These 3 Logo Design Trends Are Expected to Dominate in 2019

It's likely that we'll see a lot of similar styles in the new year

Style preferences are continuously changing, and it's likely that we'll see more overlap in coming years. Photo Illustration: Ron Goodman
Headshot of Pamela Webber

It’s that time of year again when branding soothsayers start predicting what colors, fonts and overall design looks will be hot in the year ahead and which fads will fade into oblivion. While no one simply wants to jump on the latest trend du jour, it is undeniably valuable for marketers to be aware of where the industry is going to keep their look fresh, modern and relevant.
Nowhere is this more apt than in a brand’s logo. Think about it: We see hundreds of logos every day, but only a handful cut through the noise and stick with us for longer than a moment.
It’s also a particularly tumultuous time for the marketing industry. Dramatic technological changes and a shift in the way we consume information have completely reshaped consumer behavior, and brands are having to negotiate this transition with increasing creativity and care.
For all these reasons and more, whether you’re an established brand due for a facelift or will be launching a new venture in the year ahead, it will be critical to have a handle on the major trends driving logo design in 2019.

Variable design to reach specific customers

These days, personalization is non-negotiable. People expect one conversation, one voice, one seamless journey with a company. According to a 2017 McKinsey survey, personalization can even increase revenue growth by up to 30 percent.

If a brand feels too manufactured or contrived, consumers are simply going to tune it out, so don’t be surprised to find different styles overlap and co-exist.

Designers are already hyper-aware of the multiple channels through which their work will be distributed, and this year we’ll see logo designers move beyond how well their work translates across platforms and start to explore how well it can help a brand build stronger personal connections with specific customer groups. While marketers have been debating the merits of personalization for a decade, in 2019 this wider rejection of one-size-fits-all marketing will be reflected in a move toward truly variable logo designs that adjust to engage different elements within a brand’s consumer base.
Adaptability will be key through specialized iconography, dynamic typography and thoughtful customization that help frame genuine connections, for example, creating different versions of a company on individual event invitations.
In an environment where consumers have become accustomed to handing over significant amounts of data to companies they interact with, it’s a logical next step that brands will start to leverage this and apply individualized touches to the design elements used to communicate with them.

Nostalgia still rules

Nostalgic references continue to be popular with designers looking to create a logo that will serve as an authentic and timeless element of a client’s brand, but in 2019 this will be exaggerated even further.
Research suggests that a feeling of nostalgia inspires consumers to spend more. A compelling blast from the past can be a bit like a comforting blanket, wrapping up a product or brand in an association with the “good old days.” This nod toward tradition, familiarity and historic origins is already a growing trend in 2018 and something that we should expect to see more of over the next 12 months. Considering the current economic, political and social instability around the world, it’s not surprising that brands are seeking to favor authenticity and heritage over novelty and notoriety.
Precise linework, vintage textures and artisanal touches add an organic and legacy feel, which in turn helps to convey the trust and experience that consumers appear to be craving more. As a result, expect to see more brands tap into this trend as they create logos with pedigree that are designed to last.

Logos that trick the eye

The French term “trompe l’œil” translates to “trick of the eye,” and that’s exactly what this logo trend is all about. An overarching design trend across disciplines for 2019 is experimentation, and in logos, this is most notable in the playful disruption of established norms.
Distortion, visual tricks and shifting perspective allow designers to push the limits of what is typically considered acceptable, whether through overemphasizing certain aspects of a design, altering line thickness or even adjusting kerning. For example, companies such as Microsoft have introduced three-dimensional Office logos that create an illusion of depth and perspective. The new logos make you look twice and disrupt the iconic flat designs that came before them.
Following an undeniably eventful year across the world, brands and designers are set to embrace the unexpected throughout 2019 and beyond. Ultimately, if a brand feels too manufactured or contrived, consumers are simply going to tune it out, so don’t be surprised to find different styles overlap and co-exist. The new year will be an exciting time for logo design as brands and designers navigate conflicting design elements in order to establish authentic connections with their audience.


@pamwebber_sf Pamela Webber is chief operations officer at 99designs.