2011 Logo Design Trends

Like to keep up with logo design trends? Well good thing for Logo Lounge who have compiled annual trends for the past nine years.

Last year was brighter. This year is lighter.

Your humble servants at LogoLounge.com were called out by some after last year’s Trends Report on allegedly favoring brightly hued logos. In truth, though, like with all Trends Reports, we were objectively reporting what we saw. The color dial was certainly pegged.

For the 2011 report, our ninth, color is still prevalent, but tinted down. Where black has been used as the strong neutral, now brown or gray is in place. Blues and greens are softer, and pinks are starting to appear.

Other degrees of lightness: Shapes are airier, lifting off the page. Designs are rising out of their 2D resting places and suggesting that they would really like to go places. In some logos, line weights are slimmer. There’s plenty of transparency, too, as if light is now able to flow right through.

It feels like what people believe a logo to be is also becoming more transcendent. A logo is no longer a single piece of flat art. It can be a favicon, an icon, or an entire set of marks that work together to support the team. Its boundaries have become less strict as well. There was a time when most logos could be enclosed in a simple hand-drawn square, circle or similar geometric shape, but now many logos drag outside those outlines. They just don’t want to fit the old mold.

We also saw plenty of:

  • Items related to wine—bottles, corks, glasses, corkscrews.
  • Sticking with the light theme, lots of sunrises—or are they sunsets?
  • For some curious reason, mortar and pestles, owls, and zebras (not in the same designs).
  • Single-, double- or triple-line ribbons—almost like Chartpak tape of the 1970s—that run through letters and designs.
  • What stood out most of all were trees (which incidentally is the most searched-for word on the LogoLounge site). There was also a hyper-resurgence of leaves, but leaves being used in really creative way: floating on water to represent stepping stones, celtic knots built out of leaves, a sculling team rowing a leaf-boat, the veins of which represent oars. Trees and leaves are not just used to represent sustainability/nature anymore, but the designs in which they are used do get the added perk of being basking in a pleasing ecological light.

The 2011 Trend Report

Every year, it’s worth noting that this is a report on trends, not a recipe book of styles. It is also not a finite list: There are other valid trends out there that are not mentioned here.

The report should serve you as an ongoing view of where logo design is headed. The word “trends” in itself can have a very negative cast, but in truth, trends aren’t bad. They reveal our growth. It’s our take on them that allows us to move even further forward.

Read the full Logo Lounge report.

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