Introducing…a newly finished visual branding project with a beautifully simple text-only logo!
Siggi is a line of ethically-made kids’ clothes run by Karyn Astleford. Before Siggi, Karyn sold organic cotton fabric and handmade kids’ clothes (made from that fabric) on Etsy and at local markets. While she loved it, she had visions of a different look and a bigger business; she wanted to transition from maker to businesswoman.
Part of Siggi’s mission is for clothes to have a long life in the hand-me-down chain, so we wanted a logo that wasn’t tied to any current strong trends. The clothes themselves are simple at first glance with thoughtful details, and are perfect for kids at play. (Karyn has an active 3-year-old who takes them for a test-drive!) We decided that a text-only logo captured that high-end simplicity, and we went with a sleek font with a jolly ‘g’ to mix classic and playful elements.
Now that I’ve wrapped up Siggi’s branding, I wanted to share why a text-only logo is such a good option for businesses.
01. It avoids ubiquitous icons.
Every few months I flirt with the idea of making a grand declaration that I will refuse to make any logo that has a leaf or tree in it. Leaf and tree logos are EVERYWHERE. They are on natural household cleaners and banks and community centres and logos for solo creatives. The only reason I don’t make this declaration is because I’ve had some great clients who really wanted leaf/tree logos and I tried my darnedest to give them ones that truly reflected their brand – and I think I succeeded! I am even CURRENTLY working on a project that uses an abstract leafy pattern that I love!
BUT…landing on a great icon is really hard. Too obvious and it’s cliche. Too abstract and it’s just like a circle and 1200 other brands also have that too. The sweet spot in the middle can make for a magical logomark, but skipping the icon all together frees you from these possible pitfalls.
And as for leaves…nature is a big part of the Siggi brand, but that doesn’t mean we need to declare it in the logo. Instead, that side of the brand is expressed through brand photography taken in wild forests.
02. It makes customers curious.
However, the benefit of a text-only logo isn’t that “it’s easier.” (It’s not.) Creating a great text-only logo is it’s own challenge! Everything that you would tell potential customers in an icon now rests solely on a typeface.
The aim of a text-only logo versus a logo with an icon is to create a feeling. This allows more room for your potential customers to get involved. Their brains don’t immediately recognize an object and move on; they stick with it for a little longer to figure out what your company is about.
Communicating the heart of your business through a text-only logo means hunting down exactly the perfect typeface – or creating one from scratch. How much can you say through typography? Take a look at the Siggi name in three different typefaces. See how different they all are? What does each typeface say about the brand?
The Siggi logo is all about the font choice. The typeface we ended up with is the perfect mix of jolly and sleek and light. I got lucky with the business name having two ‘g’s in it – the jolliest lowercase letter – so I looked for a typeface that took advantage of that. This typeface can also grow with the brand if it ever expands into other products, and it will continue to set the right mood.
03. It plays well with other branded elements.
You know how glorious it is to layer simple articles of clothing together to create a frickin’ awesome outfit? That’s what your visual branding can be with a text-only logo.
Every piece of the visual branding doesn’t need to say all things about the brand. This is how you create a visual brand with depth – by allowing different pieces to bring something slightly different to the brand. The Siggi logo on its own is really simple, but check out how it is being used alongside other design elements. That sleek, light logotype is paired with a bold, angular typeface on the rest of the materials. The hand-drawn squiggle-dot print is playful and childlike. The graphic stickers add some fun to the brand.
Of course, a text-only logo isn’t the only way to have a non-cliche logo that draws customers in and pairs well with other branded elements. That just happens to be its strength.