7 Logo Design Trends in 2020
Your logo is your brand’s essential representation everywhere. It’s the symbol of your brand that needs to be as recognisable as possible. From coffee cups to billboards, animated GIFS and everything in between, your logo is what will identify your products with your brand. It’s undeniably an important tool in creating the first impressions that you want. In 2020’s world of mass communication from brands all over the world, your logo needs to stick with the times and be a symbol that stands out as distinctly your own. Going back well over 4000 years, human businesses have used logos since we worked out how to draw. Today, your logo needs to be able to set your business apart from hundreds of others. To help you do just that, we have compiled a list of 7 trends that are making logos pop this year. They are sure to help you find a symbol connected to your brand!
Hand-drawn / Analogue Logos
Particularly suitable for: cafes, jewellery, organic products, creative ventures
Hand-drawn logos, as well as logos that use analogue textures like watercolors or ink, have seen a huge surge recently. For brands that want to seem down-to-earth, authentic or organic, a hand-drawn logo is the way to go. These logos will generally use the kinds of lines you’d expect to see from a ballpoint pen or from a watercolour brush. This is an effect that can be reproduced both practically (by physically drawing a logo and then digitizing it) or with digital “brushes” in software such as Photoshop or Illustrator. These logos stand out from a recent trend towards flat, minimalist logotypes and interfaces.
Tapered / 3D Gradients
Particularly suitable for: apps, web projects, and other digital products
Gradients are a surefire way to add energy and depth to any logo. When used carefully and correctly, a fade from one colour value to another can give off a very elegant and polished impression. This has seen explosive popularity from huge brands, particularly apps and other digital products. Gradients have high potential to overcrowd an image very quickly, so they should be used tastefully and carefully. This style is much more effective for logos that will (at least mostly) be displayed on screens and use large images or symbols, but is less compatible with text-only logos, fine lines, and for printing. Paying attention to contrast is important for any gradient image, to make sure that it can still stand out against a variety of backgrounds. If all this is considered, gradients can be a really effective graphic design tool to help your logo image be more eye-catching.
Particularly suitable for: breweries, cafes, restaurants, barbershops
Vintage logos never quite went out of style. Particularly for businesses that aim to draw in a more “hipster” demographic, such as many craft breweries, vintage logos aim to identify with styles of design that are relevant to particular time periods that their associated brands may be trying to emulate. For example, many of the older whiskey distilleries (Jack Daniels comes to mind) still use logotypes that identify with designs that were trendy during the Prohibition era. A vintage logo should be rustic, adventurous, and very “homegrown”. In order to create a logo that seems like it could have been seen on storefront in the 1850s, there are a number of notable motifs:
- Vintage textures (think grime, aged paper, rust, or faded paint)
- Text curved around a circle or ellipse
- Either bold serif or handwritten signature-esque typography
- Date of establishment (if this is a point of pride)
- Natural imagery related to the brand (eg. a barber’s razor, barley, or coffee beans)
Particularly suitable for any business that is marketing on social media
Brands that want to utilise the huge potential of marketing on ever-growing social networks, such as Facebook or Instagram, should note that users of these networks are already inundated with hundreds of other logos and sponsored advertisements every time they log on. One way to make your logo (and by proxy, your brand identity) stand out from others, is to animate it. Motion graphics and animated logos have also seen a huge resurgence in recent years, and are a practical way to help your brand get ahead of the curve. Give your logo anything from a simple bounce, pop, spin or bulge, to a complex animation with very elaborate details. Everything in the real world moves - why doesn’t your logo?
Using tools like Adobe After Effects, logo animations can be done in a huge variety of ways to help identify your brand with a story, give it life and character, or simply to draw in more attention than a simple, static logo image or logotype.
Suitable for: Industrial businesses, financial / legal, tertiary service providers
Pairing very well with gradients, geometric logo designs are increasingly popular, and often feature low-polygon images composed of simple triangles. Geometric logos look great both with simple-line shapes as well as solid colour blocks. Geometric logos often need to be paired with brighter or bolder colour choices, as a logo that is both monochromatic and geometric can seem cold, unfriendly, and uninviting. 99designs content creator Claudia C says, “Mix bold geometric shapes with colourful palettes. Clean and minimal but strong”.
Some important principles to consider when creating a geometric logos are:
- 2D / 3D
- Line Weight
1980s / Retro-Themed
Suitable for: Retro items, events, music, video, or other standout businesses
There has been a noticeable recent upwards trend towards products identified with the late 70s, 80s, and early 90s. This extends far outside of the field of graphic design - collecting vinyls and record places, 35mm film and it’s associated cameras, retro games and pinball tables all went out of style and popularity in the 2000s but have seen a resurgence recently. In terms of graphic design, this can be seen through growth in recent interest towards visual styles such as the “vaporwave” aesthetic and 8-bit art. For businesses aiming to sit within this trend, your logo should too! 80s-style logos shouldn’t be afraid to use bold colours and plenty of neon, glow effects, bubble fonts, or 8-bit images and typography. The “vaporwave” subset of this style is very heavy on saturated pinks and blues, neon glows, collaged elements, grids or checkerboard patterns, and chromatic aberration or lo-fi techniques.
Suitable for: small businesses, promotions, logotypes, print media
Weird, unusual and distorted text is an interesting way to capture attention. By implementing a design that actually aims to have decreased legibility (as opposed to clean, minimalist text that can be read without a second thought), logotypes that make use of strange typography styles are great for first impressions by forcing viewers to actually give the image attention in order to read the design. Designer “goopanic” of 99designs writes, “Weird typography in logotypes is a big trend. There’s a great demand for these types of fonts nowadays because of the need to show the character of a brand and make it unique.” In designs like these, text is no longer simply an addition or afterthought to an image, but is in fact the focal point of a design itself.
with These Logo Design Trends
In summary, there are a plethora of different techniques that you can use to make your logo both representational and eye-catching at the same time. So, which logo style is your favourite? We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of trends for this year. See if you can implement some of these techniques into your own designs!