Trends

Monoline, geometry, & animation: logo design trends for 2017

Logos remain a crucial part of a brand’s identity—one that helps to show differentiation, improve customer engagement and increase recognition.

Whether existing as a wordmark, a symbol, or combination of the two, the world of logos continues to expand each day. Ultimately, these visual identifiers must respond to the design problem at hand, serving the application need while also conveying the brand’s attributes and meaning.

While there are no absolute rules to design a successful logo, it can be helpful to gauge current logo design trends in order to keep you informed about your competitors or gain inspiration. It is up to the work of a designer to design a clear picture of the possibilities of the logo as well various applications that fit the needs of a client. Here are the six rising logo design trends to watch out for in the new year to help you stay inspired.

1. Minimalism

Minimal is an overarching trend. Companies turn to friendly, straightforward san serif fonts and also opt for flat colors in recent logo design changes. Gone are the days of bevels, extra gradients and little details. Other design changes stemming from this key trend include the use of monoline designs or simple geometric shapes used as part of the visual language of the logo.

While flat design has been a trend in the past, it continues to extend into upcoming logo designs to mute colors and remove superfluous details.

Image: Mastercard logo

One example of the minimalism trend in 2016 is the Mastercard logo redesign by Pentagram. The new logo incorporates an all lowercase typeface with two bold geometric symbols, replacing the previous logo’s intersecting circles and sans serif with a drop shadow. The crisp solid look of this redesigned logo shows the benefits of using minimalism the right way—resulting in an open and modern logo that can be used for the many different applications needed.

2. Hand-drawn

Logos that have a hand-drawn or sketched-out aesthetic are another growing design trend. There is definitely something authentic, human and friendly about seeing hand drawn type or illustration in digital media which is why this trend is here to stay. Hand-drawn logos can give a handmade, homegrown or indie feel which may be what a brand wants to convey to attract its customers.

Hand-drawn Vintage Logos bundle pack.

Hand drawn style logos give a one of a kind, unique look that makes for a logo with a lot of personality.

3. Monoline

Monoline logos are logos that are made from a single line that doesn’t change in weight – it looks like it could be created from a single strand of string. The monoline provides a stripped down, minimal look which can be crafted into an intricate or simple symbol. Examples of monoline logos include Airbnb or Instagram. The benefits of monoline logo design can be its versatility and flexibility to be adapted to a variety of mediums.

Airbnb’s old logo (top) and new monoline design (bottom).

4. Geometric shapes

Geometric shapes such as circles, squares, triangles or other strong shapes have made their appearance in recent logo redesigns as well. Benefits of geometrics shapes can be a bold, simple and timeless appearance that is simple to reproduce. While simple shapes may seem a little dry on their own, with the added element of motion in many branding systems today, brands can differentiate through animating such shapes easily and help infuse more fun and life into their identity. Geometric shapes can also help simplify previous complicated visuals and help achieve a flatter look and feel with a reduced color palette.

Examples for geometrics shapes in logo design include Zendesk and Deliveroo.

5. Animation

Fubiz logo animations, from Mattrunks Studio.

As web technologies continue to improve, designers have the opportunity to explore motion graphics as a part of logo design. While this trend has less to do with aesthetics, it still gains popularity as companies use motion graphics to tell the story of their brand. This trend helps to explain why minimalism continues to play an important role in logo redesigns—minimal logos are not only perceived to be more modern but are also have more potential to be used in a variety of ways to build the brand (such as through video advertisements and other motion mediums.

6. Sans-Serif

The trend toward sans-serif fonts in logos brings to mind the example of Google’s major logo change a few years ago. Sans-Serif fonts remain popular to this day as they bring a younger, friendly and more contemporary look to a logo. They are also wonderfully legible and have a strong presence on the web. Such characteristics are valued qualities for companies trying to align their brand with a modern and relevant look, in a world that is increasingly using digital mediums to communicate and reach users.

Conclusion

While trends may come and go, it is important to note that the most important thing to keep in mind as designers is the needs of your client and the design problems at hand. Hopefully, seeing these upcoming trends will help you gain inspiration and know what to keep an eye out for.


Joanna Ngai

About the Author Joanna Ngai

Joanna Ngai is a UX Designer at Microsoft and frequently writes about her thoughts on design. You can follow her writing on Medium.