April 22, 2016

Reduce Waste—Eliminate Logo Clutter

Take a quick look at these two logos. Which do you think took longer to create? (Which one cost more?)

I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve been asked by a client to design a simple logo “real quick.” “You know, something easy with just a clever little graphic that says it all.” Simple is not easy. Simple is time-consuming, laborious, and painful. And it’s especially difficult when you’re part of a logo design committee and everyone has an idea they want included.


Invariably, someone on the committee thinks of a well-known logo that connotes just the right feeling–and since the budget is not very big anyway, the committee decides they just need something “simple and easy”…like that. But simple is not easy.

Simple is not easy. So what can you do about it?

To get through this difficult process, I suggest starting with wide-open brainstorming, where every idea, good and bad, possible and impossible, is considered.

It is fairly easy to set aside or toss the ideas that are too difficult to implement or unlikely to solve the problem at hand, and to focus on the remaining ideas that have merit. But then comes the hard part. This is the part when there are still a bunch of good ideas on the table and you must choose which ones to work with, and which ones to let go.

I suggest keeping those other good ideas in a file for another project. Over the years I’ve managed to resuscitate several really good, but rejected-at-the-time ideas. It helps ease the pain of letting go of all those ideas.

I want to empower you to let go of good ideas. To invest in simple. And to not attempt too many things with one simple logo.

A logo’s job is not to say it all. It is to simply hint at the essence of whatever it represents.