2021 Logo Trend Report

This year is about drama: comedy, tragedy and satire. A connection with the human experience.

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I gotta say, a better collection of crowdsourced design I’ve never seen.
What? It’s not crowdsourced?

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I have lots of love for most of these, especially the simplicity in them. Only one comment: the colors on a number of these are too dark-muted for my taste, and would be so for most of my clients.Call me an old goat and out of step, but logo design has been one of my artistic passions (and recognized specialties) for over 50 years, and I can’t recall seeing so many dark-muted colors in logo design which do not seem to fit the logo’s intensions (eg: Wall vs.Crayon, Studio Trashline, Hollis Brand Culture, etc.)

A trend that seems to be progressing from one year to the next is designers’ tendencies to ignore the old rules about designing logos in black and white before moving onto color. Many of the most interesting logos today seem to have no black and white equivalents — they only work in full color and, sometimes, not very well in grayscale.

It’s been several years since I convinced myself that logos should, first, be designed for the medium where they’ll be used the most before working up black and white or spot color versions. Many of the newer Logo Lounge logos don’t even bother with anything but full color. Several of them even depend on the RGB gamut to work and seem to ignore CMYK. Motion is also becoming increasing common — not only as an animated afterthought but as an important part of the basic logo since it’s main use will be online where motion is always possible.

Being in the industry I am in, which I admit is a weird adjunct of sorts, I cannot tell you the number of chin quivers and WTFs I’ve encountered when someone suddenly wants a “web-only” logo realized in real world 3D. At large sizes. In a medium that requires paint, not print.

It used to happen far more often about 15 years ago, then designers and companies slowly came around to being practical, but now they are trending back to the impossible. I’m sure the pendulum will slowly swing back to practical in another couple years.

But like B said, the smart ones have a full brand package that includes their beautiful RGB web-active logo, but also the black and white and CMYK/Spot conversions. I do work for one company with a completely raster logo bug, but they have all different sizes, and interestingly, the text and tag parts of their logo do not scale, but are built to look good at the particular size grouping it was made for. Don’t try scaling one version up or down for the next grouping though! LOL!

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