Creating an effective and memorable logo isn’t about following trends. It’s about distilling the unique essence and personality of your brand into an instantly recognisable emblem.
That said, great design does not exist within a vacuum! Looking at what’s working for other brands can help spark ideas that you can put your own spin on. That’s why we’ve called upon two designers, Kira Hyde of Kira Hyde Creative and Emily Ponton from Em.ly Studio to forecast the biggest logo design trends of 2020.
From emerging design techniques to new color schemes, read on for the 10 logo trends to watch in the new year.
1. Motion graphics and video
Generally, we think of logos as being still and stationary—whether they’re on product packaging or on a business card. But that’s about to change! In recent years, we’ve seen video and animation become an integral part of visual branding and that upwards trajectory is only going to continue in 2020.
“As social media calls for more engaging advertising, brands will need to push the boundaries of their campaigns,” says Emily Ponton. “There will be more video and motion (such as stop motion and gifs) being used to establish more of a connection with their audience.”
Logos are no exception! When being used on digital platforms like your website, social media posts or even your email newsletters, motion can be used to make your logo more dynamic and engaging. This can mean interactive animation like the above by Nikita Melkinov, video backgrounds or even 3D motion graphics.
The good news is, you don’t have to be a professional animator to bring this logo design trend to life. Design tools like Biteable and Render Forest allow you to turn your logo into moving gifs within minutes. Canva Pro also has its very own Animator tool that allows you to make your logo bounce, slide, fade, block or turn 3D with the click of a button.
2. The color mustard
Here’s one logo design trend that definitely cuts the mustard! This inviting color has been popping in other visual industries like fashion and interior design recently and in 2020, we’re likely to see it flow through to brand identity.
“One of the main benefits of using mustard in your logos the touch of warmth it provides,” says Kira Hyde. Indeed, it’s a strong choice for brands who want to emanate positivity, but want something more mature and sophisticated than a bright yellow.
Mustard is also a great alternative to gold for high-end brands. “While most luxe brands opt for a gold gradient, mustard will become the new gold in 2020, particularly in brand collateral where a gold foil isn't appropriate,” says Kira.
Another effective way to use mustard in your logo is as a background against white typography and icons, as seen in the above example by designer Annie Cate Sheedy.
Ready to get the look in your own logo design? Canva’s Mustard and White Outline Square logo combines on-trend mustard with a timeless minimalist layout.
3. Breaking free of the grid
In recent years, we’ve seen brands play it safe and color within the lines. But now, it’s time to let loose! Of course, there’s a time and place for using a grid to guide your logo designs—it ensures your composition is symmetrical and visually balanced. But in 2020, we’re likely to see a move towards more abstract logo designs that push the boundaries.
“There’s more focus on loose design, breaking out of the structured grid and allowing the design to have more of a ‘free’ composition,” says Emily Ponton
So, how do you incorporate this design trend without being left with a messy and chaotic logo? Even though you’re not using a traditional grid, it’s all about making sure the visual elements you use are distributed in an aesthetically pleasing way—as demonstrated in the above logo for New Black by Alex Tass “There is more focus on the hierarchy of elements and negative space that make the overall design appear more anchored,” Emily explains.
Want to take out the guesswork and create an unstructured logo that is still appealing? Canva’s Purple and Yellow Daycare logo has done all the heavy lifting for you.
4. Custom type
The thing about visual trends is that once they become too oversaturated, they tend to lose their effectiveness. We’ve seen this happen with brush script fonts and extremely minimalist logos over the last few years.
“There’s been so much change with big brands going down the more simplistic route, everything is beginning to look very much the same,” says Emily Ponton.
When this happens, it’s time for innovative brands to go back to the drawing board and tap into what makes them unique. Using a custom font is an excellent way to do this.
“After our bout of minimalism, brands will be looking to establish their point of difference again and will include more custom type into their branding,” says Emily. “Including some elemental, custom typography will allow brands to tap back into their personality.”
In the above example by Allan Peters, you can see how custom typography can breathe fresh air into visual branding and make it stand out from the pack.
Canva Pro allows you to upload your own custom brand fonts and even add them to a brand kit for easy access. However, if you don’t have a budget for custom design, our free font library has more than 500 different fonts—so you’re sure to find one that feels different and unique. You can also use our editing tools to adjust the line height and letter spacing and make it your own.
Mint is another color trend set to take centre stage in 2020. This soft green hue is an excellent way to give your brand a refreshing and uplifting feel.
Interestingly, mint was popular a couple of years ago, but took the backseat to its close relative, teal. But now, it’s set to make a triumphant return to the design world. “In 2017 so many brands were using mint green in their logos,” says Kira Hyde. “Now, mint is making a comeback!
One of the major selling points of mint is how versatile it is. “It's fresh, fun and perfect for health and wellness brands, home maintenance and DIY and lifestyle brands,” says Kira. However, you can also see how it can also be used effectively in the tech world, in the above example for messaging app Ping by Ashley Zimiga.
Mint can easily hold its own as the dominant color in logos (especially when paired with a white typeface) However, it also works well as a secondary color and looks particularly great when paired with the other color du jour, mustard—as can be seen in the above example for The Crew by Andrea Hoerndler.
It’s easy being green when you’re got a beautiful template like Canva’s Mint Green Circle Icon Logo to get you started.
6. Responsive logos
Functional and user-friendly design is something that never goes out of style. We’ve seen this with the ever-growing popularity of responsive websites and now, we’re beginning to see it with logos, too. “Responsive logos are a natural transition for brands wanting to shake up and revolutionise their industry within the digital space,” says Kira Hyde.
“They’re bold, powerful and really showcase a business’ innovation and expertise as leaders in their fields.”
Put simply, a responsive logo is one that adapts to different screen sizes. Generally, this will require a designer to create versions at various dimensions, to optimize their performance. That way, whether you’re viewing it on desktop, smartphone or a tablet, it will always look its best—as you can see in the above example for Treble by Stanislav Levishchev.
“We'll be seeing these used in apps, tech companies, Forbes-worthy businesses, and of course on a smaller scale with creative agencies that want to show off the trend as a new service,” says Kira.
That said, anyone can jump on the responsive logo trend and it’s an excellent way to ensure your brand stands out as being polished and professional. The best way to use this in your own designs is to find out the correct size for that device, and use Canva’s custom dimensions tool to create a logo that fits.
7. The color lilac
Gone are the days when designing a feminine logo had to mean being ‘pretty in pink.’ Lilac, a pale violet hue, is here to give purple a comeback in modern logo design. “For years, there was a fear around using shades of purple in feminine brands, as it wasn’t seen to have the girl power needed for female-focused design,” says Kira. However, this is exactly what makes lilac so effective—it’s less ‘in your face’ feminine and hasn’t been overused in the way pink has.
“Purple is for those brands who want the feminine touch, without the 'boss babe' image,” says Kira. “Lilac colour palettes will be for the underdogs, the relaxed and the brands with a point of difference they are dedicated to sharing (without the fluff!)”
Lilac can be used to uplift and add a feminine touch to more muted tones like grey, and can also look dreamy when paired with other pastels like baby blue. However, you can also make lilac the main event in your logo design, like designer Meral Avdani has done in the above example for Garden.
Want to give your logo some lilac love? Canva’s Lavender Circles Wedding Logo puts a more pastel purple spin on this color trend.
8. Thin lines
Despite being slightly oversaturated, the minimalism design trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Rather, it will continue to evolve and show up in different ways. While we tend to associate minimalism with sparse compositions and monochrome color schemes, we’re likely to instead see it manifest through the use of linear elements and shapes in the near future.
“Thin lines are definitely going to be a new trend in 2020,” says Kira Hyde. “They’re delicate, classy and guide the eyes to create an experience for the viewer.”
While thick, blocky lines can demand attention, thinner lines give your brand an elegant and calming feel. You can see this in action in the above logo design for Saga Mountain Workshop by Dan Amalsy. Used both in the shapes and typography, the thin lines give this layout a serene and sophisticated feel.
The thin line trend doesn’t have to be used with a monochrome background to achieve a minimalistic feel. Canva’s Blue Line Hipster Logo uses a classic navy, but can be customized with any color you like.
9. Rainbow gradients
It’s no secret that the use of gradients in logo design has been huge in the tech world lately. After being a mainstay in 80s corporate design, it’s had a modern resurgence and has been used by major brands like Spotify and Telstra. But now, the trend is evolving and making its way into different industries.
“This is something that our top telecommunication companies have been doing for years, but they are finally making their way into the mainstream,” says Kira Hyde. “Now it's time for the new brands to launch with it.”
“Gradients create impactful definition within logos, they’re pleasing to the eye and they’re a mood-booster, thanks to the wave-like attributes,” says Kira. As we move into 2020, using gradients no longer has to mean using bright, primary colors, or sticking to a two-hue color scheme. The new iteration of gradients means using an array of colors to create an almost rainbow effect. You can also tone the colors back to pastels to create a calming, almost opalescent aesthetic, like the above example for Universal Shaders by Best Served Bold design.
Want to ease into using the gradient trend in your own designs? Canva’s Black Event Coordinator’s template uses a complimentary, three-shade palette you can easily make your own.
10. Symbolic shapes and icons
Using symbols in logo design is nothing new—brands like Nike, Apple and Starbucks have been doing ir for decades. But in 2020, we’re likely to see the use of symbolic shapes and icons become more conspicuous and seamlessly blended into the rest of the design. Successful brands will be using this technique to communicate not what they do, but why they do it.
“Gone are the days of literal icons, such as tools for handymen),” says Kira Hyde. “Instead brands are looking inward and creating icons that capture their bigger purpose and what their company stands for.”
Symbols and icons can be incorporated into the typography of your logo, for a more subtle effect. The above logo by Pete Varsvali is a clever example of this, as the letter ‘B’ doubles as an icon of a bird. You can also work symbolism into your logo design by using it as a background.
Canva’s Pink and White Bakery Logo template uses the icon of the baguette to create a text box for the typography. However, you can easily replace it with your own icon from our extensive elements library to make it appropriate for your brand.
By taking inspiration from these logo design trends, you can create a logo that attracts and connects with your brand’s ideal audience—in 2020 and beyond.