In all the history of all of the design agencies, I bet the number of briefs that do not contain the words “clean and simple” would be minimal. It’s something people ask for a lot around here, and it makes sense. We love clean design! However, sometimes when we present work that fits this bill, we realize that it mistakenly can be perceived as underwhelming or leaving clients looking for the “design”. But I’m here to tell you simplicity is design, baby! (And no, you could not do that yourself in MS Paint).
What Goes Into ‘Clean’ Design
In one of our recent blog posts (Hey Doug!), we noted ‘minimalism’ as on of the web design trends to look out for in 2019. It can be a powerful tool in the design of your site; thoughtful use of whitespace and streamlined content can drive your users to the messages you want them to see and the actions you want them to take.
We recently launched a new site for ABS Capital, which is the epitome of clean and simple design. One of the notable features is their “How We Work” page, which paints a vivid picture of what it’s like to partner with the firm. The design achieves that goal by leveraging content, in a variety of formats, to paint a picture of an approachable yet deeply knowledgeable organization.
Takeaway: Content IS king in minimalist design. Start there and you’ll be setting yourself up for success!
The [Thoughtful] Case for Logotype
Did you know that a logo without an icon is called a “logotype” or “wordmark”? Neat, right? A type-only logo can be just as successful and ownable as a logo with a mark. Need proof?
Other reasons to consider a wordmark:
- Flexible: the work of a logo is only getting harder as time goes on; today, a logo needs to be almost infinitely flexible (gone are the days when business cards and signage were all you needed to consider).
- Longer shelf-life: icons can quickly become dated.
- Brand perception is not tied to a single icon: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, at the end of the day, your logo is not your brand, so don’t feel like it needs to convey absolutely everything. Too often people get caught up in trying to make an icon or mark tell the whole story; regardless of how good the designer is, it’s just not going to happen. A beautifully typeset wordmark provides a great complement to the rest of the assets in your brand “toolkit.”
The Rabbits recently got on board ourselves! Our new logo’s got it all: super scaleable–readable big or small and across applications–with a strong translation to a cool, beautifully balanced icon for use on our social channels, modern, thoughtfully typeset… I could go on!
Takeaway: Am I saying a wordmark is always the right solution for a brand? No. But, I am saying you shouldn’t rule it out!