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Logo Design and Company Branding
Logo Design and Company Branding
The Illogical Truth About Simple Logo Design
— © Paul Jacobsen —
Any graphic designer who develops logos will tell you that logo design often
represents a contradiction in terms and, on the surface, defies conventional logic. As
odd as that statement may seem, it is none the less true on account of one word
Budget-conscious clients who want a logo designed often append their request with
the statement “We just want a simple design for our logo”. Loosely translated, that
statement is a subtle way of conveying to the graphic designer that the client wished
to keep costs down. Controlling costs is certainly a prudent endeavor, however when
designing a logo, in other words “branding the company” simplicity is a far more
complicated process than “complicated” is! Since that probably still sounds illogical,
a short explanation is in order.
‘Simplicity’, by virtue of the word, means ‘less’ Now compare this for a moment to
writing a description of a house. The more words you use, the more description of
the house you are able to include. However, if required to keep the description
“short” (simple) using as few (less) words as possible, the task becomes much more
complicated and therefore time consuming as each and every word must be chosen
and placed as carefully as possible to achieve the same descriptive result.
Therein lays the design dilemma of graphic designers who are asked to keep a logo
design “simple”. Consistent with the analogy above, this means the designer must
use as few elements as possible and those elements themselves must be as simple
as possible …while conveying the most information visually. The task becomes more
complicated than a writing assignment, however, because while a picture may be
worth a thousand words, the ‘words’ conveyed to the eye, mind and imagination of a
viewer by a simple shape in a logo design make the crafting of that shape so much
more critical and complicated.
Designing a complex logo, with many elements, makes the graphic designer’s task
to much simpler because there are more elements that can be incorporated into the
design to deliver a message ..similar to an author’s use of more words in a
There is a metaphor to this concept in photography because good black and white
photography is considerably more difficult than color. The reason for this is that color
creates visual entertainment by transmitting so much more ‘information’ (millions of
colors and hues) to the brain through the eyes. Black & white photography is
constrained to a mere 256 shades between absolute black and pure white.
Therefore the difficulty and challenge of black and white is to compensate by
applying far more attention to subject matter and image composition.
So now you should understand how logical the illogical statement was! Both simple
and complex logo designs are equally complicated for their own reasons.
How Important is the Branding Your Logo Creates?
The easy way to answer that question is to ask two questions; 1) How important is it
to you to be visible among all your competitors?, and 2) How important is it to you to
have brand recognition in the eyes of your consumers?
Your logo is your unique ‘thumb print’ in the business world. Of all the start-up costs
in a business, many can seem more important than a little picture or symbol for your
Wrong. There is a great adage that applies here …”You never get a second chance
to make a good first impression. When you are starting out, first impressions are
particularly important in absence of track records, testimonials and visibility …make
it a good one with a logo design by a professional graphic designer who
understands that knowing the ‘visual psychology’ of the market is as important as
knowing the art software he or she uses to design your logo
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Contents of this web site are Copyright © 1993 - 2009 Paul Jacobsen©™ [TGD] unless otherwise noted.
Graphics produced with Xara Xtreme Pro 4. Tactical Graphic Design - Visual Communication Specialties - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Reference Pages for this article:
Simple Logo Design • Complex Logo Design • Logo and Crest Design Portfolio