Brand refresh is the easiest and most effective way to give your brand a new life, meaning, and most importantly, customers. The brand refresh strategy is about introduction of significant, but non-fundamental changes to the brand image.
Whether it’s a large company or a casual blog, the logo is the basic distinguishing feature of every brand. Very often, it is the first thing that people see when they visit a website or reach for a product from a shelf. The logo should make you stand out from the competition. How to design a logo that attracts customers’ attention and stays remembered? Here are the most important principles and trends in modern logo design that should be followed to better engage potential customers.
Modern company logos – crucial design principles
A logo is usually presented in the form of a graphic with an inscription – the company’s name is most often incorporated into an image. This limited form makes designing modern logos quite a challenge, even though it might seem easy at first glance. Graphic designers should have not only artistic and technical skills but also vast knowledge in the field of marketing or even psychology. Above all, however, they should know the basic principles of graphic design, thanks to which it’s possible to create modern and trendy logos that will help the company succeed:
- First, determine the logo’s purpose – it should be a tool that benefits the brand’s image on a daily basis. That’s why, before creating it, you should consider what associations you want to evoke among your clients and how you want them to remember your brand;
- The logo should reflect the brand’s style – for restaurants, it should be inviting and friendly, and for a metal band, aggressive and bold. It’s important to analyze the brand’s identity and picture it as a human being;
- Remember that you don’t make a logo for yourself – it’s for the brand’s customers, they’re the ones who should like it. Just because you don’t like a certain color doesn’t mean that others share your opinion. Before designing a logo, you should analyze the company’s target audience – their age, gender, preferences, status and behavior. One of the key factors that should be taken under consideration, is how they spend their time and what they do in life. For example, a store with clothes and accessories for babies will be advertised mainly to young mothers;
- Don’t focus only on aesthetics – readability, uniqueness, matching the brand’s style, and meeting the requirements of the modern business logo are more important;
- Analyze the competition – create a list of things that your logo shouldn’t have. If multiple companies in your sector use green as the primary color for their logo, use a different one to stand out.
- Create a “moodboard” – use it to gather all your design ideas and pick the best one later;
- Don’t overdo it – focus on one most important element that will dominate in the entire design. Adding too much detail can be overwhelming. Let’s use Apple as an example. This company has a simple, modern logo design – a bitten apple. It’s not cut in half and there aren’t any bugs coming out of it. They want each recipient to focus only on that one bite. Simple logo designs are more legible and easier to remember. They are a good choice if you are looking for a marketing company logo concept;
- The logo must be one of a kind – modern logotypes are used in many environments – on websites, banners, business cards, flyers, billboards, products, etc. They have to look good regardless of their size or background. The brand’s logo should also be adapted to most devices’ resolution – not only to a laptop but also to a smartphone or a tablet;
- Think about the composition – a clean modern logo can be created only based on a well-thought-out structure. It should be arranged on a repeating grid and have the same proportions that won’t change with size, even if it won’t be visible to the naked eye;
- Make a logo book – it’s a collection of information about the logo and how it may be used. Remember to provide the logo’s minimum size and backgrounds, on which it may be used. You should also list variations of your logo, describe the colors, typography to be used, and list allowed and prohibited modifications;
- Avoid logo generators – the use of generators goes against everything that we’ve described so far. They’re useless if you want to create a perfect and unique logo for your brand;
- Get inspired by other brands – it’s not about copying ideas, but understanding the mechanisms behind them. Analyze the market, not only your direct competitors. What colors are trending? What images, signs, or styles are popular and most memorable? This way, you’ll be able to create your own timeless and stylish logo;
- Use the services of professionals – it’s best to entrust the creation of a logo to a specialist who has knowledge, experience, and skills. Nopio offers comprehensive services related to logo design, but also corporate branding, graphic design, corporate identity design, and logo design advice;
Modern logo design trends
A timeless logo can become one of the company’s greatest assets. However, it has to be adapted or updated to comply with modern logo design trends. Many companies base the root of their logo on one element, a symbol or an image, but introduce minor changes later on – for example in the color palette. Let’s now talk about modern logo design ideas. Here are some examples.
1. Generative logo design
This trend slightly changes the perception of an ordinary trademark. Here, the most distinguishing feature is dynamic – the logo changes its form depending on the presented content. It’s most often based on a logical algorithm related to the brand.
2. Responsive logo design
Logos used to be treated as something untouchable. Any kind of modification was forbidden. Contemporary logos have to be adjustable, this way they can be displayed on any media in the right resolution. The logo must be legible on every device, that’s why it should have various forms, thanks to which it will look good on a smartphone, tablet or computer. Of course, all variations of a given logo must have a common element – it’s easy to make two trademarks so different people will treat them as separate entities.
This is a timeless trend that might never go away. Simple modern logo design seems easy to do, but the line between minimalism and ordinary or mediocre is very thin. That’s why it should be done by someone with years of experience.
4. Use of negative space
This trend lets the audience read between the lines. It allows you to hide additional information in an interesting way, which completes the trademark. The first logos based on this trend were created many years ago, but now this method rises in popularity once again.
5. Retro logo design
It’s yet another resurging trend. Designers following it modify typography and layout to achieve the so-called “vintage” effect. However, retro logos are not suitable for every industry – it works best in gastronomy.
6. Geometric logo design
The most basic rule of logo making is “keep it simple”. And there’s no better way to achieve that, than through the use of geometric shapes. It makes use of various figures and their outlines – squares, triangles, ellipses etc. Such a logo is usually stark and pixel-perfect. To create such a logo, you need a creative designer and a mathematical approach.
7. Overlapping shapes
This is a trend inspired by the previous one, but here the geometric figures overlap and change their shape or color slightly. Trademarks created based on this trend are usually very colorful, creating an unusual atmosphere and image. This technique allows you to create a very clean and modern logo.
8. Optical illusion
That type of logo deceives the human brain. Its image is distorted to break the perspective. This is an excellent way to create a truly original and modern business logo, but the correct implementation of the optical illusion is quite a feat that requires artistic abilities and a good understanding of perspective – the graphic designer has to create a three-dimensional logo in a two-dimensional space.
9. Hand-drawn logo design
Hand-drawn logos were created long before the digital age. Today, however, this process is way more advanced. This trend’s goal is to imitate logos that used to be hand-made from scratch. There are many interesting fonts on the Internet that, if used correctly, can yield great results.
10. Thin line logo design
Here, the main goal is to create a logo using a thin line of the same thickness – this rule applies to both fonts and shapes. Such a logo is often very detailed. The end product is impressive, but the minimum size required to make the logo legible is rather big. Therefore, it’s good to combine this trend with the responsive one.
11. Flat 2.0
We all remember 2012, when the whole world wanted to be flat. The same applied to companies’ logos. Today, this trend is also going through a renaissance, but as the Flat 2.0 – a semi-flat version. This style allows for the use of subtle shadows as well as a bit more detail. The depth of colors allows for a better visual form, which significantly improves the perception of the design.
12. Gradient logo design
This year, there are more gradient-based logos than ever. The use of smooth transitions or shading allows you to get a really clean-cut effect. The best practice is to choose one color and play with its saturation. Gradients make it easy to transform a flat image into a three-dimensional one.
13. “Deconstruction” of letters
This interesting trend is used for text logos, and the final product is usually really impressive. The letters are incomplete, they look worn out, a little dirty or as if they were printed with the last drop of ink. However, it might be hard to create such a logo and preserve its readability.
14. Visual chaos
Experimentation is very popular in modern design. Everyone wants to have a unique logo that stands out. So try to play with randomly scattered letters, asymmetrical compositions and unpredictable shapes. A chaotic project can attract the audience and stimulate their imagination but don’t overdo it.
Modern logo examples
When creating a logo for your business, it’s always a good idea to get inspired by other brands. Take a good look at the common denominators and details. Two perfect examples of responsive designs are logos used by PremierLeague and Heineken. Probably everyone heard about the UBER brand, which uses a typical minimalistic logo – the same approach was adopted by Google.
FedEx is a great example of how to properly use the negative space, they came up with a clever combination of the last two letters to create an arrow. The retro-inspired logos can be seen, for example, on alcohol bottles. Next, we have Tidal, a company that uses a simple geometric logo. MasterCard serves as a perfect example of how to use overlapping shapes.
The optical illusion was used in the creation of the Edge Board logo. When talking about hand-drawn logo design, we have to go with a well-known giant – Coca-Cola. The extra thin line is the root element for logos like the ones used by Rolls-Royce and HUMA. Netflix and Gmail are the embodiment of Flat 2.0. Gradient design was successfully implemented in logos used by Messenger, Instagram, and Avon. The Scholar company found the middle ground between the letter “deconstruction” and readability. Finally, logos used by OSN and ALSO are masterpieces of visual chaos.
There is a lot to choose from when looking for inspiration to redesign logo or create the perfect modern logo for your company. Remember to follow the rules and pick one of the trends mentioned in this article – or combine them for a more memorable effect.