Every graphic designer understands the mounting pressure to design creative, clever and memorable logos that stand out in the competitive marketplace. A great logo encapsulates a company’s identity and is the foundation of all other marketing efforts, from humble beginnings to worldwide domination. It will be placed on literally everything; whether stationery print or 6 feet high on aeroplane wings. We’ve rounded up the most popular (and controversial) inspirational logo design trends that are paving the way in branding.
Utilising negative space is fast becoming one of the most popular forms of logo design due to its clever manipulation of contrasts. The overall effect doesn’t shout loudly in your face, but dawns on the customer as they look closer, creating a depth that leaves an impression due to its ingenuity.
Young Leeds based designer Alexander Johnson created a logo to be placed on the cover of the classic novel, Moby Dick. The fame of this story allowed for sheer simplicity in the design, with the tail of the whale and the harpoon forming the outline of the i
Fiat released this award winning safety campaign in Brazil, featuring logos of initials of which outlines are formed by shapes similar to the Moby Dick logo. The girl and the dog only become clear after a moment or two of contemplation, cleverly highlighting how a distraction of text (or a text) can divert attention from what is actually there.
This logo has reached fair levels of fame for its imaginative use of negative space to include all three elements of the restaurant name into a single image. The ‘&’ sign forming a swan which holds the shape of the mallard delighted graphic designers and critics around the world.
Lastly the most famous usage of negative space is the Spartan Golf Club, in which the golfer forms the face of the helmeted Spartan. This logo inspired graphic designers worldwide to be creative with their client’s logo design, taking advantage of sometimes abstract names and fitting them into the identity of the company.
The internet can be cruel. Social media forms the largest (virtual) playground where everyone can be an anonymous bully. If you make one wrong move, global humiliation may be your punishment. Here’s some of the most controversial logos that have endured worldwide criticism; some of which stood their ground, whilst others crumbled under the pressure…
If politics wasn’t dividing enough, take Hilary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign logo that spread ripples of controversy across America. Considered clunky and unoriginal in terms of graphic design, and on a philosophical level concerns were raised over the arrow: Why is it Republican red and why is it pointing towards the right? Graphic Designer David Carson thought it “distant, cold, non-inviting and possibly too much like the perception of the candidate herself. It feels like anyone with access to a Dell computer could have done it. In graphic design, and thus logo design, it’s a very thin line between simple and powerful, and simple and boring” (politico).
On the flip side, the simplicity of the logo resonated with the American audience due to its memorability. Others took the arrow as a symbol of moving forward, and noted the deliberate exclusion of the Clinton initial to redefine her as independent from her marriage.
People even took to social media to create their own adaptations of the logo in support of Hilary’s campaign, showing how important versatility is in a logo.
Now for a logo which backed down quickly with its tail between its legs when faced with criticism. The redesigning of worldwide clothing retailer GAP’s logo faced accusations of unoriginality, corporate font and a depressingly uninventive square behind. Of course, GAP immediately reverted back to the original logo which Mark Hanson, president of Gap Brand North America admitting on the GAP website that they ‘failed to engage with the online community’.
“Say What You See”
Logo ideas that rely and play on the name of the business are ever popular in reinforcing the brand in all aspects of their marketing.
Logofaves, designshack, webdesigndev
The pendulum swinging down from the ‘i’ into the ‘o’ gives this logo the edge. Experimenting with different fonts, contrasts of simple colours and playing around with letters to create shapes are all elements of some of the best logo designs around.
theultralinx.com, herblubalin.com, pintrest.com
The breadth of different logos stretches far, reaching into every single industry under the sun. Our advice? From our findings the best logos are simple, clever and whether they’re corporate or quirky, showcase the company as they wish to be portrayed to the wider world.