Logos have to walk the tricky walk of being simple, yet comprehensive at the same time—i.e., instantly recognizable and communicating the brand’s essence. Some logos do this very well, but many don’t. After poring through thousands and thousands of logos, we asked Gardner and the LogoLounge judges what graphic devices were trending this year and if they felt they were eff ective for their intended audiences. Here’s a glimpse at the 15 logo trends Gardner noticed in five categories, including Surface, Form, Object, Dimension and Line. Check out the full trend report at LogoLounge.
1. Shadow Breaks are these instances in which designers use a shadow to create a dimensional break, rather than a hard-line break. “Because they have built this device in, you get this greater sense of one line crossing over the other,” Gardner says. “It’s more realistic.”
Botanika by Almosh82
2. Fades have become quite popular this year, where parts of the logo interlace with paper or the surface they’re on. “I think it’s this idea of freshness or the idea of something coming from nowhere,” he explains.
Simply Analytics by Brandforma
3. Rising Color is really about the intensity of color when it is placed over itself. “You’ll notice that they all start with the same basic color point that takes different shifts in gradation, where they get darker as they cross over each other.”
Minneapolis Downtown Council by CAPSULE
4. Simplicity in form is a return to basics. “The little movie camera comprised of the heart and the rectangle and the two circles on top says this is about somebody who loves movies or filmmaking,” Gardner explains. “If I were just to take those same shapes and cast them out on the table like a cup full of dice, you’d never make that connection. It’s kind of brilliant how simple it is.”
Love Cinema by Maskon Brands
5. Simple Overlay is an old trick that has come back in a big way to really communicate transparency. He notes, “I think in particular, the designers of the MasterCard and MetLife identities went into the ‘Wayback Machine’ and said, ‘We’re going to express the aesthetic of these organizations in the most simple of fashions.’ Transparent overlays are shorthand for designers to convey financial transparency.”
MetLife by Prophet
6. Multicentric logos were in abundance this year. The concentric stripes and circles seem to evoke that idea of broadcasting—where something starts at a central point and communicates outward. These marks also tend to have monoweight lines.
Eocen by Ortega Graphics
7. Ellipsis in speech bubbles are having their moment in the sun, and Gardner says there’s some psychology behind that. “It’s this whole idea that the dots represent this active communication that’s going on. It’s kind of a placeholder and it’s saying, ‘I’m still holding the floor here for a minute. Don’t say anything.’”
United States of Stevenson Forum by Stevenson University School of Design
8. Text Boxes are another way to call out words in a different way. Instead of placing words in a solid form like a crest, designers are creating new meanings by incorporating a block of color or reversing the text and background to create a company logo. “This is moving beyond just setting a word inside a box or circle. It harks back to graphics programs that used that language, where words would be highlighted. It’s a simulation of that.”
Mozilla by Typotheque
9. Yin and Yang have symbolic references dating back centuries. “It’s this idea of a company being able to bring things together that may be divergent, and fi nding a way for them to have synergy. It’s the company and the customer living together. It’s bringing things together from different ends of the spectrum,” Gardner says.
The Mane Intent by Hatch Creative
10. Pasta Bends are a newish category in which designers are trying to create a new, perhaps more realistic rendering by adding three-dimensional characteristics using highlights, gradients, and shadows. “Each of these are more defi ned by the actual shapes that are coming together than the fact that they have substance,” notes
Gardner, “But I think the substance aspect may be indicative of, ‘We
create actual products.’”
Borlyte by Ortega Graphics
11. Wrapped logos are really like hidden figures that reveal themselves underneath something else. It’s this idea of an integral component lying underneath that becomes part of the greater whole.
Klarwin by Brandient
12. Microlines work together to complete a form that almost appears as a light four-color process. “It could be a way of defining that a company is spacial. It communicates a technical quality because of the incredible precision that’s required of them,” Gardner explains, adding, “Frankly, it creates some challenges with logos because it might not be highly scalable.”
Aurora Cooperative by Arma Graphico
13. Doubles is the idea of drafting two components in a single line that are interlinked with each other. “They recreate very easily, and they’re easily crafted,” he says. “They’re kind of fun to look at because you almost want to put your fi nger on the line and trace it yourself. It’s kind of like a puzzle.”
The Bright House by Studio Ink
14. Wings give the impression of something being uplifted, giving the logo an ethereal quality. These multiline logos have an aspirational sense and create a sense of flight.
Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas by Accent Brand Consultants AG
15. Color Split is part of a new evolution, expanding on the monoline approach and using color to create a new dimension or twist. “Google may have started this trend a couple of years ago with its favicon divided into quarters using primary colors,” Gardner explains. “It’s this idea of being able to indicate that even though it’s a single line, it can take on this kind of polychrome eff ect from a color perspective.”
Podegiki by Pavel Saksin