When you’ve been in the design industry as long as we have, you get to see it all—the good, the bad and the downright ugly.

When it comes to logos, one could argue that it comes down to personal preference. However, if you look at big business, you’ll see there is one approach that dominates the marketplace. The minimalist logo.

Far from being a new trend, minimalism is all about keeping it simple and focusing solely on necessity. Forget intricate embellishments, the minimalist logo emphasises “less is more” and this restraint produces a much greater impact.

One mistake that is commonly made is thinking that a logo is a form of art. This could not be further from the truth. Sure, it’s a visual representation but it still plays a functional role within a business as the wordmark, icon or image that allows consumers to identify it.

You only need to look at some of the world’s biggest companies to see that the minimalist logo is the clear winner, each and every time. The five rings of the Olympics, Apple’s iconic bitten into apple, the Nike tick—the essence of all of these logos is simplicity.

Here’s why big businesses always go with simple, minimalist logos and you should too.

1.     A minimalist logo’s association game is strong

Think of the red ‘N’ of Netflix or the blue ‘F’ of Facebook. It takes no time for us to familiarise ourselves with these simple yet effective minimalist logos. They embed themselves deep in our brains and become recognisable with a single glance. Colour can play a role with association too. While certainly not always the case, minimalist logos will often opt for minimal colours. This is because colour is a significant aspect of logo design and a brand is more likely to become strongly associated with a colour when it only uses one. (For more on how colour influences your customers, check out this blog.)

2.     They are adaptable and versatile

Your logo is printed/displayed in multiple places—your website, business card, letter head and email banners. Possibly even uniforms, merchandise and billboards. By sticking to simple colours and avoiding superfluous gradients, the minimalist logo can be easily printed on various materials without compromising on its recognisability.

3.     People instantly recognise them

When there is too much going on, a logo can become convoluted and jarring to the eye. A bit like the visual equivalent of a traffic jam. Simple and minimal design commands attention in a way that flowery and excessive imagery never will. We can’t help but be hooked in by bold yet simple wordmarks or symbols.