When it comes to designing a new logo, falling into whatever the “hot” trends are can be a common mistake for new brands. We understand it’s hard to avoid because these trends appear everywhere – across social platforms, websites, marketing newsletters, etc. But it’s important to remember that a great logo will always be grounded in a brand’s core story, ethos, and unique product or service characteristics. However, certain visual trends, when applied strategically and seamlessly with the brand’s identity, can help appeal to desired audiences without sacrificing brand authenticity. In this blog, we’ll walk through some logo design trends we’ve seen work well!
Trend #1: Art Nouveau
While clean, modern logos will always be common, we’re starting to see a trend towards a more embellished, artisanal, and hand-crafted aesthetic that brings back to the Art Nouveau style of the early 20th century. Brands that adopt this trend tend to appear elevated, curated, and organic and have a stronger sense of heritage than modern sans-serif logos. Common attributes of this trend include delicate serif typefaces with flowing ligatures, nature-inspired elements, and varying line widths. A few of our favorite examples include the logos of Cora, Papier, Sparkling Botanicals and Prose.
Trend #2: Hand-drawn Elements
Another outcome of the collective movement away from corporate, geometric design is hand-drawn typography and illustration elements in logos. Perfectly straight lines and flawless curves are rarely found in nature, so organic forms and shapes evoke a more natural feel. An “imperfect” look to the typography or iconography of a logo adds a sense of warmth and humanity to a brand’s identity and can come across as more authentic to eco-conscious consumers. There’s a range of applications for this trend, from evoking the curves of a body like SKIMS‘s logo to blockier letterforms reminiscent of a Farmer’s Dog and Bright Barley, to a 60’s psychedelic vibe like Phil’s Finest.
Trend #3: Friendlier Sans Serifs
Modern sans-serif-based logos will always have a place in the world of brand identity and will only vary slightly as trends move along. The latest trend is friendlier and more customized than past iterations. In addition to playful curves, these logo designs have evolved to include customized letterforms, tighter letter spacing, and brighter colors in an effort to be more fun with a stronger sense of personality. Brands that utilize this trend can have the best of both worlds, appearing both professional and approachable to a wide audience. Our favorite friendlier sans-serif logos are Casper, Upwork, Sweetgreen, and Magic Spoon.
Trend #4: Gradients
Gradients have been a design trend for a while, albeit one that most designers either absolutely love or hate with a burning passion. To avoid the cringe-worthy, 3D chrome aesthetic of previous years (think Microsoft Word Art and iPhone OS 1), today’s gradient trend is more atmospheric rather than trying to emulate realistic 3D shading. Analogous colors blended softly together can create interesting fills for geometric shapes in a logo, which evokes a subtle sense of movement and energy. This design works best for tech brands communicating a future-forward mindset. Asana, Canva, Instagram, and Tinder are a few brands that took on the trend and executed it well.
Trends are constantly changing, and logos stay fairly consistent once they are established, so it’s important to ensure that any styles applied to a logo match the brand identity. For example, a modern sans serif font with a futuristic gradient may work for a new tech startup but be detrimental to an organic natural food brand. While design trends can help appeal to new audiences or help brands stay relevant, be sure that they also align with your brand ethos and identity before implementation. If you’re looking to level up your existing brand identity, or need help creating one from scratch, reach out to the experts at BuzzShift!
BuzzShift is a digital growth strategy agency with a focus on mid-market, scaling, purpose-driven DTC Brands. By combining the ideologies of branding, performance marketing, and retention agency, we are able to create memorable experiences with measurable results, and build long-term success for our clients with scalable, sustainable growth. Learn more about BuzzShift.