3 Brand Identity & Logo Design Trends that Work Every Time

Logo design, like everything else in life, faces the ever-looming threat of age and time.

To solve, you can use the latest design trends to make a logo design look current but design trends go in and out of fashion.

A design trend might be a good solution for artwork with a short shelf life such as a flyer design and maybe even a website design but is it ideal for a long lasting project such as identity design which could outlive you?

Let’s consider it!

Trends are a sign of the time, a sign of change, modern lifestyle and contemporary design which are all relative to being current but trends are just that; a trend, because they spawn from culture, rising and falling in popularity from one season to the next and if everyone follows a trend, especially when creating a logo design then there’s a risk that a logo design will be a monotonous brand identity, similar to every other business following the same trend.

Whenever I’ve tried to use a design trend to create a logo design or brand identity design, it always looks great but feels mediocre because there’s usually more style than substance.

And that’s why in my opinion the only design solution that’s effective as a logo or identity design is one which surpasses trend and is based on three attributes:

  • Character
  • Style
  • Originality

1. Adding Character to a logo design

For a logo to work it needs to have character.

Check out this great list of character attributes.

If you check the link above you’ll see that there are a ton of character attributes to chose from but using one alone will do.

Picking one and using it will set the tone for your brand identity design which should reflect the brand itself, making the logo design a successful piece of design communication but if you want your logo design to really hit home and be universally accepted then there is only one character attribute that you should be using. That character is:

A friendly character for a logo design.

A logo is pretty much the face of a company and a friendly face is much more welcoming and trustworthy than an unfriendly face.

Obviously, levels of friendliness or even the definition could vary according to the nature of the business but being friendly to your core audience will always lead to a great logo design simply because everyone will love it.

Take a look at some samples of friendly logo design below.

mailchimp identity design
ITV identiy design
google identiy design

Each logo above is friendly, welcoming and trustworthy albeit in a different way with a different style and tone reinforcing the level fo friendliness appropriate to its own message and target audience.

To achieve that balance each logo design has been honest.

An Honest identity design

Sometimes ideas of grandeur can cloud a business and its identity. They want to look like a big brand which they may not be. And sometimes it’s a case of imitating another brand because they admire what they’re doing.

The point of a brand, brand identity and logo design is to market, position and differentiate a brand so imitating or lying with a logo design is a not a great way to create a great logo.

Honesty is the best approach to creating a great logo design.

Forget trends or grandeur and be honest to create a logo design that reflects the business, in turn, it will attract the right audience and make a great logo design.

kfc identiy design

Being honest with your logo design is a must and creating a friendly character is a sure-fire way to creating a good logo design but friendliness may not always be the right answer for any given business identity.

In that case, it’s important to pick out a character that the business wants to project, and style the logo design to ooze that character.

2. Using style to create a logo design

In the dictionary style has a couple of definitions:

a. a way of doing something, especially one that is typical of a person, group of people, place, or period:

b. particular shape or design, especially of a person’s hair, clothes, or a piece of furniture:

Both definitions are relevant to creating an original logo design from its composition in detail to a final overall image.

Style will define character and originality for the logo design and brand.

There is one generic style though that everyone loves.

That style is a contemporary style for a logo or identity design because everyone loves modern design and every brand wants to be seen as a modern organisation.

A brand identity must look like a new and up to date piece of work, even if it represents a vintage brand.

Vintage based businesses rebrand and stay fresh with a contemporary look that suits their product and audience.

You can utilise tradition and heritage in an identity design but the overall finish must show something that’s current and contemporary.

courvoisier logo design
courvoisier logo design

A contemporary logo design is subjective in its definition and style because it’s an overarching presentation rather than one with specific attributes.

A style could be retro, vintage, grunge, classic, playful, childish or futuristic but it’s the execution of design that’ll make it a contemporary piece.

3. Create an original brand identity with a logo design

Its easy to imitate and easy to be boring.

Your identity doesn’t need bells and whistles but it does need a touch of originality.

And originality will be created by:

a. Being honest
b. Having character
c. Oozing style

The whole purpose of an identity design is to uniquely identify your business and it does it through honesty, character and style to make itself an original offer in th marketplace.

A good logo design can’t do that if it looks like every other logo out there.

Be brave and be original.

ge identiy design


Styling works better for logo design because style produces more positive outcomes for the creation of a brand identity.

For one, style is more of a personal attribute, projecting an honest character and a unique image for a brand as opposed to a popular trend which is mimicked on a mass scale for a short period of time.

Secondly, style can be altered and fine-tuned to become personal, functional, original and purposeful as a longstanding identity.

Last but not least, style can be narrowed down as a past trend.

In doing so a past trend is one which is seen as classic and familiar which helps to improve communication and create an emotional connection with the viewer, strengthening the brand identity for an organisation.

The purpose of logo design is to represent something; a brand, a service or a product, and communicate a message regardless of style but style whether minimalistic or heavy helps to reinforce that message.

And style, when used properly can transform just a logo design into a long-standing brand identity that impacts and inspires.

At the end of the day, what’s important is not the design trend that the logo design uses but the identity that the mark creates and how that identity connects with its audience.

That’s what makes a great logo design.

Character, style and originality are the perfect sentiments to create a perfect logo design, one that ignores trends to create something unique that will work for the business as opposed to a beautiful looking logo that represents nothing.

What do you think?

Wat to see some logo design styles in action?
Check out this fantastic collection of Shield based logo designs.

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