We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: nobody thinks good design is about copying others. But nor does good design exist in a vacuum. So it’s good to know what kind of branding other designers are creating right now; whether it inspires you to follow in their footsteps or run screaming in the opposite direction.
In this post, we’ve gathered together some of the biggest current trends in logo design. None of them are particularly new or revolutionary, and you may recognise some from trends lists past. But they’re all still very much in force at the moment, and seem likely to continue to be influential for at least the next 12 months.
01. Cartoon-style logos
There’s been a marked rise in the popularity of hand-drawn lettering recently, and that’s also influenced a related trend for cartoon-esque logos. Perhaps all that sleek minimalism we’ve been seeing in logoland has broken us, and we’re once again yearning for the comfort of 70s and 80s children’s TV lettering.
The trend can be seen, for example, in the cute and curvy logos for pet food brand (opens in new tab) by Communal Creative; file transfer giants (opens in new tab); social-platform-for-play (opens in new tab); andchewable candy brand (opens in new tab) by Brandlab (with a bouncing ‘U’ in the animated version that’s beautifully reminiscent of Pixar’s lamp).
02. Geometric shapes
Geometric shapes have long been a popular design element, but it takes a lot of skill to get their use right. Lately, more and more designers have been succeeding, with examples including the new logo for Google’s self-driving car project Waymo (opens in new tab), a collaboration with Manual and the in-house team; Spin’s logo for nightclub and music label Ministry Of Sound (opens in new tab); the in-house rebrand for customer software company Zendesk (opens in new tab); and the hard-geometry wordmark for Pyramida (opens in new tab) by Reynolds & Reyner.
The move towards simplification of existing logos has been a trend for many years now. And it’s one that’s very much continuing into 2017.
This logo trend is partly about aesthetics, but it’s also about making your logo scalable at small sizes. And with tech trends like smartwatches and other wearables continuing apace, it’s unlikely to go away anytime soon.
Recent examples of the trend include the new logo and identity for football club (opens in new tab) by Interbrand; Grey London’s controversial proposal for a redrawn (opens in new tab) logo; Pentagram’s sleek and simple new branding for Canada’s (opens in new tab); and Lippincott’s new design for (opens in new tab).
04. Brighter colours
In recent months, we’ve noticed more and more brands using colour to brighten up existing logos, adding new hues to shake up existing palettes in eye-catching ways. Examples include the refresh of cognitive computing firm (opens in new tab) by Golden Spiral; the redesigned branding for travel search engine by Bedow; the new look for (opens in new tab) by Magnifico Design and Wolf & Wilhelmine; and the latest logo redesigns for (opens in new tab), (opens in new tab) and (opens in new tab).
05. Typographical trickery
Designers have always delighted in incorporating little visual tricks and hidden messages into their logos, such as the famous use of (opens in new tab) by Fed Ex and Toblerone. And recently, we’ve seen this approach becoming popular once more.
Examples of the trend include new logo designs for the (opens in new tab) by Graphéine (incorporating its famous bridge); (opens in new tab) by Brand Union (with a fragmented ‘D’ suggestive of both racing and dementia); (opens in new tab) by Kontrapunkt (where the whole wordmark forms the shape of a ‘D)’; and pet adoption service (opens in new tab) by Possible (where a subtle image of a dog appears within the script design if you look hard enough).