What’s the Problem with Logo Design Trends?

What’s the problem with logo design trends? Where to start… where to start?

After yesterday’s post, where I briefly touched on logo design trends, it made sense to write this post next.

Logo design should not be trendy. It shouldn’t be cool. It should visually represent your brand or business.

We’ve been through what logo design is and what an effective logo should do for your business on the blog already.

But please, please, understand this:

Logo design and branding is not a trend base business. Your brand shouldn’t follow trends.

What logo trends should you avoid? All of them. What should you do to make your logo trendy? Nothing.

In today’s post, I want to examine some “2018 logo design trends” and, well, pull them apart.

Why?

Because logo design trends, and articles about “the hottest, flashest, newsest, bestest, logo design trends of whatever-the-hell-year” need to die.

Seriously.

But first of all, a quick refresher;

What Should a Logo Design Be?

We’ve been over all of these terms before, but I just want to repeat them again for reference.

Your logo design should be:

  • Memorable
  • Simple
  • Versatile
  • Appropriate
  • Timeless

If it’s not, then you’re already off to a bad start. No amount of crazy new graphic design trends will help with that.

Now let’s see what the “experts” say is trendy, and how that stacks up again creating a logo design and brand identity that works.

Let’s start by search for “logo design trends in 2018.” Boom. Poorly considered articles everywhere!

Responsive Logo Design

The first article is by 99Designs. Creators of outstanding design competitions.

Jokes:

They’re a spec work website where only “winners” get paid for their design work.

They start off by saying it’s been 10 years since responsive web design grabbed hold of the internet and shook it around.

They go on to say that companies are reducing and simplifying their logo down, and even stripping out elements on certain devices. But this isn’t a trend. A simple logo design isn’t a logo design trend.

As you already know, your logo should be Simple. That’s one of the five things a logo design should be.

So, 99Designs’ top “trend” isn’t actually a trend at all, it’s just common sense when it comes to effective logo design. Simplify it as best you can, and on the web, reduce it further if you need to.

However, a well designed logo shouldn’t need stripped back at all. It should work with and without text, and horizontally and vertically. And, there should be no “fluff” to strip out of it and simplify.

Responsive logo design looks great when you’re scaling the browser up and down, but like I say, if you’ve had your logo design properly, there shouldn’t be a need for it.

Fun Logo Design

Staying on the same article, because it’s a goldmine really. They’re suggesting that your logo design should be fun in 2018.

Sure, your logo should be fun, if your brand or company is fun. That’s called being appropriate.

Should your logo be fun if you’re a funeral director? Nope. What about if you’re a tax inspector? Again, probably not the right way to go.

Sure, a logo can make you smile by using a bit of fun and whimsy, but it all ties back to being appropriate. If it’s not appropriate, don’t be fun or whimsical!

Simple Typography Paired with Monograms

Simple, yes! This isn’t a trend, this is another staple of effective logo design. But I agree, your logo should be simple.

And then they go ahead and throw in the monogram. How can a monogram be a trend?

Unless you’re a coffee roaster or brewery, I fail to see where you’d apply a monogram. They’re neither timeless or memorable.

Sure, they can look pretty. But again, looking pretty isn’t one of the pre-requisites for a strong and successful logo design.

Let’s switch gears from 99Designs, and take a look at a different article;

Looks like we’ve next landed on an article from another renowned design website, Wix.

Social Media Optimized Logos

What? You mean right now people are just throwing up whatever logo design they fancy into that tiny square or circle?

Actually, wait, yes they are!

Again though, having a versatile fit for purpose logo, isn’t a trend. It’s just a common sense business decision.

In what world would you accept that your logo just doesn’t work for social media and throw any old design up there?

Don’t settle for that. Your logo should be appropriate, and not just in its nature, but also in its application. You don’t just want a logo you can use in one situation. You want a versatile logo design that works to reflect your brand in the best possible light at all times.

Subtle Animation

Fantastic. When are we getting the Harry Potter paper that lets logo designs animate across the page? I can’t wait for that!

Sure, there’s a place for logo design animation. In videos, animations, and sometimes on your website.

Yet again, this comes back to the versatility aspect of a logo. They’re not single use cases, it needs to be versatile. Animating it for the sake of being trendy doesn’t make any sense.

This one really baffles me. Its not a trend. Its a versatility issue.

The Digital Paintbrush

What even… my head hurts.

This isn’t logo design. It’s not branding. So what’s it doing in an article about logo design trends in 2018? Who knows!

First of all, if this is a logo, it fails on nearly all accounts. It’s not memorable. It’s a loose, illustrative, artistic approach to design, but it’s not memorable.

It’s not going to be too versatile either. Imagine this in a tiny social square? That’s not going to work.

Appropriate? For some companies, sure, others not so much.

But more importantly; it’s certainly not timeless.

This style of design does look impressive. But in 2 or 3 years time, people will scoff at this type of work. “Look how fake things looked 2 years ago! What were they thinking?”

Moving on…

Let’s take a look at a website that I actually have some respect for. Creative Bloq.

Creative Bloq’s look at trends is based around graphic design as a whole rather than logo design specifically.

And they do raise some interesting points and ideas for thought. Creative Bloq win on the trends front, because they talk more about ideas and concepts than actual style of design.

The first thing they talk about is;

The ‘Little Big Idea’

They reference my favourite rebrand of 2017, Moonpig. And say the idea is to take a little idea, and:

Focus on something singular and use it to create something with clarity, distinctiveness and beauty.

Which isn’t really a trend, but that’s how we approach branding here at Canny. Take one thing about a business, and try to create a clear message and distinctiveness around it.

That’s how we’ve created such unique logo design and brand identity work in the past.

Creative Bloq do share some further thoughts and ideas, but I’ll leave them up to you to explore.

I’ve ripped into some big name sites here, but can you really blame me? Logo design isn’t about being trendy…

So;

Conclusion: What’s the Problem with Logo Design Trends?

The problem with logo design trends, is just that. They’re “trendy.”

Your logo design isn’t there to look sexy and follow the “hottest new colour scheme” or design style. It’s there to serve a purpose.

To visually represent your business in the simplest way possible.

Design shouldn’t be used to serve as superfluous eye candy. Design should be used to solve a problem. Your logo should represent your business, and there are only certain times you should consider a logo redesign.

Outside of that, stop tinkering with it, ignore the press, and bid goodbye to logo design trends.

What do you think? Is your logo “trendy”? What are you going to do about it? Let us know in the comments below!

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