It’s a safe bet that everyone will be glad to see 2020 end, and graphic designers are no exception. Pantone recently introduced two new ink colors for 2021 – Illuminating Yellow and Ultimate Gray – which when paired together are supposed to symbolize “deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the optimistic promise of a sunshine-filled day.” By the same token, several logo design trends are emerging that may help new brands, and established ones, signal a brighter future.
Simplistic Logo Design
The trend for more simplified logos has been building for a while, and will continue into 2021. Chalk it up largely to globalization and the continuing expansion of digital media. Simpler logo forms reproduce more readily across various media and sizes, and can help a company boost brand identity that bridges languages and cultures.
Fun with Logo Typography
Text-based logos can sometimes be seen by graphic designers and consumers alike as being a bit boring, but that’s changing. More and more designers are creating their own custom typefaces to capture the true essence of a brand and really set it apart from competitors. The trick is to keep the logotype legible, and to ensure that it reproduces well regardless of the size used or the media in which it appears.
Piggybacking on the custom typography trend, many designers are now using disappearing or broken letter forms for text-based logos that put even more artistic spin on plain old type. Whether they create their own custom fonts or “deconstruct” an existing typeface, this technique can create a treatment for a company or product name that brings distinctive artistic flair.
Brands as diverse as Avon and Autism Speaks have begun using color gradients and fading to add visual interest to their logos. Colors that fade and blend into one another draw the eye more than solid, hard lines. The tricky part for designers, however, is to make sure that logos using this treatment reproduce well in print and online, and that they still translate whenever the logo appears in only black and white.
Overlapping Geometric Shapes
Geometric elements that overlap can help a brand’s logo convey a brand’s personality or illustrate what the company or product does. This “layering” effect in logo design can communicate multiple aspects of a company or organization’s unique stance in the marketplace. These geometric elements also pair well with typography to speak more about a specific selling proposition or identity in a particular industry.
Logos with Negative Space
So, we all know about the big arrow formed by the letters in the FedEx logo, right. It’s a classic example of using white space to add visual appeal, whether it’s in a text-based logo or a mark that stands alone. While this design technique isn’t all that new, it has been put more and more into use in logo design in recent years, and that trend appears to be picking up steam for 2021.
Very fine-lined typography and design elements, especially in logos that use sans serif fonts, are another example of inventive typography and simplicity of design. Clean lines can make a logo or brand name easier to read, and this somewhat minimalist approach adds its own subtle elegance. In fact, many high-end brands that once had very ornate logo and letter forms have taken this approach – Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, for example.
Throw in a Little Chaos
Scattered geometric shapes, letters reversed and turned upside-down, and other twists are becoming quite prevalent in logo design. It’s eye-catching and creates a unique, sometimes whimsical feel for a logo. It works particularly well for technology brands and some fashion labels. Designers just need to remember that a little goes a long way.
For brands that need to communicate the reliability and stability of a company or organization, symmetry and balance in logo design is a technique that really never goes out of style. So, it will surely continue to be used in logo design in 2021 and beyond. Whether it’s stacked type or symmetrical shapes, balance speaks to a brand’s strength.
The Pinterest P shaped like a pin. The big Netflix N. The Dolby Surround Sound mark formed from two reversed D shapes. Singular letter forms, when paired with a text name in a logo, can eventually become stand-alone brand representations on their own.
If you’re an advertiser looking for a new logo or brand refresh, or if you’re a graphic design professional, the trends in logo design for 2021 emphasize creativity and a splash of fun, whether through new techniques or tried and true graphic touches. 2021 promises to be a great new year to make your mark!