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Unique Logo Design Trends to Look for in 2020

woman designing a logo on her Mac computer

Imagine that you were searching for the love of your life and the first impression all your potential dates had was a single image or symbol. How could you capture all of the most significant and relevant aspects of your personality in that one image?

It sounds like a nearly impossible task, but that’s what businesses do every day with their logo design. On top of capturing your brand, your logo needs to make a strong impression. It needs to be memorable and make you look up-to-date and professional.

Meeting all those criteria in one design isn’t easy, but it’s possible. Start your journey by finding out about the latest logo design trends in 2020.

Embracing Wabi-Sabi

If you aren’t familiar already, wabi-sabi is a Japanese aesthetic principle. In a nutshell, it recognizes and embraces the beauty of imperfection and asymmetry.

Wabi-sabi is making waves in many types of design from home decor to, of course, logo design.

You can use that principle in your logo design by steering toward designs that look hand-drawn or imperfect. These types of graphics have a human authenticity to them that customers can relate to. It makes you look more accessible and gives customers a “human to human, we’re all in this together” feeling.

Gradients with Dimension

Color gradients are nothing new in web design, but designers in 2020 are using them in a unique way.

This year, look for gradients that add a 3-d effect to the design. For instance, the gradient can create the illusion of a shadow or a highlight on one area of the design, so some parts look higher than others.

Dimension-building gradients are especially powerful on screens. While they still look fine in print, the effect doesn’t come through as well in print as it does on the screen. Keep this in mind if you incorporate that trend into your logo: will the logo be printed often or will customers primarily see it on a screen?

Serious Snark

Contrary to previous beliefs, “professional” doesn’t have to mean “stiff and stale.” Some brands today are taking on more of a snarky, comedic voice and bringing it through into their logos.

Take a look at the product logos for Duluth Trading Company, for example, like their Barenaked Underwear. Their logos and messages say, “We all deal with the same problems with our underwear, and we’re fixing those problems.”

Of course, this is a delicate balancing act. If you go too far with snakiness, you risk sounding too casual for customers to believe that you know what you’re doing.

Artistic Typography

In many traditional logos, designers took the approach of having an image to capture the brand’s feel, and the wording in the logo, such as the brand name, was purely for exposition. No more.

Today’s designers are building more creativity into the fonts in their logos. In some cases, the fonts make up the entire design of the logo.

In our digital world of endless options, there are fonts available to capture any brand’s style. Whether you use those fonts to make up your entire logo or to complement other designs in the logo, consider wording to be a design asset instead of a necessary burden.

Reviving Retro

The ’80s are back, baby! And so are the ’60s, ’70s, and even earlier decades.

Top capture their style, more brands are latching onto certain time periods. This has led to countless logos that look like they’re a modernized version of a bygone era.

We haven’t quite reached the point when ’90s-inspired designs are back on trend. Any era before that is fair game, though. incorporating the right retro elements into your logo and other brand designs can make customers feel like they’ve stepped back in time…in a good way.

Flat is Flopping

For the past few years, designers for websites, logos, and other digital imagery have focused on flat design. Flat design is exactly what it sounds like: design that doesn’t give the illusion of depth or dimension.

Flat designs have been the definition of modern in recent years, but now the trends are moving on. In 2020, dimension is making a comeback.

Using design features like shadowing and layers, you can make your logo feel like something customers can jump into and explore.

(Semi) Transparency

In the media, all we hear about is transparency and the importance of businesses communicating with their customers. As this push happens, a different type of transparency is coming into vogue too: visual transparency in logos.

Try semi-transparent shapes and letters that layer on top of each other. You can even use varying transparencies in different areas of your logo. These design choices make your logo look more layered and multi-dimensional.

The tricky part of semi-transparent design elements is keeping the colors right. Maybe your brand’s colors are yellow and blue. If too many of these design elements overlap, you wind up with more green in your logo than either of your brand colors.

Slimming Down

You want your logo to be noticeable and eye-catching, so some businesses assume that requires bold lines. Quite the opposite, actually. The 2020 logo trends are all about thin lines.

You can use this trend in a few ways. For one, you can choose thin lines in your fonts, which have a modern and edgy look. Thin lines fit well in other graphic elements of the logo too, through. In these cases, you get more of a geometric look.

When you’re running a brand, chasing trends is a tricky business. If you do it well, you’ll stay on the cutting edge of customers’ awareness and you’ll stay relevant year after year.

If you do it poorly, on the other hand, you could get stuck always being one step behind and you can lose your brand’s signature style in the process.

The key is to educate yourself about all the trend and choose the ones that fit your brand best. The unique logo design trends above are a great place to start. Take the next step today and design your own logo.