The term “blandification” has been used as a blanket term to describe the simplification of logos and upsurge in the trend of minimalism in design.
But is this an unfair observation of what’s really happening to brand design?
We explore the pros and cons of blandification below.
Some have criticised some of the world’s most well-known brands, such as Saint Laurent, Burberry, Balmain and even BT for their “near-identical basic wordmark logos“, and for merging with a “sea of sans-serif blandness“.
According to some, so-called blanding is a result of the rise of a digital and tech-driven world.
There could be a glimpse of truth in this. The online world has given companies a wider choice of platforms to engage with their customers.
And, the less-is-more approach has naturally surfaced to enable companies a broader reach.
For example, the recent reveal of BT’s new stripped-back logo caused a huge stir on the internet because of its pure simplicity.
But, the telecommunications company has made a brilliant and bold move with their new branding.
BT’s bare-bones logo allows the company to speak louder about what they do and all of the moments of people’s lives the company impacts.
Because BT is a household name, it’s instantly recognisable, no matter how “bland” the logo is.
However, small and medium-sized businesses shouldn’t necessarily follow in the footsteps of the big guys.
Unfortunately, you’re likely not as well-known as companies like BT and Burberry. So, you still need to stand out from the crowd.
What we feel is missing from the conversation around blandification is that branding can still have a clean, minimal and modern look without necessarily being boring.
Here are two branding examples created by Mattix Design:
While still maintaining their simplicity and ability to be used across all mediums – whether printed or on a digital screen – they both tell a story about the brand.
Bloom Creative’s ethos is all about growing their client’s digital presence by creating authentic content that engages naturally with their audiences. The circle above the ‘L’ symbolises a blossoming tree, while organic shapes and natural colours are used throughout their entire brand on and offline.
Meanwhile, Cloud Design Box provides cloud-based Microsoft services to businesses, schools and multi-academy trusts. We ensured that the branding had a familiar, trustworthy feel, communicating at every touchpoint that they are a Microsoft Partner.
The future of blandification?
As with all trends, we will see blandifcation die out, and new trends emerge. Companies constantly fight to stay ahead of the curve and stand out from their competitors.
For example, we’ve already seen a surplus of tech companies adopt illustration into their branding, such as DropBox, Slack and Buffer.
When everyone switches back to illustrative, quirky logos, will this too be dubbed “bland”?
The crucial thing for businesses like you to think about today is how you can convey your unique story to customers through your branding, whether a potential client is looking at your website, social media channels, a printed brochure, or meeting you in person at your office.