It is quite hard to speak about logo trends for a year. At Reynolds and Reyner we consider that logo or rather branding is to be developed for at least 5 years. It is to be modern, relevant and trendy for 5 years. What is better is to set the very trends by ourselves. For instance in the far 2012 we had made Waldo Trommler Paints project, while in 2017 the bright design became one of the 5 key trends under the version of White Rabbit. It means we had sensed the trend 5 years before it became modern and was focused by reviews.
And the second thing to realize when reading the article, is speaking about logo design is not quite correct, while branding or branding system/brand identity appears to be a more adequate definition, i.e. logo plus corporate identity that are supposed to cooperate. The very above stated Waldo Trommler Paints project has got quite a modest 3-letter logo with pink background, while it is the bright identity combined with a simple logo that makes the project branding special in total. Due to what the 10 key trends in branding development are as follows:
The first trend, which we expect to be relevant in 2018, is based on colorful weird-shaped planes combined with the unusual color schemes. Pink with pale-green, grey-purple with dirty-yellow, coral with pale-purple and other complicated colors’ combinations of such kind together with flat- and angular geometry will be rather current during the next year.
We can easily follow the tendency of transition from the original, often quite thoroughly developed, remarkable logos with harmonious signs to the simple, custom and even conservative letterings. In fact it is a simple shift away from individuality to the classic scripts and complete loss of self-expression. The tendency is quite interesting and seems to be strange, but it is resulted from the so-called self-denial principal. It is that case when those brands most likely are super-experts and opinion-leaders in the field, focus on the content and the examination. They reveal the real essence of the brand and the values it is precious with; not by means of visual character but due to other branding techniques, with the function dominating over design in a strict and clear way.
From the example of Graphcore company one can see how well cognition in geometry of the font signs works, especially when followed and intensively developed within the design of all brand components. Such logos provoke the necessary uniqueness, own nature and individuality, declaring it is enough applying hundred times tired typefaces. But you must not think that you can just make some letters angular or remove some details from the others, there must be certain pattern and logic in each case, or otherwise there is a thread to lose the concept foresight and its idea.
One of the most widely spread trends 2017 super-bold font logos will still be relevant in 2018. Each gives their own explanation and reasoning of such graphic decision. In Kickstarter case they seem to hint with the logo that crowdfunding platform helps to gather the ultimate quantity of backers for a successful product launching. So the updated Kickstarter is presently quite fatty, it is bold and why not?
Simple geometric figures forming logo puzzles is quite a widespread technique. In case with Zendesk it is Z letter consisting of triangles and semi-circles. A very simple still very graphic technique allowing to use logo elements to brand any objects almost in any possible way. Lettering is surely to reflect the same features as the sign in a very distinct way. The trend is not as if special but simplicity makes the perception much easier especially in case with the wide audience.
One of the most attractive and unusual trends we can follow is appliance of the same thickness lines, i.e. all the graphic logo components are equally thick, with super-hardly bright colors applied to almost bother the eye. The trend reveals in some way the old-school 16-bit graphics, but performed in pop-art style.
A very interesting technique is applying a code in logo designer role. Writing generative and data-randomizing programs to get creative pattern textures and thus achieve uniqueness of the graphic decision. In case with SSE branding there was a simple program written allowing anyone get various options of letters’ presentation of different objects, lines and points by only moving the sliders and changing numerical values and variables in seconds. It is a great example when branding can be integral even with the logo changeable. We like to apply the technique in our projects to break the stereotypes.
With the example of one of our not yet published projects the previously and furthermore relevant trend is the generation of graphics from various styles and concepts, and what is better from incompatible things. Engraving in classic interpretation, bas-relieves, classic drawing and painting in a new presentation and from the new vision angle and all this is on the edge of art and absurd. By breaking the habitual perception of things we try to say: “Let’s look at the world in a new way”.
Overlay of wordmarks, signs, and logos in general with illustrations, photographs and all possible graphics, creating the unified composition which does stand as the logo, is another trend of the next few years, i.e. the decision is not just to place a sign above or below the lettering or elsewhere, but build the wordmark above the graphics and declare: “this is the logo”. Seriously speaking, the ordinary sense of logo got vague long ago with the new service technologies development and in terms of goods consuming. So the understanding will tend to change furthermore, while logos become more unusual and strange, since there are too many classic decisions by the rules throughout.
By Formula 1 rebranding example one can totally estimate the way the agency delivered the racing spirit into the unified informative style, by collecting the things we liked so much in computer games. The graphics on the edge of digital retro and up-to-date design understanding has absorbed the heritage and gave a new hearty punch toward its development by preserving the origin and aiming to the new at the same time. To date bind to the roots tends to be more relevant to reflect the heritage importance; to gloss over and in enrich the heritage and thus providing a greater visual value and ground for growth and development.
Within the following 5 years we expect for even older solutions, bolder but brilliant, strange but balanced. The solutions you would get a ‘D’ for at design school. We have to break the rules to be outstanding. Since all the things according the rules have already been invented. You are making a project, developing a cool concept and sooner or later similar decision is certain to happen. So, the main trend 2018 is boldness. Not the half-an-hour boldness drawn on a sheet of paper, but the boldness requiring months’ searches and investigations.