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Keep Your Logos Simple

A previous art director I worked with used to always say, “a logo should be simple enough to draw in the sand with your finger.” @teknik_adam1 put a bit of a spin on that idea in his recent Instagram post in which he “draws” three well-known car logos on a window with a squeegee.

While the video is impressive and fairly satisfying to watch, it’s a good reminder of an important branding principle: keep it simple. Simplicity in branding helps a logo design achieve two of its main objectives—versatility and memorability.

Simplifying logos is definitely “in” right now, but for good reason. The current demands on a logo are higher than ever when it comes to versatility. Now, a logo must look good in both print and web, large scale and as an app icon, as an animated logo sting and on SWAG items, and, apparently, it needs to look good when drawn on a window with a squeegee. The simpler a logo, the more likely it will work in a wide variety of executions.

Simple logos are also more memorable. In a study in which 150 people were asked to draw 10 famous logos from memory, the most consistent and simple logos tended to be more accurately reproduced than the more complex logos.  

Table showing how well Ikea, Starbucks, and other well known logos are remembered by customers

How would your members do if they were asked to draw your association’s logo? How would they do drawing it in the sand or on a window? Is it time to refresh your brand by simplifying your logo?

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