Why become a minimalist?
HLD 4 by Dieter Rams for Braun

How to declutter your logo - and why you should consider it


Chanel_logo_stormfromtheeast


The Chanel logo, seen above, is one of the most recognizable and iconic logos around. Designed by Coco Chanel herself, it hasn't changed in nearly 100 years.

There aren't many logos you can say all that about and the ones you can are simple and uncluttered.

I could have chosen any number of successful brands with simple logos to demonstrate the point - Nike, Apple, Amazon, Coca-Cola, FedEx, Gucci, Bass, World Wildlife Fund, etc. - as almost all logos that stand the test of time share common elements:

 

1) They're simple

Simple doesn't mean easy. It means they aren't crammed with unnecessary embellishments.

This can be really important regarding reproducing the logo in many formats, from on screens to printed on paper to sewn into clothing.

 

2) They're memorable

Their simplicity makes them easy to remember. You don't have to remember lots of details, which makes the logo easy to spot.

Our eyes tend to be drawn to things that stand out, including things we recognize, which has obvious implications for logo design.

 

3) They don't rely on colour

The days of asking "will it fax?" might be over, but being able to reproduce a logo in black and white is a good test of whether or not the logo's adaptable and, therefore, memorable.

Another reason, of course, is to not alienate colour blind customers.

 

How to declutter your logo

 

What's written above can be condensed into these three points:

 

1) Remove unnecessary embellishments

Do you really need the gradients, bevels and intricate details? Probably not. If anything, they're probably going to make your logo date very quickly.

 

2) Make it simple

Cut back on embellishments and cut back on unnecessary details. Make it simple to recall and reproduce.

 

3) Make it in black and white first

If it looks good in black and white, you're probably on to a winner. You can add colour, if you want to, but taking it away can seriously affect look of your logo.

 

Why you should consider it

 

Hopefully this should be clearer now. Loads of the most recognizable logos in the world are simple and uncluttered.

Not only will this help you to make money, it'll also help you to save a lot. As I mentioned, the Chanel logo has remained unchanged in nearly a century.

Just as an example, compare that to the evolution of the Mercedes-Benz logo, below. See how even a marque with such status has chosen a simpler logo despite obvious advances in technology.

Mercedes-Benz_logo_evolution

Again, I could have chosen any number of brands, including some established less than a decade ago.

The point is, imagine how much changing your logo can cost. First you have to find the time and money to develop the new logo, then you have to replace it on everything: your premises, your products, your website, your business cards and stationery, and anything else you produce it on.

 

And finally...

 

Just to show that I'm not a does as I say, not as I do type of chap, here's how my logo has changed over the years.

At first:

SFTE-logo-2006

To this:

Sftepinklogo

To this:

Sftetitle

Getting simpler:

Sftecrosslogo

And finally:

-

Yes, the big black block is my current logo.

It's an evolution/combination of the cross logo (in the second and fourth images above, representing a compass with an emphasis on 'east') and the blocks, combined with the emphasis on east, seen in the third and fourth images.

As you can imagine, it's very simple to reproduce and doesn't take much to remember.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)