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Blanding: Why logos are becoming increasingly simple

  • News
  • January 31, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Blanding: Why logos are becoming increasingly simple

‘Blanding’ was the latest design trend for 2018, we saw it from some of our biggest companies, fashion houses and even emerging businesses. So, what is it about minimalising logo designs that has companies jumping onboard?

You may have not noticed the design trend most companies had been adopting this year. And that was deleting every font expect sans serif and shortening the space between their logos. Already minimalist logo’s and brand names have become the popular norm, but now with even less.

Brands are created with influence from the world around them, and as the trend grew so did the adopters. This kind of logo has become so ubiquitous that it is now totally generic. Consider the recent rebrands by tech companies, like Google, Airbnb, Uber, and Slack whose logos are all variations on this theme. 

It is easy to understand why emerging businesses may adopt this trend. They’re fresh, figuring out who they are and need a logo that will represent them in the early stages of growth. Yet old, already established power houses seem to be reimagining their famous logos now in simplified designs.  

Fashion brands in particular are adopting plain, bold, all-capital-letter logos that make them barely distinguishable from one another. Everyone from high-end companies, like Burberry, Balenciaga, and Yves Saint Laurent, to more accessible brands, like Nike, have gotten in on the simplification trend.

However just because this method is often the simplest way to accommodate diverse changes in your company, it doesn’t mean it is the best option. Companies should be working at becoming more creative, and in that should be making something that is compelling and can remain in consumers minds.

There are a number of reasons why these houses have rebranded, including the chance to mark a new chapter in its history. Yet the modern look can only go so far before it loses character.

Thierry Brunfaut and Tom Greenwood wrote for The Fast Company last year that, “Omnichannel branding is a tremendous design challenge that should make companies more creative, not less.”

“I’m not advocating for getting back to fanciful, illustrative logos,” they said. “I’m asking simply for brands to be more expressive. That doesn’t mean loud, it just means personal. Honest. True. And different.”

Going against the trend, Zara has recently remastered their simple logo to one that goes against the grain. Taking a more nostalgic turn and changing its logo to a more visually stimulating, if not a little hard to read, one. Zara’s new look conjures up the heritage and weightiness of these brands with its heavy, all-caps logo, which perhaps signals something about Zara’s ambitions to carve out a place among these luxury fashion houses. 

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