LOGOS THAT WORK: THINKING IN BLACK AND WHITE

 

When designing a logo, think first in black and white. Why? Because, not only is black and white design simple and elegant, beginning your logo design process in black and white can help you create a stronger, more distinctive and more versatile logo. Here are some reasons why:

  • When you design in black and white you’re able to focus on the essence of the visual concept.
  • Although logos may be small in size, they are a big part of communicating a company’s brand and mission. Coming up with the perfect solution is a distillation process. Your designer learns all they can about your product or service, your audience, your company’s voice, and your competitors. He or she then visually explores solutions that will graphically represent your company so your potential customers will understand you.
  • A really good logo often has several layers of meaning. As a viewer interacts with the logo, new insights will come forward. Keeping the design in black and white keeps the focus on the core representation of the logo—and those layers of meaning.
  • When your logo communicates your brand clearly in one color, you can be confident that it will function effectively and efficiently in all its roles—from embroidered shirt pocket print to full frontage building sign. The process of distilling and defining the concept to the essence of your business message packs your logo with the power to be small or large—with confident presence at any size.

Here are a few of our favorite logos—in black and white—with some insights into the design process.

 

This rendition of the historic town of Bethania is influenced by historic etchings to achieve a clear, succinct, and realistic image.

 

Two stylized saxophones create a W, but it takes a repeat sign to make a quartet.

 

The simple square is a prominent architectural feature at the Bristol Public Library. Add a clipped corner and symmetrical lines—and this logo is an open book.

 

Simple and pictorial.