K.I.S.S. - THE MAGIC OF SIMPLICITY
3 Things Badass Designers Must Think About to Achieve Impressively Simple Designs
Simplicity is an art. Distilling complex ideas into few words is surprisingly difficult. Business owners know this more than anyone when they start developing their elevator pitch.
Similarly, a logo at its best should convey a multitude of ideas in the simplest mark possible. It's not just the mark itself, but the way it is executed. And it's the training and knowledge behind the scenes that makes something simple, powerful.
Here are 3 things badass designers must think about to achieve that simplicity:
1. WHAT YOUR BUSINESS SELLS
What is your company about? Sometimes creating a mark that is representative of what you sell is powerful, especially when executed properly. Sometimes, something less literal that presents an a-ha moment is more powerful.
2. YOUR COMPANY PERSONALITY
Every aspect of your logo adds to the personality of your brand, and color is a big one as it affects mood and comes with intrinsict meaning. We all have associations with colors that are connected to our daily lives, and there lies an opportunity to tap into people's memory to create a connection with their personal experiences. Basic examples like STOP signs being red, plants being green, etc... are ideas that can be utilized to add to the depth and should be taken into account when creating a visual message.
3. YOUR PRICE POINT
Matching your brand to your price point is critical to a professional and polished brand, and anything off the mark can create unrealistic expectations that will lose sales when they are about to close. The font used and finishing touches go a long way to tell a consumer what they can expect to pay, and when they are ready to buy, it will be a seamless process if the price is in the ballpark they were expecting.
Let's take a look at a brilliantly simple example, the FedEx logo.
The font is clean and bold because the personality of the company is straight forward: they will simply always deliver your package on time.
The colors are meant to address a key company goal: to utilize the fact that there are FedEx trucks everywhere and that the CEO wanted to "be able to see a FedEx truck loud and clear from five blocks away."
Finally, the mark. An arrow is such a simple, obvious and not terribly interesting representation of movement. Yet its brilliance lies in its execution. This is a great example of an a-ha moment, because the arrow isn't immediately apparent, but when you see it, it feels extremely smart (which, not coincidentally is a major personality trait of FedEx.)
Lindon Leader the designer, had this to say about it: I tell people this all the time. Henny Youngman, the comedian, had this whole signature to his act around ‘Take my wife. Please.’ What the PR folks wanted to do was the equivalent of changing his shtick to ‘Please, take my wife.’ If you have to call attention to your punch line, to explain it, it’s no longer a punch line. It doesn’t work, it isn’t funny, and no one will remember it.”
By utilizing the right font and appropriate colors, matched with great execution, FedEx has achieved a powerful and appropriate logo that has stood the test of time. Each element is very simple, but the power lies knowing to bring them together.