Top 10 Design Trends
A timeless logo design is one that you’ll never regret, but it doesn’t hurt to take a look at how the top trends of 2020 are shaping up for different businesses. The idea here is not to fall for a fad that will be considered old-fashioned by 2021 but to look at how companies are utilizing logo psychology and technology to capture its demographic’s attention.
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1. Overlapping Designs
This layering concept of overlapping designs places two colors or designs on top of one another. The idea is to create a little complexity without compromising a clean look. A good example can be seen in the MetLife logo. You’ll see the M formation made of two shapes and two different colors. The blue overlapping the green is sensible, something that you might expect from an insurance company. The overlapping design is one that takes some design skill, so be aware of this as you’re experimenting with different ideas.
2. Motion Graphics
Motion graphics are animated images. One of the more famous examples is from Google, which features a G that moves in a circle before revealing the name Google. Motion graphics can be a great way to perk up your social media, website, or banner ads. The dynamic action before revealing your brand can be enough to spark interest. A similar trend is known as responsive logos, or logos that change in size and dimension depending on where and how it’s being displayed. For example, changing your logo to a monogram on a smartwatch.
3. Negative Space
Negative space is any white space that shows between your letters or pictures. The goal is to hide an Easter egg for the watchful eye. This is by no means a new concept (it’s just gaining some popularity this year). FedEx has one of the most effective uses of negative space. When you first read the text of the logo, you might see it as simply stating FedEx. However, if you shift your eyes and view it a different way, you’ll see an arrow formed in between the E and the X. That arrow becomes impossible to miss once you know where to stare, and it’s a clever way for the company to show that the company is going places.
4. Thin Lines
There’s often a thin line between success and failure, which might be why brands are embracing the concept quite literally in their logo. Delicate thin lines are made possible today with advancements in graphic design, and these barely-there marks often only work on a digital level. The goal is to make the viewer feel like the logo is something new and impossible to duplicate. Saga Mountain, a woodworking shop in Georgia, has chosen to pay tribute to the beauty of its landscape with its logo. The fine lines hint at the beauty that lies just outside their window.
5. Rough Drawings
Unsurprisingly, some companies are choosing to go the other direction in the face of ever-evolving digital trends. In a world where everything is perfectly formed, there’s been a resurgence in hand-drawn logos. The rawness of these designs gives the logos character. It creates an authenticity that is right at home with brands that sell items such as organic food or natural soap. So maybe you choose a logo that you sketched on a napkin or even one that your child drew at your kitchen table. The rustic element catches the eye and tells the audience that you care about something other than perfection. You can see this in the Mutiny Recordings logo. This boutique licensing company is using their logo to connote the grit and edge of the sounds they bring to people.
Gradient logos are not necessarily recommended for print, but they can really pop on a screen. The prediction is that the gradient trend will eventually blend with 3D, which will really make for a more memorable brand experience. You can see that companies favor the tapered gradients in 2020, or logos that come to a specific point to emphasize the full range and contrast of the colors. These logos are almost like an optical illusion, and 3D imaging will give them even more appeal. You can see this illustrated in the Firefox logo. The fox features a number of colors, starting with orange at the tip of its ears and ending in a fiery yellow at the tail.
The shine of metal on a logo used to be more associated with the luxury brands, but it’s starting to break out of that stereotype and be applied to different brands. The advantage of a metallic logo is that it can heighten a simple design and make it more impactful. And because the silver shine is still associated with premium brands in the public’s mind (they aren’t likely to be studying logo design trends in their spare time), it might even subconsciously give your products or services a boost in their minds. You can see this come across in the FIVERR logo. While not exactly a top-shelf brand, the metallic lettering, and black background elevates the design and leaves viewers with a lasting impression.
Monograms are a versatile logo choice that can be applied to the high- and low-brow brands alike. For 2020, we’re seeing more of the double initial trend, as you can see in the Louis Vuitton logo. The luxury brand doesn’t need to give its audience more than two letters to symbolize its status. Onlookers see the overlapping L and V and know what it stands for. There’s something about reducing your company to just a letter or two that can really give it a mystique. Monograms can be used for any business, but it’s often recommended for companies in the service industry, such as salons or coffee shops.
9. Experimental Typography
New fonts are being experimented with every day, and the results make for some pretty interesting letters. For example, the Yes Jess Bakery logo uses a J that is so subtle, you might initially mistake it for a T or an incomplete I. Or you might see a tiny letter paired against a huge letter, or a string of text where no two letters look alike. You’re not trying to confuse people here, only give them a reason to look a little closer. Similar to the magazine cut-out letters of yore yet far more artistic, the experimental typography trend highlights the creativity of the company.
10. Bright Colors
The advantage of using big bold pinks or radiant blues is that you’re immediately drawing the audience’s eye to your logo. While subtle designs can (and do) have staying power and soft pastels can certainly leave an impression, the brighter colors demand your attention. Ultimately, you’re meant to use colors as a way to evoke and enhance people’s emotions. Just make sure that the colors match your brand values. If you were designing a logo for a financial company, it might not make sense to choose bright reds and oranges. This relatively dry topic is probably more suited for practical colors.
Should I use one of These Trends?
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to your logo design, but you can look to certain trends to see which ones might work with your brand. You might also choose to merge one trend with another. There’s already a certain degree of overlap when it comes to the 2020 logos. For example, you might see experimental typography applied to the monogram trends. The ultimate goal is to ensure that your logo fully represents your brand and is designed in a way that will outlast 2020 and be useful for many years to come.