6 Logo Design Trends of 2020 (and 5 Timeless Classics)

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6 Logo Design Trends of 2020 and 5 Timeless Classics

Branding is a craft that’s constantly evolving. Every year brings with it a new wave of logo design trends and this year is no different. In fact, we can’t help but notice a few styles are popping up again and again despite industry or sector. Periodically, we’ll take a look at what’s occurring in the world of graphic design and report our findings.

Here’s what we’ve determined to be the 6 biggest logo design trends of 2020. We’ve also included 5 classic elements that we don’t see going anywhere.

The examples below were made for clients but never used, and the names of clients were changed.

Logo Design Trends for 2020
1. Motion Graphics/Animation
2. Responsive Sizes
3. Thin Lines
4. Retro/Throwback Designs
5. Emblems/Badges
6. Mascot/Character Development

And some oldies but goodies…
1. Simplistic/Clean
2. Playfulness
3. Customized Fonts
4. Geometric Shapes
5. Negative Space  

Motion Graphics/Animation

People have been animating logos for some time. Why shouldn’t they? Our eyes gravitate towards things that move. A few years ago, Google unveiled a new animated logo. At the time, it raised eyebrows because it didn’t just move, shake or fade in; it told a story. When Google unveiled its new voice search feature, they used their logo to convey the functionality. The familiar, colorful letters morphed into an equalizer that reacted to your voice as you posed your query.

Even a subtle gif animation can help breathe life into your brand. If you’re looking to share your brand story, an animated logo can help engage your audience. 

A simple animation can breathe life and personality into a logo.

Responsive Sizes

There was a time when your logo was treated like a sacred cow. It was unheard of to alter, change or edit your logo in any way. But today, a logo needs to adapt depending on the device that it’s being viewed on. Not all logos scale well. A tagline that looks great on a desktop computer may be illegible on an iPhone. A logo may shine on a tablet, but the colors may bleed together when viewed on smartwatch. Your logo is the cornerstone of your brand. It makes sense to create versions designed specifically to be viewed at each breakpoint on any device.

Responsive logo design
Designing a logo to be viewed on desktop, tablet and mobile devices ensures your brand always looks its best.

Thin Line Designs

We’ve seen this trend coming for the past few years. Though it seems to be evolving. While thick lines can demand attention, thinner lines give your brand a sense of airiness and light. The past few years have seen an influx of logos utilizing bright colors and gradients. Thin line designs offer a clean, bright alternative.

To provide yourself options for printing, we recommend designing lighter and heavier line weight versions of your logo. Just as with a font, you’d be surprised to discover how often a slightly thicker weight can increase legibility.

Thin line logos
Logos using thin lines can give a sense of both weight and airiness.

Retro/Throwback Designs

Great design never goes out of style. Retro logos are often used because they play on consumers’ sense of nostalgia. They are also fun for designers to create. Throwback designs solve problems for current clients while giving a shout out to a past influence or design inspiration. Everything from 1930s illustrations to 1950s “Rat Pack” color schemes are at your disposal to draw from.

An example of retro design style.
Retro logo designs are fun throwbacks to another time.

Emblems/Badges

An emblem is a logo that combines images and text to function as a unified symbol. A badge/emblem logo helps to develop a tone that can be easily recognized and quickly identified. It can also include a lot of information; company name, establishment date, industry, and more.

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It’s no wonder emblems have been favorites for so many—including government agencies and small businesses alike.

Emblem logo example.
Emblem logos convey the sense of an institution or agency.

Mascots/Character Development

Mascots and cartoon characters can be a powerful emotional draw when used in digital marketing. It isn’t surprising that they’re so widely used by companies—not just sports teams. People connect with brands that exude personality and for good or bad, people assign personality to animals. Animals are probably the most popular theme for mascot logos. Whether used to convey strength and fierceness or friendliness and warmth, mascots help connect your audience to your brand.

Mascot logo example.
Mascot logos can be fun and playful or serious and competitive (think sports teams).

Old Favorites

Beyond the logo design trends we’ve noticed for 2020, there are some design styles that never grow old. These timeless classics are favorites here at Trueline.

Simplistic and Clean

Minimalistic iconography paired with a sans serif font is the definition of classic elegance. A simple and clean design is the clearest way to communicate any message. Sometimes the best thing a designer can do is to step out of the way and let the font speak for itself. A minor tweak or extra accent can make a logo much more powerful. Sometimes it’s just as important to know when to stop as to know when to keep pushing.

Example of clean, simplistic logo design.
Clean, minimalist design often offers simple solutions.

Playfulness

Offering a whimsical contrast to the seriousness behind modernist design, we have playful logos. A logo should speak directly to the brand’s image and personality. That means that sometimes the silliest or most ridiculous execution is the most appropriate. As a designer, it’s fun to develop a logo that emits a sense of warmth and humor. It’s even better when it brings a smile to the face of the viewer.

Playful logo example.
Playfulness and humor helps give personality to a brand.

Customized Fonts

The best way to cater a design to a specific customer is to create custom letterforms from scratch. This ensures the logo is one of a kind. A personalized logotype helps a company stand apart from the field. How do you scream “My company is different!” when you’re using a font that came loaded on your computer?

Customized font example.
A personalized font tells people that a brand is unique and one-of-a-kind.

Geometric Shapes

Another logo design trend that we find irresistible is the use of geometric shapes. Clean lines, simple shapes and an overarching sense of symmetry make these logos so attractive. There’s also a lot of psychology at play in geometric logos. Circular shapes imply completion, perfection, and infinity. Square logos on the other hand give a sense of stability and balance. Triangles give one the feeling of power, strength and masculinity. A lot of thought goes into any logo design, but geometry gives a designer so much more to consider.

Example of a logo using geometric shapes.
Basic shapes can help tell a story.

Negative Space

A logo can use negative space to become part of the design. When used creatively, the negative space will produce a compelling image that offers dual meanings. What at first looks like a series of random shapes, may in fact be part of a larger whole. It’s great when a logo makes you think about what you’re seeing. It’s utterly amazing when it makes you think about what you’re not.

Example of logo using negative space.
The space between elements helps to define a brand.

That’s it!

Logo design trends come and go, but by utilizing these techniques, your logo can be timeless. Whether you’re looking to revamp your existing brand or need to start from the ground up, Trueline can help. We specialize in creating brands as unique as the companies behind them. Contact us today to get started!