3 Ways to Tap Into 2022’s Biggest Logo Design Trends 

These forward-thinking designs draw inspiration from the past

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It’s safe to say that 2021 hasn’t been the year anyone expected. Yet again, designers and brands are responding to shared global challenges, but there are distinct undercurrents of revival, possibility and a tentative optimism happening in visual culture. From expressive typefaces that communicate far beyond words to retro color palettes and playful nostalgic nods towards childhood, these are just a few of the logo trends shaping up to play an influential role in 2022.

Let the type do the talking

Typefaces evoke an emotional response—they’re powerful, like a visual tone of voice. As such, as far as design elements go, lettering in logo design is often one of the most profound expressions of a brand’s identity. This year, we expect to see more brands take this a step further by blending custom type into logo and wordmarks to capture deeper meaning and visual diversity.

It’s a style that spans sectors and a myriad of successful applications, from health campaigns raising awareness of bowel cancer in young people through a cleverly integrated logomark and custom font, to bespoke lettering reminiscent of beveled weapons and blades in a new logo created for the Warhammer gaming trilogy.

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Taxi Studio

But one of the most effective examples of this trend is the sweeping lines and expressive curves of the branding for LGBTQ+ platform, Serif. Created by Pentagram, the logo and visual identity come together through experimental lettering, creating forms expressive in and of themselves. The custom alphabet was described by the studio as an “infinitely variable” wordmark, and this is brought to life in the way the community can use accents and details from the logo and lettering as icons and glyphs throughout the platform itself.

Expressive typography breaks down cultural barriers, creating opportunities for brands to design logos that convey meaning through visual as well as linguistic expression. And with Serif, the fluidity of the typography reflects the infinite identities within the community it serves in a truly beautiful way.

Pentagram

Sink into a ’70s groove 

Whether you lived through them or not, even fifty years on, the 1970s is a decade that evokes ideas around inclusive attitudes, open minds and a hopeful optimism for the future. It’s easy to see why brands are already dipping their toes into the aesthetics of a time that echoes the cultural climate of today. From social and political upheaval, economic instability and long-standing fights for civil rights and gender equality, the cultural touchpoints between the two decades are uncanny.

It’s natural that people are looking for some retro relief, whether from iconic color palettes of the decade contrasted with minimal layouts to curvy letterforms or a distinctly disco vibe. Burger King led the way with this deliciously reassuring trend, riffing off its old branding—paring back the logo to a clean, flat design and reviving a familiar 1970s aesthetic through a muted, more natural color palette and a custom typeface created by agency Jones Knowles Ritchie.

While it’s the most recognizable use of the trend this year, Burger King is far from alone when it comes to brands making the most of some subconsciously reassuring nostalgia by tapping into its own heritage. BMW is also embracing a blast from the past, having recently announced plans to revive its original and iconic 1970s logo as well as a range of retro paint options in its new M division cars.

Elevate scribbles and mischievous mark-making 

While many brands and creatives channel simpler times by tapping into styles from past decades, others are capturing a sense of nostalgia in a different way—elevating slightly childlike scribbles and doodles as central visual elements. In contrast with many of the sleek, overly-produced logo designs of recent years, this freeform style has an unpolished but fundamentally playful feel that appeals to younger demographics keen to shed the challenges of the past two years.

In its 2021 redesign, mental health charity Mind refreshed its iconic scribble logo to simplify its form and amplify its existing brand equity throughout its visual language. Created to be warm and approachable, the hand-drawn style adds a profoundly human touch to the powerful and personal stories the organization often shares.

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Mind

Brands planning to leverage this charismatic trend may seek to counter potential negativity around the childlike style by collaborating with artists who add cultural cachet to the redesign. One such success story is FENDI’s collaboration with multidisciplinary artist Noel Fielding, who created an abstract, scribbled version of the fashion house’s iconic logo in his signature style. The freedom and irrepressible personality captured in the redesign reflects the playful appeal of this trend, however it’s one that brands and organizations should approach with some care.

After all, it’s hard to come back from the kind of roasting that Transport for London received on the unveiling of its modified version of the London Underground logo. Created by artist David Hockney to look deliberately as if it was made using Microsoft Paint, this proved a step too far for many to cope with!

The ’20s is a decade still finding its visual feet, with brands seeking comfort in nostalgia and design revivals while also establishing new values and expressions of their identity as a result of shifting consumer expectations. Time will tell which of these aesthetics defines our current time, but it’s certain that designers are planning to have a lot of fun along the way.