Logos as symbols and monograms
In Japanese painting, black (sumi) is often the only colour used. The Japanese artist feels that “colours can cheat the eye but sumi never can.” (Quoted from On the Laws of Japanese Painting, 1911.) Equally, no amount of colour will rescue a poorly designed mark, so by leaving the palette until later in the design process, there’s no distraction from the idea.
Short, distinctive brand names can often be enough to identify a business, but a logo that takes the form of a symbol or monogram can act as decorative element to unite sub-brands or to work in smaller confines than are appropriate for longer names — social media avatars or favicons, for example.
For a mark to endure, it needs to be simple in appearance, because people will only glance at a logo for a second or two before their attention is elsewhere. So clarity is key if a design is to be remembered.