Every year, the art of logo design evolves to meet the new needs of the business world — and the gap between old and new has never been bigger than in 2019. Logos that were once seen as modern and fresh now appear outdated and cliched, so designers are looking to the horizon to see which trends are up-and-coming for next year.
At 99designs, we’ve been analyzing the trajectory of logo design since we launched in 2008. Looking at the current state of design, we handpicked the eight logo design trends below based on our predictions for 2019. Some are advancements in past trends, while others are new stylistic choices that capture the public’s eye at this point in time. Take a look at how the trendsetters are already incorporating these techniques, and master them yourselves now while they’re still cutting edge.
1. Friendlier Abstract Geometry
Geometric designs like grids and big, blocky shapes strike a chord with people lately, perhaps because today’s tech makes the world seems more futuristic, or maybe a greater pull towards order and structure. Whatever the reason, logos with abstract geometric shapes are increasingly common, and in 2019, that movement is taking a sharp turn into new territory.
Logo design by 99designs designer Ludibes
The new geometric logos are taking a “friendlier” approach. Abstract geometry is inherently cold and imposing, sometimes even authoritarian. To compensate, designers are softening the visuals with techniques like vibrant colors (particularly gradients) and more inviting compositions. By combining “cold” shapes with “warm” colors and composition, logos can have the best of both worlds — a mathematical, futuristic look that doesn’t intimidate the viewer.
Logo design by 99designs designer tgolub
2. Traditional Emblems
Not everyone is looking to the future for logo inspiration — many designers are looking to the past. Part vintage and part pedigree, the traditional emblems trend draws on centuries-old design tactics to make the logos of new brands seem old and established. For business-minded clients, this trend is a smart sales tactic: it suggests a brand’s authenticity to make them seem more trustworthy and popular, even if they just launched yesterday.
Logo design by 99designs designer Sign²in
The trend incorporates elements from medieval family crests and historic guild emblems, but designers can temper the degree of how “historic” it seems. If you’re hesitant to dive head-first into this style, you can give your modern logo a slight textured effect to add just a hair of that classic “authentic” feel.
Logo design by 99designs designer Agi Amri
Logo design by 99designs designer Project 4
A few years ago, the digital space saw a widespread minimalist movement. Web designers especially took hold, not only because of the aesthetics but also because of the functional benefits. No matter whether you love or hate the style, you have to admit minimalism is more practical for the web: the simpler designs both load faster and look better on mobile screens.
Logo design by 99designs designer aarif ™
Logo design by 99designs designer sami222
The minimalist movement became so popular, the question for 2019 is how to make your minimalist logo stand out from other minimalist logos. Hence the rise of “neo-minimalism.” Essentially, it’s doubling-down on minimalism — using even less visuals, sometimes just lines or basic shapes combined in a memorable or thought-provoking way.
Logo design by 99designs designer Choni
Logo design by 99designs designer Agusbo
4. Contextual Logos (Responsive +)
Responsive logos have been growing in popularity for years now, but lately they’re being taken to the next level. Instead of simply adapting logos for different screen sizes and platforms, companies are creating logo variants better optimized for an array of different uses, both on and off line.
Logo design by 99designs designer svart ink
Design via Sulliwan Studio
For starters, contextual logos include different versions to fit where they’re being displayed — a smaller logo for mobile screens or wearables, a colorless logo for fliers, a simplified logo that still looks good printed on clothing material, etc. But the trend nowadays is going even further, offering logo variations that cater to certain customer groups. This enables greater maneuverability for marketers, who can hand-tailor promotions using the logo that speaks to certain customer groups best.
Design via Elena Kitayeva
Logo design by 99designs designer goopanic
5. Intricate Detailing
One school of design is pushing back against the “smaller-and-simpler” mentality of contextual logos. A certain branch of designers is embracing the fine details, making logos even more intricate and complex than last year.
Logo design by 99designs designer Maciev
How you utilize new details is up to you. Some designers incorporate line shading for a more hand-drawn look, others are simply adding in subtleties such as the feathers of a bird or individual strands of hair. This trend is not mutually exclusive either; for example, you can use it with traditional emblems (which were historically all hand-drawn), or with geometric shapes for elaborate patterned backgrounds.
Logo design by 99designs designer olimpio
Just keep context in mind and save the details for spaces where they can be appreciated — an intricate logo won’t translate well on the small screen of an Apple Watch.
6. Illusory Logos
On the heels of the geometric themes, people are also responding well to logos with optic illusions. The specifics are less important — logos could be blatant optical illusions, or could simply have small distortions to make them stand out. There’s a lot of room for interpretation with this trend, but as long as it pushes the boundaries and “looks cool,” it’ll suffice. Think of this trend as the 70s psychedelic style redone in the digital era.
Logo design by 99designs designer Milos Zdrale
Logo design by 99designs designer ludibes
Logo design by 99designs designer ultrastjarna
7. Integrating Negative Space
As a natural progression of recent years’ minimalist movement, designers have been incorporating negative space more and more. Lately, we’re seeing the emergence of actually using negative space to represent independent images within greater images.
Logo design by 99designs designer cucuque design
FedEx’s iconic “arrow” within the E and X was one of the original usages, but lately more brands are taking this idea and running with it. Aside from more stimulating visuals, this trend also benefits marketing — designers can use suggestive imagery (such as animal symbolism) and make monogram logos more visual by adding pictures within the letters. This trend is perfect for brands that want to add duality or extra depth to their identity.
8. Overlapping Images
As we’ve seen with trends like illusions and geometric shapes, people are favoring more experimental visuals lately. In other words, logo designers must “think outside the box.”
One new visual trends that’s catching on lately is overlapping images. There’s not much to explain about the technique: you superimpose one element over another, sometimes to make a whole new shape in the shared area. You can be subtle about it like trendsetter PayPay, but more ambitious designers can build entire designs from the overlap to incorporate dual meanings just like with the negative space trend.
Logo design by 99designs designer Spoon Lancer
Most of the above trends are not mutually-exclusive — they can be combined to add new depths and dimensions individual trends couldn’t accomplish on their own. There’s ton of logo design inspiration headed your way in the upcoming year. The trick is figuring out which trends match your brand identity. Using illusory images might work well in attracting attention for niche or obscure markets, but they’d hold back more solemn brands by undermining their professionalism. Consider who you are as a brand before you decide which trends best represent you.