I walked past this shop when I was in Brighton the other day, and was struck by the simplicity of their logo. With just a few black-and-white squiggles, you ‘see’ the proud face of the King of the Beasts.
When I draw a mouse, I just include a pointy nose, two little round ears, one S-shape to show the curve of its back, and another S-shape to show its long tail. Everyone knows what it is, even though my drawing doesn’t have a face, whiskers, belly, legs or feet.
Look at the smiley face in my logo. It doesn’t have eyes (I didn’t include them because I was worried it would look too druggy). It doesn’t have a nose. But it still looks like a face. The only important element is the smile – I wanted it to represent positivity and happiness, and suggest a pleasant working experience and successful results.
Similarly, if you look at the four dots below, chances are you will see a square.
This effect is explained by Gestalt theory: ‘The whole is other than the sum of the parts’. There are some interesting examples on Wikipedia.
But why am I telling you this?
- Because my fascination with (and training in) psychology informs all the copy and design recommendations I make for clients.
- Because it’s the reason why I always make things as simple as possible (I call it Writing Without Waffle).
- Because you can use this idea to benefit your own logo designs and marketing content. You only have to provide a minimal amount of information as your reader’s brain will fill in the gaps.
Top tip: Keep it simple.