Design Trends 2013

Here’s a look back at trends that have influenced logo design over the last twelve months.

These trends have a range of different impetus. Some come from technical or cultural changes in the industry, others can be seen as the aesthetic zeitgeist of the moment. With some of these trends, it’s important to consider why they’ve come about and give them fair consideration during the design process: when the principles behind these trends build on the knowledge pool of the design community rather than just capturing the style of the moment it makes sense to pay attention. But with others, the value in identifying these trends is so that we can avoid them – otherwise your logo will look dated in the pretty near future..

Trend 1: Everything’s multi-coloured.
First off, one of the big trends last year was a spectrum approach to colour schemes (as can be seen in the new Motorola, Mall of America and SkyForex branding). This multi-coloured approach is great (disclaimer: when used well) and can be an easy visual to suggest a company’s multicultural credentials in a visually pleasing way.

Trend 2: We’re here.
Those ‘Google Maps upside-down-teardrop’ icons have been everywhere over the last year, some used well – take the Photofound logo for example – others not so well. But either way, if you want a logo design that needs a life span longer than a year and a half, there are better ways to find it than looking on a map.

Trend 3: Good design makes everyone happy.
The widespread use of mobile phone apps has had a interesting effect on logo design. As designers get used to designing icons in a style that’s consistent with the App Store look and feel, they’ve taken elements of this style and incorporated it into logo design – a wider but related field. One of the key things here is size – while every designer thinks their designs are perfectly legible on a tiny scale, only the best logos actually are (see some great examples here). Basically, the App Store’s tiny icons have forced designers to think small while thinking big.

Trend 4: Our little logo’s all grown up.
The last year has seen many of the bigger companies ‘mature’ their brand. The most obvious example of this is Ebay, who’ve evolved their original logotype, ditching the ‘whacky’ letter heights but keeping the iconic colours. Other tech companies have taken a similar approach, with Google finessing its wordmark and losing the drop shadow, and Yahoo adopting a single colour approach. Generally this makes sense (depending on the product, obviously) as a ‘zany’ logos don’t necessarily instill confidence in consumers.

Trend 5: Designers obviously drink craft beer.
It might sound like a bit of a joke, but if you look at a lot of branding work, it’s easy to assume that when the designer was thinking about style they had recently been looking at a craft beer label, with quirky lettering, several fonts, washed-out colours and lots of texture. It has led to a lot of beautifully crafted logos and style guides, but beware, the faux-handmade style could look very dated very soon.

So that’s basically the main design trends we’ve identified, though obviously there’s been many more over the last twelve months. So if you can think of any or if you’re interested in talking logos with any of our designers (believe me, they’re always keen), and you’re in Noosa or anywhere else in Australia, just drop us a line here.