Oftentimes it is said that businesses begin the process of designing a logo and tend to think too hard by incorporating as much as possible. Ultimately, it over complicates the message. Instead, design experts encourage us to try simplifying the logo design.
When I was a student at UCLA, I still recall an artsy friend explaining how logos must be designed to read well on their intended display media—whether it’s a billboard or a small business card. The key challenge was making it recognizable and memorable: overly complicated logos tend to be less memorable, she said. Prior to this discussion, I never gave it much thought.
I recently considered two successful company’s and their mainstream logos: Nike and Twitter. (As a side note, British designer Daniel Reese combined both designs and has created the official Nike Dunks with Twitter style that you see above.)
The Nike corporate logo design has successfully grown into being one of the most influential and recognizable insignia throughout the world. Amazingly, in 1972, Nike CEO Phil Knight wrote a $35 check to Carolyn Davidson, a Portland State University student, to design the “swoosh” logo. At the time, he wasn’t very impressed with her creation, saying back then that he’d “get used” to the design. By 1983, Knight warmed up to the now iconic design and invited her to a company lunch. There, he presented her with a diamond ring engraved with the swoosh, and an undisclosed amount of Nike stock.
More recently, in 2009, “The bird on Twitter’s home page, familiar to millions, is small, cute and fun, and implies communication and anticipation. One might say it’s the perfect graphic for Twitter. Yet the company paid its designer at most $6, without attribution.” We’ll see if Twitter does anything like that for Simon Oxley, the Japan-based Brit who licensed the bird graphic to Twitter for the price of a sandwich.
Twitter Paid $6 or Less for Crowdsourced ‘Birdie’ Graphic