What can Melissa Clark, the NYT cooking writer, teach us about design?
The New York Times cooking writer Melissa Clark told Vogue, “I’m going to reduce these dishes even more and get it down to as minimal preparation as possible. Do I really need to get out another bowl? Or can I wipe out this bowl? Can't I use the same spoon to stir these two things?” And my reaction as a graphic designer was, “that’s a perfect recipe for a good logo design!”
“My goal is to help you do it pretty easily. But this is the easiest one yet. I’ve streamlined my recipes and gotten them down to one-pot meals,” Melissa Clark told The Atlantic Journal Constitution.
We like to think about Less is More in describing effective logo designs. In cooking, Melissa Clark likes to promote “less mess.” She still wants to capture the most flavor, with the least amount of ingredients…and subsequently, cook with one pan to avoid the pile-up of dishes.
The most flavors
When we design logos we are trying to convey a lot of themes and brand attributes with the least amount of detail. The successful logo has to work in the smallest spaces, often on an Instagram feed where too many details will spoil the meal. Just like a good meal, a good logo can have too many flavors. You have to be selective and pair the spices that work well together to produce the right combination.
Three cooking tips for your next logo:
1. Simple is better.
Whether it’s fresh veggies, easy-to-follow instructions, or items you can actually buy in your local store, keeping it simple is part of the solution. For logo designs, simple has always been the mantra. How can you convey the most brand attributes with the fewest strokes? You need to be able to read your logo in large spaces like the side of a moving truck and in small spaces like on your Facebook feed.
2. Get the most flavor with the fewest ingredients.
You can’t just combine the ingredients from different recipes and make a meal you’d like to eat. You need to carefully select the elements and balance them to produce a delicious meal. We often present multiple options of the logo concepts. But if the client’s reaction is to “mix and match” that doesn’t usually make for a successful logo or culinary experience.
3. Nobody likes a lot of dishes.
We don’t usually think about the dishes when we are designing logos, but we should always be thinking about how the logo will be used. We recently designed a series of logos where the tagline was too small to read. It was not visible on the business card and would never work in tight digital places. You need to think about where your logo will be placed and how it will be used. Otherwise, you’ve left a lot of dirty dishes for someone else to clean up.Back to Insights