Your logo is arguably the most important visual aspect of your business. It’s often the first thing people see and judge. Logos express the tone, style and professionalism of your brand.

Logo design trends change over the years, much like the businesses themselves. Certain styles that were popular years ago may be seen as outdated today. However, certain techniques that were used in the past still have a home in the modern business toolbox.

Whether you’re a designer or a CEO, you want to look towards the future and predict the popular logo trends in the upcoming years. The best way to do this is to look at logos from the past and present.

The Past

In order to predict the future, we must learn from the past. For example, the evolution of some logos from the 1950s to the 1970s was drastic.

Shell’s logo in 1948 featured a rough-looking shell with bold shadows that made it seem rugged. Although it was the first year they introduced their iconic yellow and red colors, the logo itself resembles the actual features of a shell. The company’s name is written in white font on top of the yellow shell, which makes it difficult to read.

In 1971, Shell introduced the logo that closely resembles its logo today. It has a smooth border, and the imprints of the shell are straight lines. The company name isn’t visible, which makes the logo look simpler.

Although Shell had to keep evolving their logo until they got it right, some companies were ahead of their time. Aquastat’s 1967 logo had their company name designed to look like a fish. This logo clearly captures the essence of the company in a creative way.

Lucidity is another company that creatively implemented their company’s functions into their logo. As an outfit that specialized in lighting fixtures and dimensional design, Lucidity’s 1969 logo was simply their company name in three-dimensional letters.

Logos from the past show us that the best designs are simple and represent visually what the company does each day.

The Present

If logos from the past set the bar of acceptability, today’s logos have drastically raised that bar.

Simplicity and smoothness are the two keys to creating an appealing logo in the present. The most popular design today is the “flat” design. You see these types of logos from companies like Microsoft, Google, Spotify and just about anyone else. Flat designs are popular because they look clean and they work well on any device. The simplicity of flat designs is appealing to consumers.

Another trend that has emerged in 2016 is the hand-lettered trend. These are logos that feature the company’s name in handwriting. This design creates a personal connection with consumers because the logo seems authentic and relatable. The logo creates a sense of nostalgia by reminding you of notes you would get from your friends. It’s a connection that can’t be made with computer fonts.

There are many design trends to choose from, and it’s up to your personal taste. However, simplicity, smoothness and creativity will continue to dominate in the present.

The Future

It’s difficult to predict the future of logo design. An advancement in technology may completely change the landscape of design as we know it. But we can still take what we learned from the past and present to predict the popular trends of the future.

Shell changed their logo from a detailed and realistic-looking shell to a much simpler interpretation of a shell. Flat design is popular today because of its simplicity — a trend that will likely continue into the future. The less distraction in a logo, the more memorable it is. As a result, logos will continue to get simpler.

Your logo also has the ability to connect your brand to the consumers you wish to reach. This is why hand-lettered designs are so popular now. This connection will be made in the future by the customization of logos. Logo systems are gaining popularity for their ability to adapt to certain situations.

The Internet has created specific niche markets, and companies will connect with those markets by customizing their logo to appeal to them. Look for brands that will deploy different alterations of their logo in the future, sometimes in quick succession.

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The only way to get ahead of the logo trend is to be innovative and to try something new. Use the trends from the past and present to take your company into the future!

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