A new year means fresh starts, more opportunities, and most importantly: New logo trends. To get the inside scoop, we’ve quizzed some of our favorite graphic designers from around the world and polled our own in-house designers to predict what the biggest logo trends will be for 2019. (Hint: The 80s are back!)
While a logo is the face of a company, that doesn’t mean it has to stay the same for all eternity. In fact, not only do Fortune 500 companies use color psychology to increase the effectiveness of their logos, but powerhouse brands like Apple, Google, Instagram, and Coca-Cola have all updated their logos in order to adapt to the times. Giving your own logo a refresh could be the very thing your brand needs to captivate your audience's attention in the new year.
Whether you’ve owned your business for a long time, or have been commissioned to design a cutting-edge logo as a freelancer, keeping on top of logo trends can help you stay at the cutting edge. Below we look at 10 trends that we are predicting will be popular for 2019. We’ve also created bespoke templates so you can test each trend out for yourself!
One way to stand out against the competition is to give your logo a three-dimensional feel. This year, we will see logos that appear to be lifted off the page. The reason for the popularity of semi-flat logos is because these types of logos look particularly strong online.
Designers create this aesthetic by using gradient colors to create a shadow, combined with a clever use of angles. Part of the success of this type of design—particularly in the technology sphere—is that it conveys that your brand is modern, up-to-date, and fast adapting.
We’re predicting that the use of gradients will be a massive trend in 2019. While Instagram chose this look for their latest rebrand back in 2016, it’s only continued to grow to since. By blending colors, graphic designers are able to choose from a wider color palette, creating something unique and fresh.
Gradients are often used to create bold statements and designers use bright colors to elicit emotion. For bonus points, gradient colors are easily adapted into moving GIFs (as seen above) and videos which are perfect for marketing your logo in the digital sphere.
Quick tip: When choosing a gradient color palette, don’t choose colors randomly. Instead, opt for colors that are close together on the color wheel. This way they can bleed into each other seamlessly. Here’s an example below.
The 80s-inspired logo
In fashion, there’s a commonly-held belief that what was once old is new again, and the same can be said for design trends. Much like big hair and shoulder pads, graphic design in the 80s was comprised of bold colors, striking patterns and a firm belief in maximalism. And in 2019, it’s back.
Lilli Collingwood, a creative consultant from Social Cut believes that the 80s are going to have a big moment in the design world this year. “I think that we're recycling through the years and the 80's hasn't been explored again in recent years, so this might come back around in 2019.”
It’s hard to think of a textbox as a booming design trend, mostly because they aren’t necessarily a new idea. However, Cat van der Werff, an in-house designer from Canva explains how versatile this trend can be and why people will be adopting this trend for 2019. “Text boxes allow for lots of usage over images. This also means that the box colors can be changed, bold and a little bit retro.”
From the examples above, it’s easy to see how text boxes serve as borders around the lettering, allowing for the font—and the business name—to become more prominent against any type of background. The border brings the text together, which also makes it easier to use various types of fonts in one logo.
Geometric Shape Logos
In graphic design, shapes communicate different meanings. For example, curved, continuous edges convey ease and relaxation, while geometric shapes (think circles, squares, and triangles) communicates structure, organization, and efficiency. Which for any business, are positive attributes to bring to mind.
Try incorporating geometric shapes into a minimalist format to attain a modern and sleek logo that will be recognizable on many different types of mediums.
Perhaps due to its nostalgic appeal, freelance graphic designer, Sony Nirvana, believes that neon logos are about to have a renaissance. This could also be tied to the fact that the 80s are bound to be popular this year as well, with neon colors tied into this trend. Whether you actually choose to adapt your logo into 3D neon sign (like the famous golden arches of McDonald’s) or decide to keep your logo primarily for print and digital collateral, neon is an effective way to be seen due to its statement font and color palette. “Neon, this would be the next trend in design in 2019. Everyone loves the vibes and the vibrancy of the neon look,” says Sony.
The single-image logo
Instagram, Dropbox, Pepsi, Apple and Target have one thing in common (apart from being famous international brands, of course.) And this is the fact they use a single image as their logo. While this can seem like a risky choice—people may ask: What is the brand called?—with enough marketing and brand awareness, a single-image logo has the potential to be more effective than the use of words. Especially with more than half of the world being visual learners according to Forbes.
According to James Sutton, owner and designer at STUDIO LDN, these types of logos are also effective due to how busy consumers are: “A picture says a thousand words to an ever emerging time-poor audience. Brands will only have two or three seconds to win over the intelligent and conscious consumer we have today.”
Hand drawn logos
In a world where graphic design has become highly digitalized and enhanced, Andy Kahle from AndyK Design believes that this will mean that businesses will push back with more subtle, vintage style logos in order to distinguish themselves. This includes handwritten designs. “Bold and highly customized but still simple is the current direction my clients are heading in. This includes a simple use of colors, hand-drawn lines.”
For small businesses and creative companies, handwritten logos allow the customer to feel a sense of authenticity. Eddie Lobanovskiy from Unfold also believes that clients and customers are “tired of looking at busy things.” Thus, a hand-drawn logo with plenty of white space is the perfect antidote.
Fine Line Logos
Inspired by minimalism, the use of fine lines is another trend that will dominate in 2019. Fine lines will prove to be a popular choice as they are not only versatile but also, as the building blocks of design,they can be manipulated and adapted easily. Much like geometric shapes, lines communicate emotion and information.
As seen in the examples above, straight lines provide feelings of order and structure. They have also been overlapped in order to create an element of depth. In the second example, fine curved lines have been used to communicate the idea of the ocean, which also provides a sense of calm and clarity.
Bubble lettering logos
Modern typography with a bit of personality: What more could you want for your logo? Perfect for a simple design, bubble lettering allows your audience to see personality from your brand. It also provides a slightly retro feel, communicating that you’ve been around for a while (even if you haven’t).
Bubble lettering found popularity in the early 90’s thanks to hit television sitcoms like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Full House and now that it's spent some time in the shadows, designers are predicting that it’s about to be the star of the show again.
“Bubble type isn't commonly used anymore, so this trend might come back around in 2019 for designers trying to stand out and be unique, even if it isn't as striking as bold text,” says Lilli from Social Cut.