I saw a new logo for an organization on a billboard. The new logo was ornate, elongated and fine-lined. To some it is beautiful. To a digital graphic designer it is a blur in the night.
The internet has changed everything, including logo design. The best place to start looking at great, modern logo design and usage is with the companies that are leading the digital space. Gone are fine lines. Gone are narrow rules. Gone are complicated structures. They are now replaced with extreme simplicity.
The mantra for the modern, digital designer is simplicity and legibility on smaller screens and devices. You have to start thinking smartphone, watches (and other apparel devices) and app buttons. The application and usage issues are forcing many companies to adapt with two logos, although they call one a logo and the other an icon. I view them as the same thing.
Netflix is using a stylized “N” for apps and other small device uses. However, the iconic Netflix typeface is still the office logo. Google has also decided to use a prominent “G” as its app icon. Even the New York Times has simplified its logo-font to a T, but the fine lines are easily lost when you view it on a phone.
Today’s logos, and accompanying style guide, need to start with a mobile-first orientation. Once you have that logo use established, then design for the billboard. More eyeballs will view the logo online than will ever see the board on the side of the road.