With the visual overload we experience on a daily basis, from TV series to social media feeds and more, many designers are exploring how design can help create a calmer environment. Not only can we see many new meditation apps entering the market, but this desire for clean, soothing visuals is also finding a way into web design, fashion, and even logo design. This shift could also account for the growing emphasis on typography, as opposed to just imagery, in all areas of graphic design.
Broadly speaking, we can see a surge towards simpler designs that work in just about any context you put them in, from a billboard advertisement to a business card. It’s like the difference between a heavily patterned t-shirt and a classic, plain-colored one that you can pair with almost anything else in your closet.
Your company’s logo is a small yet crucial asset within your overall marketing strategy, having a strong impact on the way your brand is perceived. It serves to communicate who your business is and what you stand for, so getting it right is imperative.
If you’re looking to create your own logo or simply give your existing one a revamp for the new year, here are the top 2020 logo trends you should know:
Top logo trends for 2020
Rustic hand lettering
3D geometric shapes
01. Timeless wordmarks
Wordmarks (a.k.a. logotypes) are text-based logos that display the name of the company in a certain typeface. Think of Netflix or Google, for example. While you may have noticed more elaborate versions of these, this up-and-coming trend is all about simplicity. But don’t be fooled - sometimes, the simplest designs are the hardest to achieve.
To successfully create a timeless effect, take into account subtle yet crucial elements, such as kerning and leading (or in other words, the spacing between letters and rows of text). Ask yourself whether you’ll go for all-caps, no caps or some kind of mix. Which kind of font will best reflect your brand identity? You can also consider incorporating punctuation marks, like an exclamation mark or full stop at the end of your business name.
02. Contrasted typefaces
As well as brands creating their own custom typefaces, you’ll also notice many companies are implementing unique font pairings throughout their assets, from their websites to their logo designs. This logo trend is expected to continue this upcoming year.
When choosing which fonts to combine, ensure to create a big enough contrast between them. Otherwise, it can end up looking like a mistake. For a definite juxtaposition, you could combine a handwritten font with a typed one, or go for a serif font (which means it will have decorative details at the tips of each letter’s stem) together with a sans serif font (which will generally consist of clean lines).
Logo design by branding company and Wix user Sons of Smith.
03. Variable logos
While this isn’t an entirely new logo design trend, updates in technology make sure to constantly keep us on our toes. These days, screens vary in size, from the miniscule dimensions of a smartwatch to huge digital billboard videos. As a result, brands need to make sure they have various versions of their logo, ready for every possible situation. In addition, some brands are also creating separate logos to fit their individual products and appeal to their different audiences.
For example, if your logo is a wordmark, you may create a miniature version featuring just the first letter of your name, for your mobile app or your website’s favicon. Or perhaps you have a certain line of products that will work better with a pictorial version of your logo, whereas others might require a more sophisticated typographic version.
04. Altered typefaces
Continuing with the typography frenzy, this logo trend is all about taking a font and giving it a subtle, unexpected tweak. Disrupting the font in this way can not only add an extra edge and point of interest to a logo, but also help express a certain feeling that the brand wants to give off.
If you’re wondering how to design a logo in this style, here are a few ideas: picture how a single elongated letter can rise above the rest of the word to convey a sense of elegance. Or put an emphasis on a certain part of a word by joining together two letters. You could conjure a feeling of airiness by removing a particular section of a letter, like the line across a capital ‘A,’ while still keeping it legible.
Logo by designer and Wix user Jae Hyun Jeon.
05. Special characters
With so much typography in the world of logo design, it’s only natural that designers will look for more typographic symbols to include and play around with. Special characters are simply non-letter symbols within a set of glyphs. Incorporating alternative characters into your logo can be a sophisticated way of adding a touch of playfulness. Instead of going for an icon or hand-drawn image, various characters can instantly alter the way your logo is perceived.
While using an at sign (@) instead of the letter ‘A’ is, undeniably, a little cringe-worthy, it could add a comical self-aware wink to the past (but only if done really, really well!). Alternatively, incorporating an asterisk (*) can add a fun touch to your logo, while still appearing professional. If you do go along this route, make sure not to go overboard and to always stay true to your brand.
Logo by design studio and Wix user Studio&More.
06. Contemporary emblems
Emblems in logo design typically look like a badge or crest. They’re often full of detail and have a more traditional look. Think Hogwarts, Starbucks and a whole bunch of sports teams’ logos, for example.
However, amongst the 2020 logo trends, we can see many contemporary versions that involve vector illustrations, using clean lines and simple fonts. What makes them emblem-like is their round or oval shape that frames the logo, housing the brand’s name, along with an image and possibly also a catchy slogan. If you go for this style, consider creating an additional version of your logo with less details, so that it will work well on a smaller scale as well.
Logo by graphic designer and Wix user João Turvo.
07. Rustic hand lettering
This trend certainly stands out amongst all the minimalist, clean-lined logos featured above. However, a good hand lettered logo can have a powerful effect. It can express a sense of intimacy and familiarity, clearly hinting at the human hand that lies behind the creation of the logo.
While you don’t want the final result to be too messy or disordered, you can have fun freely depicting your brand’s personality. Experiment with different styles, finding the right spot between an ornate cursive look, to precise calligraphy, or the artistic stroke of a brush. Whatever you decide on, make sure that your logo is still clearly readable, even in small dimensions. There's plenty of lettering design inspiration out there to point you in the right direction.
Logo by coffee brand and Wix user Commissary.
08. Architectural forms
This logo trend draws its inspiration from the world of architecture and construction. Shapes are stripped down to their most basic forms, resulting in a look that’s reminiscent of architectural drawings, or the skeletal foundations of a building. This structure-like appearance is achieved by layering geometrical shapes on top of one another.
If you go for this style in your branding, make sure to keep it clean and simple, using geometric shapes. Too many overlapping lines can end up looking disorganized - and this trend is all about paying attention to detail. You can try out different line thicknesses to add hierarchy and emphasis, as well as incorporating your business name seamlessly into the design.
Logo by designer and Wix user Patrick Reichert-Young.
09. 3D geometric shapes
The theme of architecture and construction is taken one step further in this logo design trend. Straight lines and geometric shapes are given depth, resulting in seemingly three-dimensional compositions. As opposed to the other two-dimensional logo trends, this one gives you the chance to play around with perspective and optical illusions, inviting potential clients to take a second look.
This style can be used to depict the first letter of the brand’s name, for example, or to create a more abstract logo that reflects the brand’s personality and message. The use of a prominent contour line can result in a clean, linear icon. On the other hand, you can also experiment with color to fill in the structure and achieve a more playful aesthetic.
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