If there is one style of corporate branding that defines the 2010s, it is this: sans-serif lettering, neatly presented in black, white, and ultra-flat colors. Cobalt, for example. Its goal is noise reduction, accomplished by banishing gradients, funky fonts, and drop shadows, and by relegating all-caps to little “BUY” buttons. The abundance of white space around words, photos, and playful doodles exudes a friendly calm. You’ll find the information you need in seconds, and what a pleasing few seconds they will be. Sans-serif typefaces have been in circulation since at least the 18th century. (Serifs are the little lines that decorate the ends of letters in fonts like the one you’re reading right now. Sans serifs omit them.) Minimalist design in marketing isn’t new either, but this genre of branding has become especially, almost predictably, concentrated among venture-backed lifestyle startups like Outdoor Voices, Bonobos, Frank And Oak, Lyst, AYR, Reformation, Glossier, Allbirds, and Thinx. Some use it for nearly everything on their websites but the logo, and some use it for nearly everything, including the logo. One of the remarkable features of startup minimalism is its flexibility. It can sell anything. Read more at Racked.