With 2015 well underway, the team here at Bonsai Media thought it was about time to share with you all what we believe the next 12 months will hold for logo design, highlighting some of the trends and tendencies we expect to see over the coming year. Some of these trends are based on what we’ve seen since the beginning of the new year, some are natural continuations of where logo design was at last year and some are educated guesses and perhaps even a little a bit of optimistic thinking. So have a read, we hope you find them useful.
1. Corporates are still playing it safe
A quick look at the big logo releases this year and one thing becomes obvious pretty quickly: big corporate companies are still playing it very safe with their branding. For example, in January alone, the new Smith Optics logo, the revised LG logo, the new Transunion and the new Singtel logo (just to name a few) have all stayed with a tried-and-tested approach. And while all of these logos are nicely designed, cautious design can be a good thing or a bad thing. Being safe means your brand won’t alienate any parts of your potential market, but it also means you might not connect with them either; many companies that use very safe design when creating a logo miss an opportunity to tell their customers about what they stand for.
2. Pure type is back
Of good news to all great designers is a return to popularity of the pure type logo. Featuring nothing but a beautiful typeface cleverly laid out (usually highly-personalised), pure type logos can fall in the playing-it-safe category, but they don’t have to. When they are well done this style of logo is almost unbeatable, and the good news for business owners is that they almost never date. So that’s where the smart money is this year.
3. Flat Design is big
Interestingly, for the first time this year, we expect to see more print design that has been influenced by digital than digital design that has been influenced by print. The most obvious example of this is the flat design that has been so popular since the release of IOS 7, and given its minimalist approach it has resulted in some beautifully simple logo designs. With it’s neat, iconic and stripped back look, flat design isn’t exactly new, but it is definitely having a well-deserved resurgence.
It’s interesting to note that sub trends are emerging here, as designers adopt this general approach but look to ways to differentiate it. One that we’ve noted is a mock screen-printed appearance, that we really like, with interesting overlapping colours. We have also seen several logos containing simple Asian-influenced cartoon graphics, with fun rounded type, kitsch child-like characters (think Hello Kitty or Kerrope Frog) and bright pastels. And while these delightfully naïve logos might not be suitable for all businesses – banking, real estate and public libraries for example – they really are great fun.
4. Designers are hipsters
It will probably come as no surprise to most of us, but there are one or two designers out there who could be considered slightly hipster, and their work is no different. The continued ‘hipsterifacation’ of logo design will see a pastiche of vintage elements (such as forties-style monograms and eighties fonts) and tongue-in-cheek humour in logos. And while the best of this breed of logos will be thoughtful, whimsical and give a sense of intimacy to the viewer, the worst will date very quickly. So definitely watch out for any logos that contain a moustache, top hat or a monocle motif (unless you’re setting up an online gentlemen’s outfitters…).
5. A special mention
While this final point isn’t a trend as such, we thought the new logo for wireless sound tech company Sonos deserved a mention. The logo features a simple but well crafted logotype with a series of colourful spoke-like beams radiating from its centre. But here’s the real stroke of genius: when seen online, if the viewer scrolls either up or down past the logo, a simple optical illusion gives the impression that sound waves are actually emitting from the logotype, just like the products that Sonos actually sell. Brilliant, thoughtful design at it’s best.
So there you have it, the Bonsai Media logo design predictions for 2015. That being said, to our mind, it’s better to buck trends than to follow them. So if your company or project is looking for a beautifully designed logo that stands out, and you’re looking for designers in the know, contact Bonsai Media. As well as having a first rate design team that specialise in logos and branding, we work on clients all over Australia from our office in Melbourne and our smaller team in Brisbane. We’d love to hear from you.