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18th January 2012


We’ve already looked at the defining trends in logo design for 2011, and now it’s time to move on to 2012. With a new year comes a new start, and it is no different for those involved in logo design. They are trying to find the newest design trends which are likely to sweep the world of logos this coming year.

Some of these are continuations of the sorts of things some snappy designers were doing last year; others are totally new and could well see their popularity rise.

The end of the year is always a good moment to reflect and look forward to the things to come. I think that 2011 has been a good logo year (despite the economic depression). Why? I think people are getting more aware of what a logo can do for a company. This is also reflected in the numerous blogs on logos, typography, color usage, etc, that have popped up over the year.

So, what did we see this year?

First of all, let’s talk color. I have seen a lot more bright colored logos (blues, greens and pink!). Most of them are eye-catchers and evoke a good feeling with their customers. On the other side, limiting your color choice is part of the logo design process, and some logos have gone too far over the top.

I have never seen so many logos with colors combined into a band!

As 2010 was the year of the black logos, 2011 gave us more gray and brown logos. These logos are bit more subtle then the harsh black ones and the tone ranges vary from sepia to chocolate.


It seems like in 2011 we unleashed the entire zoo onto the world of logos. There have been so many animals in logos: monkeys, owls,  dodos, lions, whales, mooses. The reason: most of the animals listed here have attributes that we would like to associate with a business: aggressive, powerful, dominating, strong, top of their class. It’s a psychological thing.


Bananas, apples, the lot. All these corporate identities are (probably) in some way related to nature or are sustainability oriented.

The triangle

Combining many triangles into a larger shape.

More unusual shapes

Hexagon IT logo

Traditionally, logos have been focused around squares and circles, with the occasional triangle thrown in for a bit of visual interest. 2012 is where that changes. Now people will be using much more freeform shapes, including multi-sided ones which were last seen by most people in sixth grade math class. Brush up on your pentagles, guys.

Buttons and Bubbles

BR mobile logo


The prevalence of Facebook’s like button and Digg’s digg button has totally changed the way that most people interact with the internet. It’s also changing the logo design world, with more people deciding to incorporate press buttons and speech bubbles into designs in 2012.

Gray is the new black (and it’s slimming)

fine cell work logo

Those massive strokes people used to use in logos are no more. Now sleek, ink-shy logos are the way forwards, with lighter weighted fonts and grays and browns replacing the harsh blacks. Very few people are moving towards #000000 on their hex colorwheel: that’s altogether too stark for 2012.

Going Green

environmentally friendly logo

The environment has always been a concern for ethical logo designers. 2011 saw a lot of greens coming into the average designer’s palette, and 2012 will see this trend continue. Expect to see earthly tones to make big companies seem a little more conscientious.

All these trends have affected many logos (for the good and the bad). It also affected the way clients wanted their logos. Personally I think that too many designers followed these trends and the upcoming years will show that some of these logos will have an outdated look and clients will be looking to update their logo, because customers fail  to recognize their logo. So what I hope to see in 2012 is a lot more variation and I hope that designers will be less affected by trends and will develop a tone of their own.

What do you think that 2012 will bring?