Logo trends are rarely static for long, and 2020 is already ushering in some new ideas to the spotlight.
These upcoming trends are both familiar and groundbreaking, serving as an apt reflection of the times. In this new decade, people are eager to move forward with a fond eye to the past.
In terms of design, it’s all about blending modern techniques with nostalgic elements. The new decade is drawing from the 1980s with chrome and neon.
You’ll even see traces as far back as the 1930s with black-and-white images that feel like they have been drawn in ink.
These logos are popping up alongside modern logos with complex 3D gradients and advanced animation techniques.
Here are the top logo design trends that are already setting the stage in 2020.
1. Retro Style Logos
It’s hard to believe that the 1980s were 40 years ago. It’s been so long that the synthesized, over the top trends that defined the decade are finally making a comeback.
Therefore, don’t be surprised if logo trends draw inspiration from the 1980s. You can expect to see throwback logos aplenty featuring ostentatious chrome, bold neon, and pixels galore.
These retro logos are a good choice because people like thinking about the past fondly. That’s why there is a resurgence in arcade cabinets and cassette tapes are making an inexplicable comeback.
You can see retro logos taking various forms. Some use iconography from the 1980s while others rely on typography that is inspired by the era.
2. Animated Logos
Animated logos are hardly new, but you will see increasingly complex variations in 2020. Logos are incorporating multiple animated elements.
In some cases, designers have managed to blend 2D and 3D animation for an innovative look. These logos will continue to push the boundaries, embracing the latest technologies available.
Animated logos serve a practical marketing purpose. Through complex animation, logos can actually tell a story.
This story will hold the attention of viewers for longer as they study the logo to make sense of the working parts.
These logos are no longer relegated to the online space. With new technologies, brands have more opportunities to display animated logos online and off.
3. 3D Gradients
Gradients have been popular for a while now, but we are going to see this trend going to the next level in 2020.
Gradients work by taking a group of colors and turning them into a spectrum of gradually changing hues. With today’s advanced graphic design technology, those gradients are going 3D.
3D enables gradients to obtain even more depth. In particular, look out for tapered gradients that come to a central point. 3D gradients are difficult to print, but that’s okay. 3D gradients are perfect for screens, which means they will be spectacular on phones or tablets.
4. Vintage Cartoon Logos
In 2020, we are starting to see design styles that call all the way back to the 1930s. This vintage look has a handcrafted appeal with a hand-drawn, line-art style. We live in a fast-paced world where everything is digital.
The contrast of something handcrafted is comforting by comparison. With these characteristics, it is easy to see why this trend is becoming popular. You can expect to see plenty of brands embrace this notion.
Sometimes, you can only move forward by looking back.
5. Funky Custom Typography
Graphic design is not merely about images. It’s also about words.
That is why typography is such an important part of the 2020 design trends. Text in a logo is no longer an afterthought. Instead, it is a critical focal point with funky custom typography.
Brands are foregoing the standard fonts by having graphic designers build custom variations. In this manner, the typography becomes as distinctive as the brand itself.
You might see typography that is distressed, inverted or mirrored. Some logos may even feature scattered letters that don’t read in a straight line.
As you can imagine, the options will be nearly endless.
6. Responsive Logos
It used to be that logos were used primarily in print media. In 2020, logos are more often viewed digitally. That’s why we are starting to see graphic design trends that rely more on the dynamic nature of the virtual world.
These logos are responsive. In other words, they respond to the environment where they are viewed.
To this end, expect to see logos designed exclusively for online viewing. Some logos will feature extremely delicate designs with thinner lines than ever before. These thin lines are not able to be printed traditionally, but they are beautifully responsive online where print restrictions don’t exist. This trend could represent the overall direction of design in the coming decade.
While some logos in 2020 are increasingly complex, others are going completely in the opposite direction.
This world is frustratingly complex sometimes, and many people feel overwhelmed. To cope, people crave a return to the basics.
That’s why you will see plenty of logos in 2020 that look hand-drawn, raw and imperfect. Instead of the clean lines and sharp edges of computer designs, these simplified variations look like they have been lifted from a sketchbook.
Not every brand will want the homegrown or organic look, but you can expect to see a resurgence of simpler logos.
In 2020, these logos may even be grittier than before with rough sketches and ballpoint pen designs. Although these designs are fundamentally simple, they also offer depth and personality.
8. Unusual Layouts
Some logo designs will look to the past in 2020, but there are still plenty of opportunities to explore new ground.
With this in mind, do not be surprised to see logos with some pretty unusual layouts in the coming year. This can manifest in a couple of different ways.
In some cases, logos are relying on layered layouts to provide depth to the design. By layering the elements of the layout, it is possible to create shadows or highlights.
Colors can be mixed. The different elements of the layout can come together to form a bigger, unexpected picture.
9. Gradient Logos
We have already talked about 3D gradients, but don’t write off standard gradients just yet.
Gradients have been popular in logos for a couple of years, and there is no sign that this popularity is waning.
If anything, gradients will take on a more sophisticated vibe in 2020 thanks to new design techniques and logo sensibilities.
In the past, gradients relied heavily on bright, primary colors or simplified color schemes. This is not the case in 2020.
This year, look for gradients with a multitude of colors. Some may even have the appeal of a rainbow. In other logos, the gradients may be in pastels to create a distinctive, calming aesthetic.
The Bottom Line
There are plenty of exciting design trends for logos in 2020. With a mix of the old and new, logo trends in 2020 are shaping up to be pretty interesting.
Use your design sense, embrace the best of these trends and discover the potential for any logo in the new decade.