graphic illustrating parts of letters J and P

Simplicity and Perception

Ben Burns, Digital Director at Blind, said in a recent podcast, “The simplicity of a logo creates higher perceived value.”

Simplicity is always the goal. Therefore, not only is the logo itself perceived at a higher value, the entire brand can be elevated by supportive and consistent design directed by the logo and the brand designer. To get the most out of your logo, which is your brand’s identity, hire your designer to work on the complete brand image.

Simple design isn’t simply created. It’s an in-depth study of the letter forms, all shapes, iconography/logo mark, and much more.

Judith Poe logo mark reversed
Judith Poe Jewelry logo mark

Simplicity with J & P

This logo is for Judith Poe Jewelry. Simple, yes. Simple to create, no.

This is clearly two letter forms connected. However, it involved far more than just overlapping the two letter forms. The goal was to create equal weight for the two. The bowl connecting to the stem of the P created significantly more weight. I had to create the P with an opening where the bowl and stem ordinarily meet. Mimicking the tail of the J in the P was key since the letter J does not “close” like the letter P typically does.

The end result is a fancy capital J and elegant lower case P.

There was significant editing to both letters to achieve balance. The logo appears simple. It was not simple to create. That is the mark of a good, simple logo.

(For greater understanding of the parts of letter forms, see Ellen Lupton’s Thinking With Type. For more backstory on the logo design, see the blog Evolution of a Logo: Judith Poe Jewelry.)

Parts of letters J and P
Parts of letters

Logo in Context

Context for the logo is key to retaining the integrity of the logo design. Judith Poe could place her logo on a discarded take-out container and quickly devalue that beautiful logo. How she treats that logo is as important as how I treated each letter form during its creation. We created a color palette and discussed several forms of printing for her business cards and boxes. We chose letterpress for her cards with a vendor I found for her in Austin. Why? Letterpress is classic and high quality. Her high-end custom designs fit perfectly with the handcraft and texture of letterpress.

For her luxury brand/line, I’ve used silver and black shown below.

Judith Poe Jewelry luxury logo
Judith Poe Jewelry logo

Paul Rand, esteemed American graphic designer best known for his corporate logo designs for IBM, UPS, Enron, Morningstar, Inc., Westinghouse, ABC, and NeXT, defined the effectiveness of a good logo consists of:

  1. distinctiveness
  2. visibility
  3. useability
  4. memorability
  5. universality
  6. durability
  7. timelessness

Useability has become even more key with social media and mobile restrictions and constraints. Simple design is even more significant because of it’s useability.

“Simplicity is not the goal. It is the by-product of a good idea and modest expectations.”–Paul Rand

The following logos are examples of simple designs. The path to higher value for businesses is start with a designer who knows and understands letter forms and the qualities of good design.

For more on simplicity, see Hanks Design’s “Why Some of the Best Logos are Simple.”

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