I want to introduce small business owners, especially start-ups to two different ideas and design theories, as it relates to logos and website organization.
The first is cognitive overload. The second is visual hierarchy.
Cognitive load theory in one sentence is the theory that your brain can only process a certain amount of information at one time and that more than that information is stressful and frustrating to the receiver of the information.
Visual hierarchy is the idea that things that are important should be organized in such a way as to lead the user’s eye to it organically and intuitively. Here’s why I’m bringing this up:
A LOT of the logos I’ve been seeing lately violate both of these principles of good design. While it’s tempting to go all out with glitters, complex illustrations, and gradients (especially as a new business)- those things will overload your users cognition and are often arranged as to confuse the users’ eye on what’s important. I think this is the result of going to designers who haven’t studied design (I don’t only mean in a university setting) or going to illustrators who can illustrate, but not necessarily design graphics.
If you like glitters and gradients, work them into your branding as opposed to the logo itself. Keep the logo SIMPLE because it’ll look better with your branding and ultimately help you scale (cheaper to print and mass produce) and rebrand (if your logo is incredibly complex you’ll likely have to get a new logo entirely to rebrand whereas if it’s simple you can change the visuals you place around it).
Here’s a logo I recently redesigned with the design goal of it looking good on the wall and becoming much more minimal. I was unable to get a transparent image of the original logo to show how it would compete with other visual branding items (like imagery), but I think the point is illustrated clearly (pun totally intended).