The golden arches, the swoosh, an apple with a bite taken out…the world’s largest and most successful companies have stuck by their brand since the company’s inception. Still, the aforementioned world-famous logos don’t look quite the same as they did back when these brands were not yet household names.
Trends in branding have caused even the most established businesses to evolve with the times. The digital nature of today’s world provides a dynamic environment that allows for quick changes, even for something as large-scale as a multinational brand. For small brands, making adjustments to logos, colors, and other cornerstones of traditional “branding” has never been easier. In this article, we’ll cover five recent trends in logos and branding.
1. Material with a Message
I won’t run through the list of social causes that brands have taken a stance on in recent years, but most people are aware that utilizing social justice messages in marketing has become a trend (to say the least).
While choosing sides on contentious issues may alienate some of your customers, there are some causes that just about everyone can get behind. Suffice to say that on some topics, the majority opinion is so overwhelming that taking a position isn’t controversial.
For example, June, which is celebrated as LGBT Pride Month, has been embraced by brands of all sizes. In fact, many companies have officially added Pride Month material – including colors, logos, verbiage, etc. – to their permanent brand guidelines. Having these brand standards in place can help expedite logo swaps that happen on an annual basis. When you only have a month to show it off, it helps to have a library of material ready to go!
2. Hand-Drawn Charm
When was the last time you wrote something down the old-fashioned way? I’m talking pen-to-paper, full sentences, something more than just a brief note. Can you remember that far back? Perhaps this feeling of handwriting (both reading and writing) becoming a lost art is the reason it’s starting to creep into “popular font” territory.
If you decide to go this route, the next big choice is picking out the handwriting that will represent your brand for years. There are three schools of thought on this: go fully authentic and use your own script, hire someone (like a wedding card writer, for example) who does it for a living, or go with a digital option that’s simply made to look like human writing. No matter which option you choose, the goal is the same – to form an immediate connection with your audience.
3. Neutral Color Palettes
You can find this trend everywhere you look, from logos to automobiles. We’ve officially moved past the days of highlighter greens and yellows to return to our more natural roots. Neutral colors, such as beige, grey, and even muted blues, greens, and oranges, are showing up everywhere.
Not only are these colors a little easier to look at, but they allow the product or message to be front and center. Not to mention, there’s something about ,more naturally-occurring colors that appeal to us in a deeper way.
Additionally, these neutral color palettes are often accompanied by a minimalist design. This is a good time to remind you that when it comes to layout, less is often more.
4. But Also, Gradients
This might sound like a direct contradiction to the previous section, but there’s no one-size-fits-all recipe for good branding. While neutral colors have exploded in popularity, so too has the use of gradients. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, gradient refers to a range of “position-dependent” colors. Here are a few examples to illustrate the idea.
Gradient designs are eye-catching by nature. With that being said, if you choose the wrong color combinations, it could make for a disastrous final result. So before you get to work blending and fading the colors to your specifications, make sure you experiment with several different color choices until you find the one that doesn’t just look the best, but best represents your company’s brand.
5. Geometric Shapes
Don’t worry, this isn’t going to remind you of high school math class. This geometry is much more exciting (and there are no – okay, very few – wrong answers.)
Brands across the globe are designing new logo options that utilize every shape, from simple circles to complex patterns. It has also become trendy to lay out these shapes so that they all come together to make a word or logo, even if they’re not identifiable on their own.
It’s clear that humans have had an innate relationship with geometric shapes if you look back through historical art, architecture, and even language. That it would appear in branding in the 21st century actually seems somewhat logical. It might not be for everyone, but utilizing geometry in branding is truly art with a purpose.
Regardless of your company’s industry, target audience, or size, our brand is your brand. We recognize that you have a deeply personal connection with your business. Our mission is to bring your vision to life through engaging, unique, and attractive branding, logo, and website design work.
Whether you feel like you’ve got some ideas but just can’t get to the finish line, or you’re starting from square one, get in touch today for a free consultation. We’ve helped dozens of businesses reach their full potential and would love the opportunity to do the same for you.