I came across this interesting logo study presented on Graham Smith’s blog. He showed several well known logos “unevolved” into basic shapes and colors. It amazed me to see how many of the logos shown were still instantly recognizable, retaining so much of their defining equities, even boiled down to just colored circles. Like small studies in pointillism, I wondered how much more could be taken away and still leave the logos recognizable. Here’s a few examples from his blog:
Smith’s study was an experiment reflecting, albeit in the extreme, what is presently going on in logo design. Simplification.
Up until recently, the trend in logo design emphasized dimension, moving towards a 3D effect. Classic, timeless logos were being doused in shadows, bevels – anything that would make the logo appear to have dimension. This trend didn’t last long and there has been a shift back to clean forms and uncluttered branding. Take a look at the Post logo evolution below:
This shift back seems to be mirroring the decrease in the average attention span of a text-messaging, Facebooking, Twitterfied society. As over-stimulated consumers navigate an increasingly oversaturated media environment, the need for iconic branding to connect as fast as possible continues to grow. Uncluttered and timelessness are back in vogue. The consumer simply doesn’t have the time or attention span to decipher complicated logos. Bold, simple logos can cleanly cut through the noise and be remembered. The eye has become trained to ignore a complex logo as just another busy distraction.
I’ve pulled a few examples of logos that have recently undergone simplification. Some logos have beautifully even lost their words becoming purely icons:
Graphic movement toward brand-focused simplicity can cut through the clutter and resonate with the consumer. Lose any unnecessary elements from your logo design focusing on its core proprietary elements and get noticed.