The minimalist aesthetic in art began in the late 1950s in the United States. Artists like Frank Stella showed at MOMA in New York City with expressions of abstraction using squares and rectangles to create geometric shapes.
Minimalism took off over the next couple of decades with stars of the art movement like Agnes Martin and Sol LeWitt. The form expressed a harmonious beauty with pure simplicity by just being itself.
It was perfect too for a graphic design where it made it’s way quickly and has stayed. We love minimalism in all its forms, especially minimalist logo design. A logo is a natural for minimalism because you have such little space and, therefore, have to be concise and simple.
But what are the tricks of the best minimalist logo design and how can you master the art, you ask?
To help, we’ve put together five of our favourite tips and examples of the form. Keep reading to see which pop out at you and then give them a go on your next project.
1. Start With a Simple Message or Theme
Try to nail it in one word or just the name of the business and one image. Be clear. If it’s a logo for a shoe shop, have a shop. If it’s a cafe, have a cup of brew image.
Then, find a way to show the image with simple lines or use minimalist geometric forms, for example. Try monoline work to create the image. All it takes is a few continuous lines and you can have an image and a sleek and simple look.
Flat forms also work well with this trend.
2. Stick With Clean Uncluttered Colour
It doesn’t have to be black and white, though that works too, and it shouldn’t have a lot of different colours. One or two is great, using white or black with the colour and working with negative/white space.
Negative/white space helps keep everything quite simple.
Bright colours that pop work great for some of the best minimalist logo design. Think Barbie logo. One word. One colour: pink. It stands out. It fits the brand.
Speaking of brand, pick a colour palette that fits the product’s brand. Take a look at the psychology behind colour with colour theory to start.
3. Keep Design Clean and Uncluttered
You have your simple message like a shoe for a shoe shop. Now find a simple way to express it. Like we mentioned when discussing a theme, we love monoline drawings that use only one or several lines to create the logo image.
We also like flat logos rather than those that look or are multidimensional. Keep it to that one simple item. Like if it’s a cafe and your image is a cup of coffee, you don’t need to get the table or a spoon or any background in there too. Think abstract.
Add nuance to the design to make it stand out. Playful is always good. Take the Apple logo with the bite out of the apple. That bite makes it fun and unforgettable. It also makes it distinguishable from other logos that use apples.
4. Get Back to Basics With Shapes
When in doubt, go back to the basics of minimalist design: geometric shapes. Pull out the circles, squares, and rectangles and try to create a simple logo with one or a few. See what you get.
It’s a great way to make yourself hone in on nailing the message in a simple way. It’s a fun way to be creative. Think about the Target logo. It’s two circles. Or how about Audi? Four circles. That’s it.
But both of those are unforgettable and the Target logo is spot on. Pun intended.
Try using just one shape as these logos do. They make it easy to try to make the logo monochromatic too. Half the fun of making these types of logos is trying every colour under the sun.
But then when you deliver that simple logo with one shape shouting the message in a unique way and with one colour, eyes will be drawn in and you’ll have a hit on your hands and in the clients’.
5. Bright Striking Typography
We love logos that are just one-word using typography that screams loud and brazenly, depending on the brand, of course. We also love it when the words form the shape of an image that sells the product too or if there is a small touch of a design element with the letters. Like a special dot to the i.
Think thick and bold fonts. Ultra-thin works too, as does a lower case, especially with the thinner fonts.
Play around with the letters to catch the eye at certain points. Use a different colour font for a few letters or a single letter. Create a background that fades from one to another colour.
For inspiration, head right back to the origin of this inspiration: the art world. And in this case typography in the art.
Give Minimalist Logo Design a Go
Now that you have a few fabulous minimalist logo design tips in your back pocket, you’re ready to give it a go. Try out a few of our techniques, especially those that pop out at you. Practice and get creative with it.
You’ll find it a challenge to simplify but once you play around and find the solution that fits the form, it’s so satisfying and rewarding when people love your logo and their clients start to recognize it because it’s so basic and clear.
And while you’re thinking about logo design, take a look at some of the top trends for website design for 2019 to see some similarities and how you can work your new design acumen into your web design and make logos and sites sing together.