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10 Latest Logo Trends & Forecasts for 2020 You Should Be Thinking About

Category: B2B News

Logo transition can be as drastic as Newton sitting under an apple tree to just an apple fruit with a bite. That is a true story by the way, based on Apple Inc. Brands themselves are changing so it’s not surprising that logo trends follow suit.

Pretty much any company that has lasted for 10 years or more has changed their logo at least once. That’s a testament to how trends are shifting from one thing to another through the years. This is caused by various reasons, one of which is the rapid change in technology trends.

Some logo trends only last for a few months, which is unfortunate for those who use them. However, some last for a few years, disappear and make a comeback several years later. This article discusses some of the trends that would most likely make an appearance in 2020. Most of them are prevalent during recent years and some are making a comeback.

key logo trends

The importance of a logo to a business varies. It could be for marketing purposes, for facilitating brand loyalty, or for distinguishing a company from its competition. First and foremost, however, a logo is used to represent the identity of a brand. Every other reason is secondary. Important, but secondary.

With that in mind, deciding what type of logo to go for isn’t as easy as picking the prettiest-looking one. There must be some criteria to consider. According to LogoMaker, there are five important elements in logo design. Basically, a logo must be simple, unique, versatile, memorable, and relevant.

Source: thirdside.co

That makes a lot of sense. However, there’s another factor that must also be taken into account: trends. It’s true that there’s no guarantee of a trend lasting for a long time. However, it’s still important to take notice of them. They are a good indicator of what key design elements in terms of color, layout, etc. would stay. After all, while brand strategy doesn’t start and end with a logo, it’s still an important aspect of it.

With that said, let’s run down the logo trends that are redefining the looks of businesses.

1. Minimalist Logo

“Less is more” is an adage perfect for logo design philosophy as well. Since the early minimalist movement began about 50 years ago, this trend has never faded. Some contemporary brands, such as the ones in fashion and tech industries, prefer clutter-free design.

This approach, however, must not be confused with lazy and effortless work. Minimalism isn’t simply stripping the design to its bare minimum. Rather, it’s the art of clearing away noises so that a clean, naked image remains, with its message shining through. It provides a solid foundation and leaves room for the imagination.

top brands use only 2 colors

There are numerous ways to achieve a minimalist logo design. One is using only a text depicting brands as the entire design itself. The most famous examples of this include the icons used by Google, eBay, and Amazon. Another minimalist method is the one employed by Apple; the use of a little symbol without any text on it.

This design philosophy has taken a firm hold in the field of digital design recently. There are several reasons for that. First is that simplified logos are visually more appealing on mobile screens. Also, fewer pixel elements to render means faster load times. Another great thing about this is that the logo design looks great in both small and big sizes. This means that it can be embedded to practically any object and the logo would still look amazing.

Many companies have seen the potential of minimalism in logo design in terms of marketing value. As a result, a lot of brands have made the transition from complex logo to a more simplified one. This includes Starbucks, Apple, and McDonald’s.

minimalisn in logo

This sweeping white space and the logo at the center characterizes minimalist logo design.

Why is a simple logo good?

  • Brands are easier to recognize and remember
  • The design has a modern feel to it
  • Message can be delivered more easily
  • It’s more scalable
  • The logo is less likely to be copied by other brands
  • Simpler logos are easier to embed anywhere

2. Highly-detailed Logo

A logo is akin to a painting on a canvas whose main purpose is to represent a brand. The main difference is that logos are usually created for a very small canvas. It should also be able to fit across different platforms or objects like websites, mobile apps, t-shirts, paper, etc. With this in mind, the odds of creating a good, highly-detailed logo is pretty low.

However, logo designers whose motto is ”More is more” are going against those odds. This might be especially true in businesses belonging to the food and beverage industry. It will usually consist of hand-drawn images and texts that welcome details instead of taking them away.

This trend is practically the polar opposite of minimalism. Therefore, it’s only normal that it throws away every minimalist philosophy out of the window. This includes filling up negative spaces, shading, and attention to minor details.

The logo is full of small details like paper tears, shadows and the smoke from the drink.

Advantages of Highly-detailed Logo

  • It stands out since most logos are created with minimalist design
  • Consumers might examine your logo more carefully creating better impression
  • It conveys more information so viewers can get what your brand is all about
  • You can write your brand’s tagline in the logo which might be good for marketing

3. Hand-made Logo

In recent years, logo design trends have inclined towards modernization and digitization. Thus, many businesses believe that going back to a more vintage style will make their brands more distinguished. One method of doing so is through the use of handwritten or hand-drawn designs.

Logos with hand-made design provides an authentic feel to customers. This type of design has actually gained traction again over the last few years. And signs seem to point to this trend being strong in 2020.

Consumers are becoming more conscious of the value behind a brand’s face. Therefore, having a handmade logo somehow projects a company’s seriousness about its products and services. And that’s a positive thing. This also provides brands with a personality that customers would take note of. Moreover, since the work is done with freehand, there is a great degree of freedom attached to making it.

Hand-drawn logos are also free from the generic elements of digital design which uses templates as an inspiration. A design would less likely include the common water droplet symbol when making a logo for companies providing water-based services. Roofing image isn’t necessarily present on leasing, real estate, and home repair businesses. The list goes on.

A mixture of hand-drawn image and hand-written text.

Famous brands with hand-made logos:

  • Pizza Hut
  • Kleenex
  • Coca-Cola
  • Mail Chimp
  • Cadbury

4. Fine Lines Logo

Minimalism meets geometry with lines instead of shapes. Just like shapes, lines are also able to convey information and feeling. Fine lines logo are proven to be a popular design choice in recent years. That success will seem to carry over the next year as well.

Since lines are one of the main design components, their versatility is off the charts. They can be easily adapted and manipulated to make shapes and texts. Straight line expresses a feeling of structure and order, overlapping lines create depth and wavy lines convey clarity. That’s why they’re perfectly capable of forming into something that can represent a brand.

While simpler than other logo types, it still takes skills to create a stunning and meaningful logo with fine lines. However, since it’s also simpler, then a relatively inexperienced person can dabble with it. And with enough information and trials, a fitting design might be created. This is ideal for making personal logos or when hiring a professional isn’t feasible.

The entire IBM logo is made from the combination of literal and implied lines.

Types of lines present in Fine Lines Logo

  • Literal line – the actual line you can see
  • Implied line – an imaginary line instantly created by your mind when it connects elements
  • Contour line – primarily used for defining edges and making boundaries
  • Dividing line – usually a type of implied line used to divide spaced between elements
  • Decorative line – used to embellish an element by adding shading, depth, texture, etc.

5. Responsive logo

The mobile trend isn’t going anywhere soon because it’s still one of the top marketing trends in 2019. In fact, making designs that’ll look good on any screen size is a standard in today’s field of digital graphics. Thus, it’s to no one’s surprise that responsive logos are still on-board the trend train.

There was an old rule that brands used to follow: “do not change your logo”. It might have held its ground for decades but today, it’s a less practical approach. That’s because there’s simply a lot of places today where a logo would show up. From big screens to smartphones, and everything in between. That’s why responsive logos are more than just gimmicks or fads but more of business necessity.

It’s not just about the size, however, because responsive logos are also being made more dynamic. This means that a logo would look or behave differently depending on different conditions. For instance, there are logos that are grayed out when the user is signed out and more vibrant when signed in.

There’s also a lot of brands today that use a different version of their logo for different screen sizes. One of the most famous is Disney. At full size, it includes the entire suite – “Walt Disney” with a castle on top. On smaller screen, the castle is gone and only “Walt Disney” remains. When shown on an even smaller display, only the word “Disney” remains. And on really small screen, the logo is reduced to a single, but still distinguishable letter, “D.”

responsive logo - 4 versions

Other Types of Responsive Logo:

  • Generative or “Living” Logos – constantly changes based on predetermined brand language or algorithm.
  • Adaptive Logos – adapts to varying screen sizes
  • Variables Logos – certain aspects change depending on different conditions
  • Contextual Logos – adapts where they are used

6. Gradient Logo

Color has been one of the main components in making a design. And logo artists playing with them is a trend to stay. Just by making the color shift into different spectrum without touching other design elements achieves a bunch of benefits. It makes the logo more exciting, playful, alive and animated. What more if it’s combined with other design changes?

Instead of just blending colors, they are being used more playfully with adjacent shades. It’s not just a random selection of color, however. Artist put meticulous thought and a series of testing to determine which color combinations uplift a design.

The gradient trend was popularized by Instagram. It’s not an easy ride though. When the social media platform changed its logo in 2016, it was first ridiculed. NY Times even called the event “the Great Instagram Logo Freakout of 2016” and described the logo as a travesty. After that, however, the internet has seen a flood of gradient logos.

Some brands, such as Apple Music and Firefox, are using a full-on gradient in their design. However, it can also be used more subtly and still achieve good transition effects. Examples of this include Disney Plus, Google, and Trivago.

Top Colors Present in Tech Company Logos in 2019

Blue

Gray

Black

White

Green

Red

Source: 99designs

Designed by

Dos and Don’ts of Gradient Logo Design:

  • Create a solid version of the logo first before adding gradients
  • Use gradient in a manner that’s relevant to your brand
  • Optimize your gradient for printing
  • Don’t add gradients in a way that’ll make the logo difficult to read
  • Avoid the use of gradient to make an abstract imagery
  • Don’t ignore printing concerns

7. Typography Logo

Google, Yahoo, Shapes, Amazon, FedEx, CNN, Netflix, and IBM. These are just some of the companies that use their brand names as their logo as well. And we’ll keep seeing this trend further.

This isn’t necessarily an emerging trend. In fact, it has been around for quite some time. However, in 2020, this trend’s versatility will still be utilized by many companies. There’s just a lot of benefits that typography-based logos offer that image-based symbols don’t.

One practice that keeps this trend alive is brands creating their own font. Companies continue to reject both serif and sans-serif fonts available and just goes through the trouble of creating their own. This includes Netflix, Uber, and Airbnb. They do this to make themselves distinguished among the digital world full of logos using Helvetica, Trajan, and Garamond.

Minimalists also use typography in their design. In fact, a lot of minimalist logos out there are made up of just one or two letters. “f” of Facebook, “t” of Twitter, and “in” of LinkedIn are some of the most popular examples.

Text-based logos could also take advantage of the brain’s natural tendency to memorize shapes and colors. As a logo that uses visuals, our brains like them. But they’re also a word or letters of the brand they represent. Therefore it’s easier for us to link them with their actual name when we see or recall the image.

coca cola logo

Other examples of companies using Typography Logo

  • Coca-Cola
  • Cadbury
  • Canon
  • Tumblr
  • Lego
  • NASA
  • Hulu
  • Philips

8. Geometric Shape Logo

Geometric shapes are mainly associated with math; a cold, logic and number-based field. However, designers are giving them a warmer, more vibrant look to invoke the feeling of relaxation and happiness. Thanks to this and other reasons, the trend of them being used in logo design continues.

While the review of famous company logos shows that color is used to invoke emotions, so do shapes. In fact, shapes have lots of use cases in graphic design and conveying meaning is just one of them. This is perfect for logos which are meant to be symbolic. Curvy edges express ease, square gives the feeling of strength, triangle means stability, and so on. These are positive attributes that businesses would want their brand to be associated with.

Geometric shapes for logos are also used to achieve a modern feel with a sleek appearance. When done right, they could capture the essence of the brand they represent in a conceptual and elegant way. And with just a change in line thickness, color, or layering, artists could detach the logo from its frigid roots. This could result in a lighter and more personal feel for customers.

However, perhaps the biggest advantage that geometric shape logos offer is the simplification of intricate figures. Logos can be placed on both small and big objects, screens, etc. Therefore, it’s important that even on small sizes, they are still distinguishable. Good geometric design will ensure that a logo’s tiny version is not reduced to a random doodle.

Three identical geometric shapes form the Mitsubishi’s logo.

Common Meaning of Shapes in a Logo:

  • Rectangle and Square – efficiency, strength, and professionalism
  • Triangle (upright) – tension, stability, and change
  • Triangle (inverse) – instability
  • Circle – continuity, protection, and standing out
  • Organic and Spiral – fluid and whimsical

9. Eye-tricking Logo

This is an innovative logo trend that we’ll be seeing for some time; mainly because of how cool it is. It makes use of one of the most creative ways to engage customers – making them look twice. With that alone, your chance for brand recognition increases.

Logo designers manipulate the viewers’ perception of an image to make it look like it defies nature’s logic. This can be done in several ways such as shading, use of negative space, distortion, surreal imagery, etc. With those techniques, a logo could look visually broken, warped, bent, or fragmented; inviting viewers to look more closely.

Some of the most common ways to achieve this are by playing with viewers’ perception of depth. This blurs the line between 2D images and 3D objects. From a customer’s perspective, it looks like the logo is sticking out. However, the unsurprising but still amusing clincher is that the image is purely on 2D. Entertaining them is a good way of increasing brand recollection.

Another variation of this trend is the creation of logos with a hidden image in them. Unsuspecting onlookers won’t necessarily look twice when viewing this type of logo for the first time. However, when someone points it out, you can bet that people would be inspecting them more closely. And as a big bonus, people will share them to their social media account. Free advertising!

look twice good for marketing

Logos with hidden meaning:

  • Toyota – it includes every letter of the company name
  • Pinterest – the “P” is an image of a board pin
  • FedEx – there’s an arrow between the negative space of “E” and “x”
  • Hyundai – the “H” represents two people shaking hands
  • Sony Ericsson – the logo is formed by overlapping “S” and “e”
  • Vaio – “Va” represents analog and “io” symbolizes digital
  • Amazon – the smile is also an arrow pointing from A to Z
  • Toblerone – the negative space in the middle resembles a bear

10. Half Flat Logo

It was 2012 when flat design became the standard in logo making. However, with long shadows that became prevalent in 2018, Flat 2.0 or Half-Flat logos were born. The subtle use of shadow and added details make a significant visual improvement to the otherwise flat image. This is an ideal choice for those who want to add visual interest to their logos without going full-3D.

The use of a flat image is still a prominent design philosophy these days. Therefore, to stand out from the competition, companies are going for flat logos with 3D feel. This is great because there’s no need to shy away from the use of flat logos, especially those who prefer them. Instead, artists only need to add a few realistic touches like shadows to make images pop out a little.

This trend’s popularity can be attributed to its capability to get around the drawbacks of flat design. For instance, flat logos might not be able to convey their meaning because of the design’s limitation. Also, the transition from flat to flat 2.0 expresses brands’ readiness to embrace a modern and adaptive approach to their services. And finally, this is a good logo design for companies who are new to the business. That’s because semi-flat logos can convey their vibe quicker by adding details to their flat design.

The extra shadings and shadows makes the otherwise flat logo pop out a little.

Reasons why brands transform their logo half-flat

  • Trendy – it looks modern and appealing
  • Simplified – avoids too much use of shadow or gradient
  • Flexible – works with animations, websites, and can be redesigned easily
  • Easy to remember – not overloaded with details
  • Enhanced UX – clear visual hierarchy
  • Crisp visuals – uncluttered and creative

What makes a successful logo?

Trends come and go. However, the key to making a successful logo isn’t creating one that can weather every change. It’s more on being distinctive, simple, relevant, and most importantly, can properly identify your brand.

While going with every flow is impractical and unnecessary, knowing what’s in and what’s popular is helpful. It can tell you when to change your logo and what type is best suited to your brand. It also allows you to identify which trend your competitors are following. This way, so you can either get in the bandwagon or choose to distinguish yourself.

However, it’s of utmost importance that you still follow your identity because that’s what a logo is primarily used for. According to this set of graphic design statistics, blue is the most used color by most successful companies because of its effectiveness. However, it doesn’t mean you must absolutely follow suit even if it’s not compatible with your brand. Everything must relate to you.

By Jenny Chang

Senior writer at FinancesOnline who writes about a wide range of SaaS and B2B products, including trends and issues on e-commerce, accounting and customer service software. She’s also covered a wide range of topics in business, science, and technology for websites in the U.S., Australia and Singapore, keeping tabs on edge tech like 3D printed health monitoring tattoos and SpaceX’s exploration plans.

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