If someone asked you to picture a logo in your mind, most likely it would be a simple logo design. Logos with a simple design tend to be memorable, eye-catching, and convey a clear message to their target audience. They cut through much of the surrounding clutter and provide people with a welcome visual relief. Thankfully, many brands are moving towards a cleaner design aesthetic.
Starbucks, for example, has greatly simplified their logo over the years. When Starbucks first created their logo in 1971 with the iconic siren image, they included text as well as the entire image of the siren. As time went by, Starbucks incorporated a more modern, clean image by eliminating the text, cropping the image, and modifying the image using clean lines. Likewise, they are down to using just one color - green (Want to know more about brand colors? Check out my previous post here ). By removing the word “coffee”, Starbucks can now easily expand into other product lines without any negative effects on the brand.
Starbucks’ logo evolution from 1971 to 1992.
Reference ( image above ): https://www.aiga.org/design-process-starbucks-pinterest-mailchimp-logos
The advantages of a simple logo
One of the greatest benefits of a simple logo is that it is easy to remember and that makes a lot of sense. Which is easier to remember: A long paragraph filled with complex sentences and a lot of jargon or a single clear, statement? Of course, we’d all choose the single, clear sentence and it’s the same way with your brand logo. When you use simple logo design, it allows you to easily associate it with the positive experiences you have with the company.
Simple logo is easy to recognize
Simple logo designs are also easy to recognize with just a quick glance. In today’s increasingly cluttered markets, a simple logo will help you stand out from your competitors. People will be able to connect your brand with a simple, clean image.
Simple logo is versatile and scalable
A simple logo is easier to publish across various channels, from social media to promotional gifts. It is also easier to enlarge or shrink the image without losing quality. This will help to keep the look of your logo consistent as it used across various media channels. Consistency is essential to build a strong brand.
Simple logo is explicable
Simple logo designs help to elicit emotions from your audience because they don’t have to put much thought into deciphering what they are looking at. This will allow the process of linking emotions to your brand to happen much faster.
Simple logo is difficult to counterfeit
A clean, simple logo is also more difficult to counterfeit. If you have a complex logo, someone might just change a few subtle details and call it their own, potentially diluting or damaging your brand. However, in a simple design, every line, every shape, and every color plays an important role in the logo. Removing or tweaking just one would change the entire logo.
Different types of simple logo design
There are many different ways to create a minimalist logo design. Many companies choose to use only text as their design. Brands such as Google, Yahoo, and eBay are a few examples of companies that use only text as a logo to great effect.
Even the type of font that you choose, sends a message to your audience. Whether you select a clean modern font, a serif font, or cursive font, make sure it reflects your business – it’s value, it’s mission, and it’s purpose (if you don’t have a clear brand vision, check out my free brand workbook that will guide you through the whole process ).
Another option is to simply use a symbol using little to no typography. Some famous brands that have taken advantage of this option include Apple, Target, and Chanel. Notice that adding text to these logos would be an unnecessary extra step. Even if you don’t use these products, it’s very likely that you recognize them.
Color also plays a significant role in your logo design. A simple color palette can have a powerful impact. In the past, Apple used a rainbow color scheme, but its current logo is now a simple, one color, glass theme. The change gives the logo an entirely different feel even though the shape remains exactly the same.
Science tells us why we love simple logos
Recent studies confirm what many companies have already discovered. Humans have an innate preference for simplicity. It stems from a concept called Cognitive Fluency. The theory suggests that our brains are wired to seek the easiest things to process. It seems our brains don’t want to work hard. Logos that are clean and simple are like candy to our brains.
Here’s how it works:
Our eyes take in the visual information from an image and turn it into an electrical signal, which is sent to our brain. This signal gives the brain the color and light information.
When our brains are processing a complicated logo with more colors and light variations, our brain must work harder to decipher the information and remember it. This slows down the process and makes it harder for us to recall the image.
Additional studies on working memories also suggest that simple logo design is easier for our short-term memory to absorb. Working memory is where our brains store and process temporary information. It allows us to focus our attention. However, working memory has a very limited amount of space (a maximum of 5-9 pieces of information to be effective). By using as few design elements as possible to communicate your brand message, you allow your logo to be easily absorbed in your audience’s working memory.
When you see a simple logo, you might think that the logo was easy to create, however, there is a whole process of strategizing, brainstorming, trial and error, tweaking and even sometimes starting over to arrive at just the right logo for your brand. An experienced designer who specializes in simple design can help you create a unique, eye-catching logo that will help you reach your target audience.
Do you want to create a simple logo for your brand? I can help you. I specialize in clean and simple design, creating logos that communicate strong messages with minimal design elements. Contact me and let’s get started.