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As we've discussed before, advertising should be different, legible, authentic, clear, wanted and proactive as well.  How that looks and to what degree that is taken is dictated by the context into which you are speaking.

Context is King.

Different industries, different media and even different ethnicities have very important contextualized subcultures that need to be considered and consulted before an advertising campaign is embarked.  You can look at the way Intuitive Surgical targets the Health Care industry with the da Vinci robot or the way Hallmark targets the African American population with Mahogany greeting cards to see that in advertising context reigns supreme.  Today, we will look at the most contextualized of all: the Christian subculture.

Right now there is a quarter lying by the gas petal in my car.  I don't know how long it's been there or even when I last carried change, but there it is.  I noticed it about three weeks ago, and it's still there.  There was a time in my life when I would have picked up that quarter as soon as I noticed it ... while driving.  Now, it's something I probably won't do until the next time I clean out my car.  (Which reminds me: I need to clean out my car.)  I guess my personality has changed a bit over the years.  With my personality shift, I have begun to like different things.  I have begun to be reached, motivated and moved in different ways.  Because of all of these things I have begun to chose different brands.

I was recently asked about the simplicity of so many successful logos.  I love the opportunity to answer questions like this.  I swear that if I ever stop designing it will be to talk/teach about designing.

Why do large companies with plenty of money and access to the best designers often end up with relatively simple logos?

The short answer, of course, is "because simple logos work."  But, that short answer would spark a much more complex question: Why do simple logos work?  Why does building on foundation of simplicity lead to successful brands?