Shaun’s rant: less bang for your buck

Minimalism seems to be a hot topic in the design world this month. Perhaps Starbucks’ newly redesigned logo is the catalyst? Personally I think the redesign is a big improvement, but I’m a fan of minimalism as a whole. Take a look at these refreshing minimalist redesigns. And in web design, number 3 on Mashable’s Predictions for Web Design in 2011.

Minimalism shows confidence. Just as a self-conscious person will cover themselves with layers of clothing, many businesses feel naked without the usual starbursts and slogans they crowd around their also busy logos. Minimalism is more respectful, it’s to the point and it doesn’t pander to our culture of excess, where people can’t even tell how much food or TV is too much. Or course none of this is new, but it’s worth repeating.

Selling minimalism can be hard. When it comes to spending money, many people are stuck in the mindset of quantity over quality, or of getting more bang for your buck, whatever the bang is.

I’ve seen a few businesses lately where the “logo” has included a complex icon, a long generic name (because you have to explain your whole business in your logo), a slogan, phone number and a web address. A logo is meant to be simple and remembered. It’s not a flyer. Your business name should be remarkable, it’s not a mission statement.

So Starbucks has dropped a bunch of circles and stars, gone to one colour and lost the text too. In my opinion, it now looks more striking and more confident. I know the counter argument to this approach, but instead of addressing it myself, Here’s what Armin from Brand New has to say:

Another big complaint is that, OMG, the Starbucks name is not there anymore. Chill people. The name will appear somewhere in the vicinity of the new siren-based logo. It won’t be directly around it, but you can rest assured that if you are walking on the street or browsing an aisle in the grocery store you will see “STARBUCKS” spelled out somewhere. Nike does it. Apple does it. Target does it. It’s not that hard to create a link between an icon and a name.

If you’re feeling confident about your business, feel free to drop the term “minimalist” into your design brief.