original bad design. Keep it simple. This is the secret of the universe. I promise you.
Simplicity aids memorability. Don’t beleieve me? Okay. Let’s try an exercise. Sketch the McDonal’s logo. Now sketch Apple’s logo. FedEx. Audi. You get my point. Our minds tend to remember the one thing that stands out in our memory. One. Not two. Or three. Or four. Simplicity in design is synonomous with iconic logos. The golden arches, apple’s shape with the bite mark, Audi’s circles, FedEx and it’s orange and purple logotype. These designs are easy to recognize by virtue of their simple, stylized shapes and color distinctiion. So many many times, we want to incorporate so many many elements into our logo that we lose it’s effectiveness.
So, let’s keep it simple. Designers and printers everwhere will thank you. I know I will.