Have you noticed the change in branding approaches lately? In an increasingly digital age, several big brands have been rebranding themselves over the past few years, from Instagram and Deliveroo to Mastercard and Co-op. While these companies appear vastly different from one another at first glance, they share something very interesting in common: their logos have all been minimalised.
Minimalism has always existed in the world of art and design, but in recent years it’s been pushed to the forefront. Like most trends, it was considered to be a passing fad which would eventually be replace by a newer trend – but it never happened. Instead of fading away like all other trends, minimalism is continuing to feature in the branding of the world’s leading brands, and its popularity shows no sign of diminishing. Why is this? Well, in addition to its aesthetically pleasing nature, minimalism has something different to offer: simplicity. We are living in a digital age where, as consumers, we’re being constantly bombarded by companies and advertisements vying for our valuable attention, and a complex logo only adds to this unappealing stream of visual noise. A bit of simplicity, on the other hand, is a breath of fresh air.
A good example of the importance of minimalism is the 2016 Instagram rebrand. Previously, Instagram’s logo was skeuomorphic – in other words, it was very detailed and needed to be viewed up close to be properly appreciated. As Instagram is predominantly used on mobile phones, this style of logo was essentially obsolete; it simply couldn’t contend with the impact its competitors – Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat – were achieving on a smaller screen. As a result, Instagram’s new logo is the complete opposite of its predecessor: it’s clean, simple, and recognisable on any platform at any size, from tiny app icons to physical advertisements.
Now, take your companies’ logo, downscale it to the size of a corner of a mobile screen and ask yourself: “Is this clear? Is it recognisable? Does it still speak for my brand?” If the answer is ‘no’, then a redesign is in order. A minimal logo lends itself to versatility, and a versatile brand is key to standing out in this modern era of advertising. Leading brands are already aware of this and have taken action – so what’s stopping smaller businesses from doing the same? The benefits of commissioning a rebrand are often overlooked and underrated, but attractive, modern branding is the reason why a customer will pay more for one bottle of water over another, or why two biscuits that taste the same can sell at very different prices.
These days, less really is more.