Logo trends 2021

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The field of design is constantly in a state of flux. Designers are continually looking to exploit new techniques in order to create unique and beautifully crafted designs that stand out. That is why keeping up to date and aware of the latest trends and visual styles is paramount; not so that they can be copied, but used as inspiration to expand our own imagination and locate insights that could lead to more innovative solutions.

The trends mentioned in this article are based on the exploration of thousands of logos (30,000+) created by designers from around the world, submitted to ‘Logo Lounge’ and analysed to determine what’s trending and what’s not. 

 

Why trends

Before diving in, we’ll explore a few observations around aesthetics influencing brand design. Our industry is trying its best to deal with the vagaries of colour, as the last few years, there’s been an adoption of aggressive gradients on marks.

 

Instagram has been an innovator within this trend, going somewhat overboard with colour being pushed to the extreme with its violet to orange gradient.

 

In an attempt to find gradient colour ownership, designers are pairing complementary colour gradients, resulting in unique combinations that capture the eye’s attention.

 

Others are instead using lighter solutions, scaling back the overall intensity of marks.

 

It’s not always about gradients. There’s plenty of experimentation with stepped effects, however, these need careful crafting as they don’t always work.

 

Another theme that has often resurfaced is patterns. As opposed to gradients, patterns allow a graphic to break up tension, as opposed to adding tension with the use of additional colours. These examples display how designers have found a way to incorporate tonal variance in an original way.

Another theme that has often resurfaced is patterns. As opposed to gradients, patterns allow a graphic to break up tension, as opposed to adding tension with the use of additional colours. These examples display how designers have found a way to incorporate tonal variance in an original way. 

 

This example, for instance, shows how layering a pattern can be used to achieve a simple transparent effect without adding any additional colour.

 

Of course, this is not limited to stripes and dots, these examples show there’s room for creative experimentation.

 

When it comes to incorporating patterns, we should make a concerted effort to do so in a unique way that adds value to our work, since after all, pattern and gradation are never a substitute for a well-thought-out concept.

 

Dimension

Morse shade

Over the last several years, there’s been a trend using a series of dots and dashes, especially in the tech field, as it was resembling a field of binary code.

 

However, as we can see from these examples, this tendency has begun to spread to other industries. Consider the “Coffee Swap” logo, which utilises this approach gently to shift from dark to light shading, or the upper middle logo, which uses the same language to reflect water.

 

Loaded

We’re taking a whole new look when it comes to ‘badge’ logo design in this next trend. These examples have been meticulously constructed and elevated to a new level. It could be easily argued that, despite their beauty, such logos could run into a number of problems when it comes to brand application (scalability challenges or the inability to work in a black-and-white setting for example).

 

The utility aspect to this trend is that you can easily achieve different aesthetics and evoke a broad spectrum of emotions and styles standing from vintage to modern. As you can see in these examples, they could fit very well with a boutique, an event or a destination.

 

Surface

Zip tone

In this trend, we’re seeing a tremendous uptake on the number of marks that are being built using halftone patterns. They break out of the visual effects in modern technology and are a throwback to the 60s, 70s and 80s. This trend is still very much visually relevant in today’s aesthetic and can be used as a tool that captures the attention of today’s market and to differentiate from the predictability of today’s designs.

 

Highlight

In these marks, we see how highlighting inspired concepts are attracting attention in an aggressive way.

 

Geometry

Quarter 

The next few examples focus on quarters which are used as components that when linked together, convey the idea of technical strength, order and flexibility. These examples here display a number of solutions for the letter ‘S’, notice the flexibility of these pieces that demonstrate the breadth of their capabilities.

 

This technique can be used as a sole component as well as blended with other geometric shapes, solid or open in format shown with these examples.

 

Spell sign

This next trend focuses on marks that draw inspiration from symbols of ancient history, alchemy and science to create shapes that live in perfect harmony with one another and are imbued with powerful meaning. We can say that this trend represents an homage to clarity of structure with geometrically perfect lines and shapes that intersect with each other to create abstract marks.

 

Holes

In these marks instead we see the use of geometric holes to illustrate an incompleteness in order to engage the consumers and draw them into interactions that might not take place otherwise and so in other word negative space here is used as a tool to drive attention.

 

Lines

Spot drag

In recent reports they have identified a trend called links and it’s essential the connecting of round-tipped linear elements that use transparent circles at their junctions as we can see in the top left logo. 

Meanwhile in the top right logo we can identify a second trend that’s generally called chroma coasters and it’s characterised by linear designs that show gradation of transitioning colours to demonstrate motion or a process. 

And finally we can notice in the bottom design these two trends have merged and it’s less concerned with linking together pathways but focused on demonstrating motion.

 

Gradient break

In this trend it seems like there’s been a desire of taking a step

back from what we could call modern usage of gradients. As you can see these marks still appear as a full spectrum gradient but the colours have been cleverly scaled back to simple spot colours and show differentiation from an unusual gradation.

 

Counter stripes

Stripes continue to dominate the page and they never really go out of fashion. They can help establish rhythm to a design that demonstrates structure and order as well as representing teamwork, with elements coming together.

 

These examples are a fun way to combine stripes with curved dimensional space, and what’s even more intriguing is how it’s not necessary to see all of the stripes in their entirety since they have a rhythm, and our minds fill in the gaps, as shown in the nest logo.

 

To conclude...

The year 2021 is in full flow; still no one knows what to anticipate, but one thing is certain: those that can adapt and accept change will be the ones who thrive. This is true for both businesses and design. You can be with the change or you may be left behind, but with this carefully curated and compiled collection of truly outstanding logo designs that precisely represent the trends that will race headlong into the new future, you can be at the forefront. The decision is yours, inspiration is all around you, and the future, at least in terms of design, appears bright.

 

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At Make it Clear we help companies create impactful logos for technology-based products and services. If you would like to discuss how Make it Clear can help your organisation create engaging designs, sign up for a free Clarity Consultation here to find out more.