2017 has been an interesting year for trends in the creative industry. We’ve seen 80s and 90s resurgence in fashion design, minimalism in interior design, and watercolours in visual art. Graphic design has been full of surprises as well.
For this expert roundup, we asked 10 creative design experts about what the most popular logo design trends have been in 2017 so far and what we can expect to come.
“Some of the industry trends I’m seeing in logo design are non-typical industry related designs. For example dentists are getting away from a logo with a tooth, plumbers are less interested in designs that have a wrench or pipe in them etc. Many of the design trends I’m seeing are the less is more approach with simple yet creative designs. But definitely less cookie cutter than what I’ve had clients ask for in the past.”
– Lauren Edvalson, CEO, Edvalson Marketing LLC
“One trend that’s already hot this year I think is broken letters – I’m seeing a lot more of that. Take your regular typography logo and break it up and shift it across a diagonal line (for example) that rises from left to right to indicate growth or breaking from the norm; or, breaking up letters (or a particular strategic letter) to suggest openness. There’s a lot of fun ways to play with that.
And as always, I think the trend towards simplification of logos will continue – especially as they continue to have to be represented on an increasingly smaller scale. Simplification meaning reducing any extraneous graphical elements so logos are cleaner, or even reducing colors to be even more basic and streamlined. As always, in my world, simple not only rocks – it resonates.”
– Andrea D. Smith, Senior Brand Strategist, The ADS Agency
“In 2017, I think logo trends will lean heavily on typographic-based marks more than ever. Bold and simple will reign king because of social media and the over-saturation of information. Logos have to stand out and work really well at smaller scales, but with a strong, if even rebellious, voice visually.
A very good example is Huffington Post. I thought the previous serene-feeling serif logotype matched Arianna Huffington’s more calming personality. The new logo is bold, italic, and very alerting. It matches the more urgent vibe of the website’s writing, especially in the current political climate. It also has a bit of a Barbara Krueger public-and-cultural-commentary energy about it.
I’m seeing similarities to fashion and streetwear with classic brands like Supreme and Stussy, but also with newer brands like Off-White and the new kid on the block, Anti-Social Social Club.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are brands like Apple, Instagram and MasterCard, for instance. In traditional form, their marketing works so well, they can rely on a symbol instead of a word. Their logos also lean on gradients to give themselves some production value as is popular with many app-based companies recently.
I think we’ll see similar logos from lesser known brands that don’t have a worldwide marketing presence created by amateur design teams that don’t fully get those particular brand stories, but want to emulate the big companies. The repercussions will be a lot of logos and branding that do not clearly delineate who the company is — and ultimately, compromise the recognition they seek.
What lesser known brands should do is think about the user. They might not know who you are, so it’s imperative that you make your name — as well as some indication of what and why you do it — obvious in the logo. How? With a bold typography-based logo.”
– PJ Richardson, Partner/Creative Director, Laundry
“So far this year I’ve seen a lot of very artistically-minded logos. Lots of creative lettering, hand drawn stuff, use of interesting colors and backgrounds. I haven’t been seeing very many simple, classic-style logos. If this trend keeps up, I’d assume lots of brands will be reaching out to artists to design their logos.”
– Eric Anthony, Founder, StreamingObserver.com
“Hand drawn logo designs are what I’ve seen a lot more so far in 2017. They convey a personal feeling and look fresh/playful. An example of this is the Meetup.com logo.
I believe as 2017 continues we’ll start seeing even more logos that are designed with simplicity in mind. It will be even more noticeable with logo redesigns that will be happening. Lots of big brands are redesigning their logos to be more simplistic and clean looking (Google, Mastercard, Verizon, Visa, Microsoft, etc.).”
– Sam Borcia, CEO, CoFlex Marketing
“The biggest logo trends that I see for 2017 are:
- Negative space, because it’s a clean style.
- Vintage style of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Think a 1950’s diner.
- Gradient colors combined with muted colors.
- Minimalist designs in black and white.”
– Kristen Marquet, Founder & Creative Director,
Creative Development Agency
“Simplification. Visually busy logos are being traded in for simplified marks, sans-serif fonts, and simplified color palettes. Large brands like Mastercard and Google have embraced this minimalist approach to their rebrands and you’re seeing brands young and old following suit. As Antoine de Saint Exupery famously said, ‘Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.’ ”
– Alex Caldwell, Creative Director, Brolik
“The clean abstract flat design is a style that we believe will be around for a couple more years. These icon style logos incorporate themselves very well with the flat design style of current websites. They transition well to App icons and help carry a consistent branding look throughout all marketing materials and campaigns. Unless there is a major shift in website design then we anticipate this type of logo design to last well throughout 2017 and the next couple of years. If Moore’s law is applied to logos, then I believe we’ll see a shift right around 2020.”
– Richard Blount II, Global Director, Four Winds Agency
“I see the trend toward flat design continuing to gain momentum. With multi-channel advertising no longer a luxury but a necessity, brands need a logo that is equally at home on a 4.8-inch touchscreen as they are on a 48-foot billboard. Flat design fits the bill and even globally-recognized brands the likes of Audi are susceptible to a steamrolling. I’m a fan of flat design in most instances. Its austerity challenges the designer to make the mark inherently thoughtful and pure, and not reliant on visual gimmickry. I have to say, though, there’s a part of me that’s going to miss those chrome-plated rings just a little bit.”
– Aaron Moses, Creative Director, MassMedia
“As this decade has consistently trended towards simplicity and minimalism, 2017 has spent its first half adding in a geometric edge to most designs and significant brand launches. No longer are we all about white space and simply using fonts for logos. Instead, distinct shapes and symbols are the centerpiece of 2017 branding. Two recent examples exemplify this. First, the Minnesota Timberwolves utilize sharp, jagged lines, and the reversed A / V shape for a stark, impressive geometric wolf logo. The Huffington Posts’ redesign, launched in late April 2017, still calls upon the minimalistic look, but uses a thick geometric line across the middle. Again, adding on a bit of a geometric edge to the minimalistic style adds a touch of 2017 that we’ll likely continue seeing throughout the rest of the year.”
– Flynn Zaiger, Founder & CEO, Online Optimism Design