Minimalist logos and packaging

At its very essence—and when done well—logo and brand design is an exercise in minimalism. Its purpose is to distill all the elements, values, characteristics, and personality of a business down into a few simple, attractive traits that quickly and clearly communicate what that brand stands for.

Creating a minimalist brand is much harder than stripping out certain elements. It takes discipline and skillful design. If you’re looking to embrace minimalism in your rebrand or logo design, here is what you need to know.

What is a minimalist design style?

Serif vs. San Serif typefacesA minimalist design avoids excessive decoration leading to a clean look. Minimalist design allows for whitespace, with elements that are not too crowded.

San serif type is generally more minimalist than a serif face because it eliminates the decorative end caps, but the right arrangement of a serif or even script font can look minimal.

Minimal logo design inspiration

Some great minimal logos have become iconic: Apple, Nike, Target.

Iconic, minimalist logo designs

Minimal design can be bold, like Five Guys or understated and sophisticated like Tiffany’s.

Minimalist logo designs can be both bold and sophisticated.

Minimal logos can feel vintage, like Delta Millworks, or modern and up-to-date like Mr. Porter.

Examples of minimalist logo design

How to create a minimalist logo design

Most logos are minimal. The job of a logo is to reduce the most essential brand elements into a simple, memorable mark. Logos need to work big and small and in all varieties of applications, so simple designs work best. While there are a few highly-decorative logos, many of the top brands have minimal logos. In fact, as logos mature they often get simplified and more minimal in design.

Starbucks logo evolution

And it’s often the eye of a professional designer who is able to simplify a design, while still keeping it distinct.

How to create a minimal brand design

To build a minimal brand design, you’ll want to look beyond your logo. Since most well-designed logos tend to be somewhat minimalistic, you can develop your minimal design style, through the design of your website, social media posts, printed marketing materials, signs, packaging, etc.

Minimal design:

  • Limits the numbers of typefaces.
  • Often uses just one or two colors. Many are just black and white.
  • Minimizes decorative elements.
  • Uses plenty of white space—don’t crowd elements within your design.

Is a minimalist logo design a good fit for your brand?

Creating a minimal logo and minimal style for your products or company can be a way to create a highly memorable brand image. Take care that your designs look refined, not just unfinished. When you have very few elements to work with, each one needs to be well-designed. Think carefully about the exact font you choose, the thickness of every line, and the specific color you want to represent your brand.