Simple and clean designs can sometimes have an even bigger impact than a logo that has a lot going on. Good use of form and negative space can go a long way toward creating a strong visual impression.
Minimal logos can be easier for your customers to remember, too. Think of the simplicity of the Pepsi logo and how recognizable that is. Or the FedEx logo with it's hidden arrow. Both are simple and clean (the newest incarnation of the Pepsi logo arguably less so), yet are instantly recognizable just by their shape and form.
Below are more than fifty minimalist logos, both from the present and past (1950s to the early 1990s or so). Check them out, and see how well many of the vintage minimalist logos have stood the test of time.
These logos were all created in the past decade or so. They combine clean lines and simple geometric shapes with discerning use of color (many are monochromatic) and negative space. Some are logotypes, while others keep the letterforms out of the logo itself.
Retro Corporate Logo Goodness
The Guild of Food Writers
Martin Newcombe Property Maintenance
Ski Brand Logo
In the Company of Huskies
AAT - All About Tea
Animal Defense League
William & Son
Blue Mountain Electric
D.F.L. Web Development
While we sometimes think of minimalist logos as being modern, they've been around for decades. Minimalist logos were popular starting in the 1950s, and haven't really fallen out of popularity since. Check out these logos from the 1950s through the 1980s.
W. Raven & Co. Leicester
Jacque Nathan Garamond
Associated Spring Corporation
Cygnet Publishing Pty. Ltd. Perth
Expo '70 Osaka
Organisationskomitee Der 5.Gymnnaestrada
Harcourt Brace & World Inc. New York
Ahrend Libra Amsterdam
Committee for Economic & Cultural Development of Chicago
Canadian Pulp & Paper Assoc. Ltd.
Russell & Hindrichs Associates
Franz H Wills
Department of Health and Social Security
One area where minimalist logos can really excel is in their almost built-in timelessness. Logos from the 1950s can look just as current as one designed last week (without cashing in on the current "vintage" and "retro" logo craze). For a company that wants to appear timeless and yet contemporary, minimalism can definitely be the way to go.