Why should the logo be simple?


Why should the logo be simple?

Walking down the street or leafing through magazine booklets, we often see hundreds of different logos, but not all of them stick in our heads. But what affects it? One of the components is exactly simplicity. And today we, the company Turbologo, let’s look at why the logo should be simple or vice versa, complexity will solve everything?

What is a logo?

A logo is an indispensable component of a sound marketing strategy, it is a picture that is the face of your company. The emblem helps to briefly tell partners and customers about you, while immediately attracting their attention and causing interest. That is, it is a kind of tool for influencing your audience.

Why should I choose a simple logo and should I do it at all?

Logo by Eddie Lobanovskiy

Should a logo be simple? There is a widespread opinion that it certainly does. Some claim that a good logo should be easy for anyone to reproduce. It’s funny to say, but sometimes these same people then, criticizing the new design, saying that, say, so they would have drawn themselves in Painted.

In fact, there were a lot of tests to confirm / disprove this hypothesis, and it turned out that most people can’t even draw the famous Apple logo – many people can’t even remember which side of the apple is bitten. This is not to mention the fact that everyone’s drawing abilities are very different.

In any case, even if the theory about drawing from memory were true, it wouldn’t mean anything. No one will ever really need to do that, so it’s hardly a plus.

And yet, even the famous in professional circles David Airy in his book “Logo and corporate identity” writes about logo design “The simpler, the better. He also follows up by saying:

“Think of the logos of big corporations like Mitsubishi, Samsung, FedEx, BBC and so on. They are simple, and therefore recognizable.” In fact, all these logos are recognizable for a very different reason-because we see them all the time around us.

Take a look at these 2 logos: TinkoffBank and Raiffeisen Bank – 2 logos similar in color scheme, composition and belonging to the same sphere – so to speak, for “other equals”.

And now a question: can you unequivocally say which one will be more memorable?

For instance, I remember the Tinkoff logo better, but only because I’m their client and see this logo much more often than the Raiffeisen one.

And here’s another example:

Notice how the Starbucks logo has simplified over the years. But did that make it more recognizable? Or was it more likely that it could be simplified painlessly because it was already recognizable to everyone?

Actually, the answers to both questions would be in the affirmative. The latest version of the logo has become more “recognizable” in part. But only in the sense that it has become much easier to distinguish among the hundreds of other coffee shop logos that have consciously and unconsciously copied the Starbucks corporate style for decades. But the point here isn’t the simplicity, it’s the fact that it is now as different as possible from everything else in terms of composition.

All in all, as it were, simple logos have both advantages and disadvantages. But before we voice them, let’s first define what “simple logo” means.

What does “simple logo” mean?

Logos by pixtocraft

Unfortunately, no meaningful definition can be found, so let’s try to formulate it ourselves. Of course, it’s all subjective and put a clear distinction between complex and simple logo – very difficult. And let us be clear that we are talking only about the graphic characters used in logos, that is, we do not take into account the inscriptions.

So, the first definition:

A #Simple Logo is a logo built with as few details and colors as possible while still being perceived correctly.

And the second definition (simpler):

#Simple Logo is a logo that maintains its appearance as much as possible when reduced to a size of 16 by 16 pixels (the traditional standard favicon size).

Again, we didn’t say anything specific (what’s the minimum such amount, what’s the maximum such preserving?), but at least it’s something.

Now, as promised, about the advantages of simple logos and why they should be used for creating logos.

Advantages of Simple Logos

  • No need to further simplify the logo for use in small sizes;
  • Easier to apply to different surfaces. First, of course, printing, but most importantly, burning, cutting, engraving and similar methods of application);
  • Simple logos are easier to read and analyze.

Now a little more detail on each point.

The fact that a simple logo always looks the same, no matter whether it is placed on a billboard or on a ballpoint pen is certainly a good thing. But in reality, for many brands, such a plus doesn’t play a major role.

If people see the main version of the logo most of the time, then seeing some simplified version in some favicon, they will still correlate what to what. By the way, the resolution of modern screens is growing, which allows even a very detailed logos to remain clear and distinguishable in the small size of the header, for example.

A yellow shield with white leaves and it has something to do with the bank – Tinkoff! Red star on a green background and it’s beer – Heineken, for sure!

And the same will work even with much lesser-known brands:

Of course, the important thing here is that the person in contact with the abbreviated version of the logo is already familiar with the basic version. But the same is true for simple logos – you can only recognize a logo if you already know it.

The second advantage of simple logos – the ease of applying in different ways on different surfaces – may also be irrelevant to many brands. And in the extreme case again, everything is solved by having a simplified version.

The third advantage – that it is easier for people to recognize simple images – says only that a simple logo will be faster “scanned” as a whole than a complex one. But in generalities they will be recognized about the same quickly – and in most cases the generalities are quite enough. No one needs to memorize a logo down to the smallest detail.

For many, the Raiffeisen Bank logo is “something with crossed horse heads” and the Ticcoff logo is “something with a yellow shield and white leaves”. And if there isn’t anyone among these banks’ competitors with a logo that fits these writings, then they work.


This means that the simpler your logo, the easier it is for a customer to remember you. And even when a company has a complex logo, people are left with only the simplest understanding of what’s depicted there. So the simpler your logo, the easier you are to remember and use at the right moment.

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