As promised in our last post about updating the Skype logo and what’s behind it, this one is for discussing minimalism and it’s implements on Logo design.

I bet you wonder about the title of this post. I was referring to Kazimir’s Malevich famous and notorious black square. This painting was not a “one time thing” it was part of a whole system and language he developed which he called “Supermatism” – but i’m skipping through subjects.… the reason I’ve started with this subject is to give an example of how one casual black square can carry so much meaning. As a matter of fact, on our daily routines we’re being exposed to countless simple visual signs that set our course of action. Weather it is a “Stop” sign on the road, the “On” button on an Espresso machine, or simply a “Save” (Floppy Disk) button on a computer program – they all are known to us and we follow their common-agreed meaning. Yet again, an article about icons and symbols is not the main topic here; It is minimal symbolism.

How can I design a logo for a client that will depict his business’s agenda essence – yet will be simple and interesting enough? Simplicity in design is not a new thing, and the more we advance in times and technology, we strive to create products that will appeal to users and they will understand and use them. Some of the best known logos are simple and eye-catching visuals. Here’s a small example:

You can see a small collection of literally countless great examples. I intentionally chose very familiar well established brands so you won’t need an introduction for them. You can see different types of logos here, whether it’s an icon, logotype or a combination – all of them are well-crafted and carry several design concepts and brand-values. The minimalist and simplicity of the design is just timeless.

The FedEx has a simple clear logotype, it uses the well-knows Bold Helvetica typeface and “hides” an arrow to the right – reminding us of the delivery process. McDonald’s “golden” arches on the red background – clear, memorable and appetizing. The Apple logo is a unique memorable bitten apple icon. Nike’s Swoosh was, and still is a great innovative icon, symbolizing movement and speed. The Volkswagen logo is a combination of the letters V&W – memorable and well crafted. Nasa’s logo is futuristic and technological (at it’s time of design) custom made logotype. Netflix has a memorable bold logotype that comes from the cinematic world of titles. General motors logo is a combination of the G&M bold typeface – present and dominant. The New York times has a great logotype that draws its style from an old English Gothic typeface style.

Using various techniques, when we design logos we strive to create a small visual object that will carry and contain the right values of the brand that they represent. Though it’s just a piece of the puzzle in creating a brand – it’s a crucial one.

(Post Scriptum Easter Eggs)

Let’s get back to the square. After several years of creating minimalistic geometric artworks, Malevich came to the “final form” of expressing his Suprematist ideology/art. The whole “fuss” around a simple black square was not even because of it’s simplicity – again, it was about the symbolism.
When Kazimir Malevich created the exhibition where he presented the black square – he showed many other artworks that looked similar and were related to his theme – It was the location. The painting was placed on a top corner of a room – connecting the walls with the ceiling. This special spot was used as the place where Russian icons (religious relics, traditional christian artworks that depicted christian saints) were hang. The square was actually a religious idea, that contained the whole existence and absolution of meaning – Suprematism – the supremacy of pure artistic feeling over material depiction of things.