Brand Gold Insights

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Logos - Simple Is Better

Branding Gold Insights

If you are designing a logo or refreshing the existing logo of your business, then try to keep it simple in order to maximise its effectiveness. Simple logos have a number of benefits:

1. Simple logos are easier to recognise and remember

Simple logos are easier to recall by customers. In fact, trials have shown again and again, that complex logos, especially those that have words or a tagline, are far less likely to be remembered than simple designs. There are hundreds of simple logos around us that belong to very successful companies: Starbucks, Mercedes-Benz, MacDonalds, Google, FedEx… the list is endless and easy to think of, whilst honestly, I can’t think of any complex logos that are well know!

2. Lose the words

Avoid words in the logo, because having no words in the logo simplifies things. However, you may have to ignore this if your business is very new and the name is totally unknown, In this case, you are almost obliged to have the name of the business in the logo in some way, otherwise the logo will have no meaning to your audience.

If you are at the beginning of your business journey and relatively unknown in your market, then try to create a design that incorporates the name of your business rather than tagging it on to the logo or under the logo as is commonly done.

Alternatively, design in such a way that the name can be removed at some future date, when the business is better known. A case in point – the Mercedes Benz star is internationally recognised – most people would recognise the star without the words underneath. At some stage, your branding will be strong enough in your niche that you can drop the actual name from your logo if you want to.

Looking around, you are sure to find many logos that you have seen evolve over time.

Old Logo

New Logo

The Starbucks logo is the classic example. Until circa 2011, the logo had the business name “Starbucks” as an intrinsic part of the logo.

Now, with the business name no longer in the logo itself, the Starbucks mermaid is no less recognisable.

3. More Clarity of Messaging

Simple designs make it easier to bring clarity of purpose and messaging to your logo. For instance, there is no mistaking what the, “Specsavers” brand is all about.

It immediately tells you that you can buy glasses here at an economic price and save money. A one-word logo, with a glasses shaped background that says it all.

4. Simple designs are more responsive

Logos need to be responsive for different usages across different touch points from stationary, marketing collaterals, uniforms, memorabilia, print, digital, colour, black & white. The simpler the logo, the easier it is to adapt the logo for these diverse requirements.

It is perhaps a little ironic, but the simpler a logo design needs to be, the more creativity is needed not only for the design, but also to instill the other components that make a logo effective, such as immediate impact, recognition, memorability and emotion. If you see a truly simple but effective logo, you can be sure that a great deal of work has gone into its development.

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