Trends in logo design, like trends in clothing design and interior design, fluctuate with time. Being stylish and innovative is important if you want to stand out from the crowd, but your logo also needs staying power – after all, it’s the heart of your brand and influences all your other materials. So how do you find the fine line between contemporary and enduring? Below are three logo design trends that are both cutting-edge current and completely classic.
1. Keep it simple.
Minimalization is a major trend in logo design. These days, less is more. Just ask Microsoft, Black & Decker or any of the other scores of large corporations who have recently streamlined their logos to a more simplified version using simpler lines and shapes. This makes good sense from a branding perspective, as less complicated, starker logos are easier for consumers to remember and connect with. What’s more, logo designs with basic symbols and simple color schemes reproduce more cleanly at smaller sizes. When it comes to logos today, complex design elements don’t add beauty, they just add complexity.
Paring design down isn’t just a logo trend – you can see it in contemporary website design as well. Companies are scaling back on Flash and imagery and leaning more toward “flatter” designs. For example, the New York Times website redesign now more closely mirrors its offline paper. As with logo design, cleaning up a website usually results in creating a more user-friendly site.
2. Think black and white.
With very few exceptions, a solid logo “works” in black and white. In other words, it doesn’t rely on color to make it look good. While this has been true since about forever, it has never been more widely acknowledged and executed on than now. In keeping with the simplicity trend discussed above, we are seeing an increasing number of logos in black and white by design. Far from boring, this is a classic combination that’s bold, commands attention, and works across all types of communication (for example, when four-color printing is not available or economical). Even logos that employ color have a black-and-white version, and you should have one for your logo as well.
3. Be honest.
This last design trend is perhaps the most interesting. While it’s always been imperative that a logo reflect the brand accurately, recently there’s been a major trend toward logos that look honest. These wholesome, purposeful logos are right in line with simplicity as a lifestyle trend, and also with current wisdom on marketing to millennials, whom research suggests shy away from in-your-face advertising and have a deep desire to make the world a better place. The colors are fresh, the symbols are clean and uncomplicated, and the overall design is friendly without being cloying. A perfect example of this kind of design is The Honest Company’s logo. Many artisan brands, like Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Co., have also developed iconic, retro-looking logos with great success as well.
Hopefully, these three trends can serve as guideposts as you work to strike the perfect balance of impact and longevity with your logo design in 2014 and beyond!
Amber Schmechel is the Public Relations Director at LogoGarden.com, a free DIY logo design and website company.