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Why a Logo Should be Simple

May 18, 2020
Matt Southam

When getting a logo designed you may be thinking that to get your money’s worth you should end up with an elaborate logo with clever icons and graphics and multiple colours, but in fact, it’s the opposite. Pretty much all the best logos are simple. And creating a simple logo is a real skill.

“But I want something which stands out” I hear you say. Well, the issue here is that this will make your logo harder to remember, and harder to connect with.

Simple logos are more memorable and you need consumers to familiarise themselves with your logo easily. A complicated logo is hard to remember, especially if you have it on the side of a van travelling at 60 mph!

Secondly, those with a complex design will lose details as it is used on small screens or even business cards. Your logo should be able to be reproduced at any size and not lose details.

Let’s look at some of the most famous companies and their logos.

Many logos of today’s companies where once more elaborate, but a logo fit for the digital age needs to be simple.

Over the last few years, we have seen many companies go through a rebrand where their logo has been simplified. Take MasterCard for example.

Mastercard Before and After their brand update in 2016

Rebrands that get it right.

One of my favourite rebrands in recent years has been Santander.

Now banks may seem like a boring industry but the fact that Santander really invested in this shows how important it is.

I was lucky enough to see the presentation by Interbrand at Monotypes brand talks in May 2019 and it was fascinating.

Three custom fonts were made by Monotype (Santander Logo, Santander Headline and Santander Text)
The logo font matches the icon so well the logo looks like 1 piece rather than text and an icon.

So what can you do to ensure your logo is fit for purpose?

Work with an agency or logo designer who has experience working with logos. You will want something which is unique and made for you but remember that a logo doesn’t need to tell the whole story. It is merely a representation of your business.

Keep it simple, get it right and you will find it is money well spent.

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