What logo and branding trends are going to define 2017? Today, we’re gazing into the future at nine popular logo trends. From simplification to unique typography to animation, these are what we’re predicting will be hot in the new year.
1. Broken letters
Stencils? Spray paint? Not quite. In 2017 we can expect designers to take broken letterforms far beyond their utilitarian nature.
Take the Scala logo, for example. Scala is a fund advisory business which advertises their ability to elevate businesses. Designers at the branding agency Bond ran with the idea of elevation by “breaking” the letter A in Scala and introducing a rising diagonal line.
The broken letter trend doesn’t (and won’t) stop there. Pentagram breaks the letter “O” in Open View to visually communicate openness, and Bravo uses broken letterforms in the Fuzzie logo to hint at stitching along the seams of a teddy bear.
2. Form simplification
There are messy people, and there are clean people. We love both, but if logo and branding trends are any indication, it’s time to make room for cleanliness.
In the recent Mastercard and airbnb rebrands, visually busy logos were exchanged for streamlined, simple designs.
In addition to rebrands, simplification is showing up in new logos. Take, for example, the extremely minimal and spacious branding for The Athens Recorder or Labor’s neatly organized logo and packaging.
One of the famous teachings of renowned graphic designer Paul Rand was to ask ourselves how to visually show as little as possible while still communicating a message. For instance: How much of the letter “Y” do we really need to expose to let the viewer know it’s a “Y?” The answer: less than you thought. Cropping is one way to embrace this idea of subtraction, and it’s coming back in a big way.
Design agency Casa Rex used cropping to create a signature look for lifestyle and culture brand Risca Faca. Triboro uses cropped the Punk logo well off the page (totally punk!). Lastly, Experimental Jetset and Pentagram join the cropping party with branding that extends into the empty space beyond the print material.
4. Color palette simplification
Noticed how there’s less and less color in logos lately? If not, it may be because simple color palettes actually create the sense of more color! This reductionist method of design gives each individual color the space to shine.
Chase created an recognizable blue expanse in their logo for Blinkbox. Pentagram did the same with the color red for Film Independent. Meanwhile, DIA developed an intriguing two-tone analogous color palette for Tomorrow International, and Hey Studio designed a memorable rainbow of six bright, saturated colors.
5. Photographic textures
Here’s something new: abstract photographic textures in logo and branding. This is a quick and easy way to add personality to a brand, and there are a lot of designers today doing it well.
Let’s look at Franklyn’s logotype for the Cherchez la Femme exhibition. We see photographic hints of grass, flowers and smoke, all of which culminate in a one-of-a-kind abstract image.
On the other hand, Mucho’s Valdeuvas logo incorporates a photographic wood texture to evoke a rustic feel, while Hey’s branding for ArtFad goes to the extreme by creating geometric containers that frame a rotating cast of photographic textures. (Did someone say geometry?)
Geometry has probably been trending since before you were born, but that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about ways designers are pushing the envelope today.
Designers at Spin replicate an arched line in multiples of 90 degrees to construct a geometric logotype for Dig Delve. Use of shapes is seen in the Charlie Smith Design logo for Street Kitchen and A Practice for Every Day Life’s logo for Performa 15. Meanwhile, the Wallpaper Store’s branding places a simple red circle over a repeating geometric pyramid pattern.
Let’s face it: Translating handmade design to computers has always been a challenge, requiring scanners, USB tablets, vector tracing and more. Why bother with that clutter when you can just create a fully digital design? The answer is recently coming into focus: Hand-drawn designs feel fresh, comforting, human and grounded. And they’re worth the effort!
The typography in the Byron logo joins the hand-drawn style of the accompanying illustrations, creating a welcoming, down-to-earth aesthetic. This same aesthetic is also seen and felt in the Grand Banks and Moi Helsinki logos. In contrast, the “vandalization” of the Nike logo captures the feeling of crude street graffiti and art in NYC.
None of these feelings could be captured quite as well with a purely digital design.
8. Pattern & repetition
Humans gravitate towards familiarity, and one simple way to evoke that feeling with design is through pattern and repetition.
Franklyn elaborates on the symbol for Capsule to create a capsule pattern. Made by Alphabet introduces a simple blue geometric pattern into the branding for Dressing the Screen. And Spin revamps the preexisting Ministry of Sound logo into a repeating pattern that plays with the letter M.
Build brand recognition through pattern recognition and designs customers will never forget.
9. Moving parts
We’ve saved the best for last! One of the most exciting trends on our radar is branding that introduces both logo design variation in printed materials and web-based animated GIFs.
Notice how the puzzle-like rectangles of the Cha.ology logo slide into different positions, creating a wide array of logo lock-ups for different uses. Similarly, the DNA markers in the 23andMe logo change color and position constantly throughout the branding. Don’t be afraid to move around in 2017!
Here’s to logo trends in 2017!
Are you seeing the future yet? We are and it looks bright. Don’t forget to keep up with these trends as they grow and evolve in the coming year.