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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 Logos that were once seen as modern and fresh now appear outdated and cliched, so designers are looking to the horizon to see which trends are up-and-coming for next year.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 - Polytrr logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer Ludibes

Logo - Hayespitality logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer CostinLogopus

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 - Wy’East Foundation logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer tgolub

Logo - Alo logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer bo_rad


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 - Copper & Cane logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer Sign²in

Logo - Rusty’s at Blue Logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer Jeegy™

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 - Spruce logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer Agi Amri

Logo - Distillery 36 logo

Logo design by 99designs designer Project 4


3. Neo-minimalism

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 - Puracups logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer aarif ™

Logo - Devi Deli logo]

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 - Skystone logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer Choni

Logo - Greentown logo]

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 - Vesper Hill logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer svart ink

Logo - Public Space logo]

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.

Logo - Opera Ballet Theatre logo]

Design via Elena Kitayeva

Logo - Artist Brea Weinreb logo]

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 - Honeybee Tribe logo]

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 - Olivivo logo]

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.

Logo - One Plaze logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer Jeegy™


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 - Brickworks Australia logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer Milos Zdrale

Logo - Doppel logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer bo_rad

Logo - Tribe logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer ludibes

Logo - PS12 Logo]

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 - Love at First Sight logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer cucuque design

Logo - Octopus logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer CostinLogopus

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.

Logo - Prinsta India logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer bo_rad


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.”

Logo - Oak logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer bo_rad

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 - PopMint logo]

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.

A picture is worth a thousand words. In this digital age, an illustration is worth many more. One of the most evocative forms of communication, illustrations perform the crucial task of both informing and entertaining an audience through widespread integration in published media, such as posters, flyers, magazines, books, teaching materials, animations, video games, and films.

Illustrations are an outlet of creative communication that captures the imagination of our era. From humble drawings made on paper, these have evolved into digital art-pieces that are developed on gadgets like Cintique, Wacom, I-pads, Surface pro pads and so on. Not only are these mediums easier to use, but they also lend artists more creative freedom through evolved tools that assist experimentation in newer ideas and style.

Illustrations are changing the way we view the world. Children born in the late 80s or 90’s grew up with the dawn of the Internet. They were present in a world that progressed from hand-held phones to smartphones; a world that transcended into hyper-connectivity. The immersion of the current generation in digital devices has propelled us forward and also altered the way we communicate forever. For baby-boomers technology feels pervasive, but for children, it’s available in welcome abundance. Illustrations are an integral part of this world. Digital art is all around us and will be for generations to come.

Below, we have discussed how illustrations have played a crucial role in easing the digital transformation and the widespread impact can be gauged from the changed human habits. This, in turn, has impacted the working of businesses largely. Let’s dig in:

Illustrations

1. Changing Human Habits 

Visual communication overcomes the barrier of language and is, therefore, palatable to a larger audience. Compounded with the fact that in the current day and age the average person looks at their mobile 100 times a day, we have digital art as the single largest commander of attention span ever known to man. Illustrations are instrumental to this change. Today it’s all about storytelling and making an impact through visual design; let’s observe how illustration has morphed our communication:

Illustrations

Expressions

Today, we see a sort of resurgence of the archaic era wherein expressed emotions were preferred to their verbal form. Smiley faces and visual dialogue fill up a conversation more than actual words do. Ruled by emojis, stickers, and gifs, the expression has become extremely easy in online conversations. All of this is created by illustrations that practically experiment to provide the world with an endless plethora of options for creative communication.


Illustrations

Learnings

In a world as fast-paced as the one we live in today, hours spent reading have taken a backseat. Visuals summarize text to make learning faster and simpler, in a matter of seconds. Children’s storybooks or detailed infographics – visuals communicate it all. Digital illustrators are skilled in being able to depict all kinds of information through these visuals.


Illustrations

Entertainment

The gaming industry, cartoons, and movies have witnessed a major shift in the style and quality of the graphics and animations used. Each movie or TV series character we watch and fall in love with, from superheroes to sci-fi personalities, is shaped by a brilliant team of illustrators. The gaming world was taken by a storm with the introduction of PUBG, an online multiplayer game. The visuals used became widely popular owing to high quality and attention to detail, which can be completely attributed to the team of visual thinkers and artists that worked together to give the idea its shape and form.


2. Changing the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

With changed human habits the way businesses operate and communicate has also changed dramatically.

Illustrations

Marketing

Illustrations are instrumental in the growth of the marketing industry. With the growth of users of depictive media, businesses have gone visual, and have created digital products. Graphic elements are being used to create strong brand recall through thought-provoking and memorable imagery, so as to enhance the success rate of the representation of products and services. Illustrations that stand out have the power to provoke consumer actions that result in conversions. Every advert performs the primary function of familiarizing the consumers with different facets of the product, however, only those that can appeal to human emotions can be rendered truly memorable. Therefore, graphic design and illustrations are the most effective for the cause. Visual advertisements in print (billboards, newspapers, magazines) or on digital platforms (social media, blogs, online publications) can truly compound the impact of good content and rake in revenue.


Illustrations

Data Visualization

The presentation of data in a pictorial format enables decision-makers to see analytics presented visually so that they can grasp difficult concepts or identify new patterns. Interactive visualization coupled with technology in the form of charts and graphs provides for insightful details to tell a compelling story. Combining illustrations, facts, and text, infographics are created to narrate a story, visually. From tech-intensive businesses to B2C businesses like Swiggy – everyone has taken to utilizing design and illustration to optimize their productivity.


Illustrations

Digital Branding, Customisation and Personalisation

With the constant evolution of technology, our business communications are also changing rapidly. We are looking into micro-level personalizations and interactions. Every business house today uses illustrations to be able to relate and emote with their target audience. A unique digital identity is created with the help of customized illustrations. Digital content heavily uses graphics for higher identifiability for the consumers. From simple icons to complex illustrations – skilled illustrators create them all, using many elements to personalize business communications.

Illustration Trends for 2019

Pop art as seen in the 1970s has been revisited extensively in design in 2018, introducing the world to new possibilities of visual communication. With creativity and visuals defining company values, companies are opting to strengthen customer interactions using pop art in digital design.

 

The bold and distinctive pop art illustration styles we explored, will be visible in web and mobile applications, games, movies, branding and advertising, e-cards, kindle, and much more. Packaging too has evolved to incorporate trendy designs and consumer trends.

Illustrations
Illustrations

1. The Comic Book Style

This style is typically composed of strong black outlines, realistic sketches of people and dramatically strong colors. The most influential element in this style, however, is the halftone pattern, which is a dotted texture used to depict light and shadows.

 

Application: It is most suited for usage in posters for marketing and advertising, and for storytelling applications such as e-comics, Kindle books, etc.


Illustrations
Illustrations

2. The Photo-Montage Style 

Using cutouts of separate images to compose a new picture, this style allows for different objects to assimilate into a whole new image! It can even make the use of magazine and newspaper clippings to allow contrasting elements to fuse into one unique image.

 

Application: It is mostly used in greeting cards, stationery products, and banners for branding and communication across digital and print platforms. It also has good use under ‘About Us’ section on websites.


Illustrations
Illustrations

3. The Glitch Effect

This effect is created by using duplicated images and placing them at different positions and angles. Different hues play with each other to create a kind of ‘glitchy’ interference. The glitch effect has a wide range of uses.

 

Application: Print media, gift wrappers, mobile wallpapers, and music albums, digital platforms with informal communication.


Illustrations
Illustrations

4. The Image-Illo Blender

A blend of photographs and illustrations, this style creatively helps in expression and exudes a contemporary aesthetic.

 

Application: It is used in album art design, website, and app design, branding, magazines, and fashion.


Conclusion

Storytelling is better told with visuals for higher engagement. Illustrations hold the attention of a reader and etch them into the reader’s memory for a long time to come. The illustration is one of the most important forms of visual communication: it informs and observes, delights and decorates, instructs and inspires. The future of pop art in the design world is bright and evolving, and 2019 is set to see it make a revolutionary come-back.

Article by Ghazal Qadri and Aakansha Menon, Illustrators at Lollypop Design Studio

Establishing a connection with their users is a smart game that brands need to play. By sharpening their intelligence and making good use of their wits, some brands have successfully made a mark and left a strong impact on the millennials.

Millennials or Generation Y are the demographic cohorts that directly follow Generation X. Often credited with coining the term Millennials, Neil Howe and William Strauss define the millennial generation as those individuals born between the years 1982 and 2004. This generation has seen their fair share of ups and downs, from being directly impacted by the 2007-08 economic slowdown to being the only generation in history to actively participate in the global shift from analog to digital systems, and of course, the growth and popularity of the internet and everything else that came with it.

Arguably the largest demographic right now, a Brooking’s data study shows that by 2025, almost 75% of the workforce will be millennials. Therefore, as they make up a large part of today’s (and the future) consumer audience, brands have started changing the way they speak, to effectively connect with this generation.

 

Let’s take a look at a few trends in design, communication & marketing for the millennial generation by VGC:

Millennial
Millennial
Millennial

1. Shorter Attention Spans, Shorter Content

With the inception of internet ads and social media, content (especially video content) has constantly been getting shorter. And with the introduction of Vine in 2013 (Vine allowed users to upload and share six-second long video loops), Snapchat and more recently Instagram stories, brands have found creative ways to connect with millennials in a very short time span.


Millennial
Millennial

2. Spending with a Purpose

If there is one thing that millennials support, it is a purpose or causes that they can get behind.

 

Brands with social responsibilities/purposes like Toms shoes (where for every pair of shoes sold, they gift a pair of shoes to an underprivileged child) or WeWOOD (that plants a tree for every watch they sell) connect very well with millennials as they feel that they’ve actively participated in an effort to make the world a better place.


Millennial
Millennial

3. Hype, Collaborations and Limited Period Drops

The Millennial generation can also be called the ‘Hype’ generation. Anything (from art to a product or service) that is able to generate enough hype becomes very attractive to millennials.

 

Take the Adidas x Dragonball collection (which was unique because an iconic Anime Saga collaborated with a leading sneaker brand) or the entire line of Supreme collaborations (originally a skate company, Supreme has collaborated with the who’s who of luxury brands), some a of which are downright weird, including a crowbar priced upwards of $250, which goes to show that any product can be a success if it is able to generate enough hype and perhaps, also drops for a limited period of time.


Millennial
Millennial

4. Bold Typography and Colourful Minimalism

How do you get a brand communication to stand out from amongst the tons of other content there is out there?

 

Simple, make it unique, creative, colourful and bold.

 

Millennials love minimalism, but the benchmark is much higher than what it used to be. Flat design, paired with bold typography and vibrant, contrasting colours make for an attention-grabbing website or creative piece.


Millennial

5. Personalized Experiences and Creative Participation 

Brands today have become more inclusive by getting consumers to participate in various aspects of the brand experience.

 

Take for instance Absolut Vodka, a brand known for its creative collaboration and promoting art & creativity, allowing young designers to take a crack at designing a bottle for the Indian market or Coca-Cola with its game changing ‘Share a coke with’ campaign, that made (nearly) everyone feel like they were special when Coke put their name on their cans.

When a consumer gets to participate in or co-create a brand experience, it really helps create a lasting impression of the brand in their mind.

 

As the millennial generation continues to be the largest consumer segment and as everything else around changes, there sure will be a rise in the number of exciting new trends, techniques, and mechanisms by which brands and consumers will interact.

Millennial
Millennial
Issue 45

Published in Issue 45

When celebrations are all around for the new year, everyone is curious about what this new year will bring. So, the rounds of looking back to the past year and trying to predict the new one starts. We started the same exploration through this issue by reaching various experts for their take on the trends for their respective fields. And with many expert interviews, we got various unique viewpoints, as Elephant Design shared the importance of having a well-thought packaging design for products. And on another hand, VGC gave an insight into, how a brand should be created for the Millennials. But to top it all, with very deep logical design thought, Itu Chaudhuri says that the trends are a modern seasonal disease, and we designers should continue taking it with a grain of ethically-produced, iodide-rich rock or sea salt. All-in-all this issue is a very interesting and a must-read, if you’re looking for greater clarity and want to start your year with a lot of deep design knowledge about the brand development to packaging design, user experience design, to storyboarding and more.

 

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