I love minimalism. I love minimal furniture, minimal interiors and minimal style. When it comes to branding and advertising I will admit that I have a bias towards minimal designs with white space, clean typography and more of a monochromatic feel. Coming from a retail marketing background it took every ounce of my being to reject the demands for the use of big, bold starbursts in print advertising, on the web site and in catalogues. I would also advise that bigger is not always better. Less is more. And of course, the K.I.S.S. principle: keep it simple, stupid.
Regarding logo design, I also believe that you need to keep it simple whilst at the same time creating something that is timeless, memorable, versatile and relevant to your brand. If we look at some of the most valuable brands globally we can see that their logo designs achieve these goals.
The Apple logo is a great example of this. It is simple and timeless. The coloured apple design was created in 1977 and stayed in use until 1998 when Steve Jobs ordered a re-design of the logo in line with the new, sleek iMacs. The apple logo remained and a new monochrome logo took its place. Today, Apple tops the Most Valuable Brand list globally.
Automotive companies have also taken a minimalist approach to their logos (think Audi, Mercedes Benz, Lexus) and sporting good companies such as adidas, Nike and Under Armour.
You can also be clever whilst being simple. This can be achieved using the negative space in logos. For example, FedEx use a simple logotype with a twist. The negative space is used to create an arrow that connotes speed and direction.
Vodafone also cleverly uses space in its logo with a speech mark motif, which symbolises conversation and voice communication.
So, if you are designing your corporate identity for the first time or rejuvenating an existing logo, think about the key principles of effective logo design. Think about the vision of your brand, your target audience, your competition, the brand personality, the adaptability of the logo and its shelf life. And finally, think about keeping the design simple! If it’s too tricky or too detailed it may be difficult to print and not appealing to your target audience.
Do you have a favourite minimalist logo design? If so, leave your feedback in the comments section below.