Simple Vs Complex Logos

The Simple Logo

Simplicity is beauty, they say, and many highly successful companies whose simple logos have captured the imaginations of millions seem to prove it. Apple and Nike exemplify the best-known examples of simple logos. And the pros of adopting a simple logo are undeniably many.
Perhaps most important thing about the simple logo is brand recognition. Simple logos with easily remembered color schemes are easily recognized; McDonald’s red and yellow “M” is identifiable all over the United States. The wordless simple logo likewise lends universality as well; Nike has made the Swoosh both ubiquitous and simple so that regardless of race, nationality or language, it is recognized all over the world. Apple’s global success with its products can similarly be attributed at least in part to the easily recognizable bitten apple. Though Indians or Chinese may not be able to read the word “apple”, they almost invariably can still identify Apple’s logo.
But simple logos can also have their cons. Sometimes a simple logo may not successfully convey the company’s purpose or meaning. The Nike Swoosh and bitten Apple certainly don’t express that Nike creates sports products and Apple creates consumer electronics.

The Complex Logo

The complex logo likewise has its benefits. A common reason for adopting a more complex logo is to incorporate more information. Thus, a company conveys not only its name but also its purpose or mission in its logo. Heineken Beer, for example, has its brand name but also Premium Beer on its beer products to emphasize the company’s desire to be recognized producing a high quality product. A more complex logo with interesting design elements may also impress clients.
But complex logos have often been disparaged for providing perhaps too much information. When a logo’s complexity makes it confusing, customers are more likely to focus on the intricacy rather than the brand or information itself.

Does It Matter?

Ultimately, these guidelines on complex versus simple logos vary depending on the company. The adoption of a logo that fits the needs and purpose of your company is most likely to be successful. An easily recognizable logo that will stick out in people’s minds lends great utility to a company trying to make its mark. Studies have shown time and time again that a unique, creative image will lend a brand far more recognition than any sort of information or word campaign.  On the other hand, a logo that clearly conveys a company’s purpose while remaining identifiable works as well.