One of my favorite opportunities as a designer is logo creation. I absolutely love the process of expressing a client's identity into a single, versatile graphic.
However, it comes with many challenges. One of the greatest challenges is deciding on whether to create a simple or complex logo. Some clients like the idea of a simple, versatile logo that could easily be printed onto t-shirts, business cards, or notepads. There are also clients who like the idea of a complex logo, that illustrates all that their business has to offer.
When looking deeper into this question, some of these tendencies may be influenced by brand confidence. The idea of a having a simple logo to reflect your complex company can seem like you are not properly conveying your company and causing your brand identity to be unrecognizable. Conversely, the desire for a larger, complex logo often stems from the wish to encompass everything your business has to offer and to be noticed by potential clients in the process. However, it all begs the question: Is bigger better?
Pros & Cons of Complex Logos
Complex logos are often striking in appearance and colorful, which draws attention.
However, they often appear cluttered and are less versatile.
Complex logos can portray many aspects of a business.
Although, they are not easily recognizable.
Complex logos are frequently contained, giving the appearance of a seal or a sticker.
Consequently, they are less airy and appear smaller.
Pros & Cons of Simple Logos
Simple logos are easily recognizable.
People have a much easier time recalling subtle golden arches as opposed to every aspect of the Starbucks logo. (There are no cons to being easily recognizable.)
Simple logos often have a subtle identity marker.
They can not illustrate every aspect of a company, but hardly any logos are able to do that well. Logos are not intended to be a portfolio anyway, they are your identity, your name tag.
Simple logos do not fill much space.
However, they often appear to fill more since they are not contained.
So, there you have it. Keep in mind that "simple" doesn't have to mean "boring." Sure, it's more fun to design a complex logo that paints the picture of your company, but you'd be surprised by how much viewers can picture on their own. Don't let your logo write the book of your company, just begin the story.