Logo Design Trends 2009

Logo Design Trends 2009

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2009 Logo Design Trends

Logo Orange & Logo Lounge, as always, post about the latest logo design trends each year and they have just released the 2009 predictions. I would love to hear your thoughts on the predicted trends.

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Do these identity / branding trends effect you or your process? Do you agree with these suggestions? Have you noticed any other trends?

2009 Logo Design Trends

Psychedelic Pop Backgrounds




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Classic Modernism

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80’s Geometry


Typographic Logos


Street Art


Puzzle Patterns


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99 thoughts on “Logo Design Trends 2009”

  1. My annual trend comment:

    “When a graphics industry expert proclaims something a current ‘design trend’ it is a ‘breaking news’ message to designers everywhere that the specific ‘trend’ should be avoided from that moment on – rather than followed by a thundering flock of design sheep.”

  2. Who’s gonna disagree with Logomotives? 🙂 Got “Really Good Logos explained” for Christmas, noticed your work in there Jeff, very nice!
    But I do have to say the “T:me” and the “upside down” logos are eye-catching.

  3. Hmm…I agree that trends can be tricky things.

    While I think studies like this can be a decent barometer for what people are responding to at the time (hey, clients are pickin’ em, aren’t they?) I do tend to agree with LogoMotives and Kristy. Just because things become popular doesn’t necessarily mean that we would want to perpetuate them as trends. Take the new Pepsi logo or the latest incarnation of the Xerox identity. In my opinion, it just might indicate that some consultancies think consumers have gotten…well…lazy.

    And some of these “trends” have simply ignored every good piece of identity design advice ever given…like reproduction for example. I am having trouble making some of the above out at even those sizes…and to print them? Sheesh!

  4. Jeff,
    Although trends should generally be avoided, I believe they can also spark some new thoughts / inspiration on where you could head with your next design, though there must be reasoning behind the design decision.

    If there weren’t trends we would be stuck with old horrendously complicated logo designs, though that said, they are still about… just less of them.

    Some of the logos featured above are brands / identities and their context should also be taken into consideration. For example the Scotland, Venice logo (under Puzzle Pattern) was certainly not designed to be displayed at that size, but rather for signage. One must take this into consideration when considering the advice / “rules” given to us in regards to logo design.

  5. Just wanted to add that in the LogoLounge 2008 design trend report Bill Gardner writes:

    “Please remember that [the trends] are gathered here to chart long-term movement or change, not to offer design suggestions. It’s a living history. The key is to study the trends, then evolve forward – as far forward as you can leap – from them.”

    Often the problem with trends being put out there as examples for designers is that too many individuals take the trends as a blueprint to follow precisely, rather than something from which to learn, evolve beyond, or to improve upon.

    Unfortunately, I suspect we will always be stuck with horrendously complicated logo designs as another form of annual design event.

  6. I’ve noticed mostly how logos have become a lot more modernized over time which is normal progression but the trends tend to be 3D type images or some kind of button or bubble effect where things look shiny and right in your face. I think apple does it the most with all their products. It just looks so futuristic.

  7. Not sure if I agree about the trends here, but I do have to say that 90% of the examples shown here are some of the most hideous logos I’ve ever seen (tactile? seriously?) – pretty sure that’s a bad thing! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Great list!

    I think typography logos work best. If you can work out something like the examples above, I believe that the outcome will be very powerful as the identity is literally spelled with no distraction. The next thing you want a viewer to remember is probably the name, not the shape of the logo. How is a viewer gonna look for your brand next time he looks it up on google?

  9. I agree with most saying that “trendy” and “logo” shouldn’t go in the same sentence. I think that logotypes and the classic modernism seem to last the longest.

    I love your blog. I think this is my first post…can’t remember 🙂

  10. hey jacob,
    do you know of any books that have these and other styles of art and design, so i can learn more about them.


  11. I’m with Jeff on this one. I find it interesting to see what a perceived as the latest trends in logo design, but then I also try and avoid following them.

    Gaining inspiration from something and following a trend or more or less the same thing aren’t they?

    It’s a shame when you’re in the strange position of being gutted when one of your logo’s suddenly becomes ‘in fashion’ – as it’s looks like one of mine has!

  12. Trends? It’s interesting to observe that the ‘trends’ recognized by Logoorange have repeated themselves each year for the past 35 or so years. Back in the 1970s I subscribed to the Trademark book published by the Library of Congress. Having designed probably 500 or so logos over the years, it was my early professional passion to subscribe to and ‘soak up’ all the latest and greatest logo designs out there. But after about ten years of feeding the passion, I could see enough of a pattern to design that the expense of keeping up was no longer worth it. If you go back over the years in logos you’ll find the SAME designs happening again and again.

    I do not think a recurring ‘look’ in logo design constitutes a trend. The only thing ‘new’ in those ‘trends’ are the ones called “logos” which really aren’t logos at all, or those which could be considered ‘BAD’ logos — simply because they are different from the flow of good logos.

    Having said that, I think it’s a slick little nich Logoorange has going because as soon as it was posted, ‘new’ designer blogs all over the world began to post and link to it. What a great way to drive traffic to your site.

    On the down side, the majority of new designers will take these “trends” as holy grail. Their new “discoveries” will then feed the logo trends mill with yet more poorly designed logos — or graphic configurations they’ll call logos but really aren’t logos at all.

    Many of the logos cited are really nice, and superb examples of what makes a good logo. However, many others touted in the “trends” piece really wouldn’t pass the logo design acid test. That’s something all the upcoming designers need to factor into their creative mind sets. Don’t take it as gospel just because it appears in a popular blog.


  13. I have to agree with Mike. Most of the logos are unrecognizable.

    “Who’s gonna disagree with Jeff?” Hahaha. I wouldn’t dare…but its mostly because he’s right. Following trends can’t possibly lead to something special. However, I love that these list are compiled for or viewing pleasure.

    “Talkmore” is awesome! I wish I would have thought of that.

  14. Phil said:
    > While some logos will look great no matter
    > what the size, some of these logos are
    > impractical just in the sense that they
    > lose all their detail once they
    > reach a certain size.

    Exactly the point I made in my earlier post.
    SIZE is one of the acid tests.

    A good logo should be scalable and still retain its look — When designing, try the logo on a lapel pin, a coin, or a ball-point pen. Does it still purvey the intent of the design?

    Another “acid test” is black and white. This is where probably 85% of the logos up there will indeed fail.

    Reduce the logo to the width of a single column newspaper ad. Now make it black and white. Does it still purvey the intent of the design?

    Now make it LINE. (No screens or halftones) Does it still purvey the intent of the design?

    Now consider screen-printing in flat colors; or embossing; or foil stamping; or sewn fabrics …
    Does it still purvey the intent of the design?

    These are all considerations that should be made when designing a logo.

    Too many people rely on process color, and computer effects to “carry” the design — or lack thereof.

    I’ve learned that lesson several times — the hard way. I designed a complicated logo which was totally successful for the client … but then some time later the client wants it put onto a lapel pin for employee perks, or an embossed metal plaque to affix to the product… or sewn banners to adorn the building or an awning. The heart really sinks when you realize you didn’t observe the acid tests for logos — and you have to create an “alternate” (sometimes at your OWN expense) to make it work where the client wants it.

    And just when you think “it will never happen” or “they’ll never use it that small” … the phone rings and they do.


  15. Right. So it’s great that most outlets can now print a fairly cost effective gradient easily, but obviously most of these would need to come along with two color, reproducible counterparts. I like the idea of inspiration with the origami feel and illustrative patterns as long as they would reinforce the brand.

    The drop shadows, though, bring me back to high-school and Word Art.

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  16. I really like the street art look but I do see it used a LOT already.

    Will make mental note to not use swooshes as I don’t see them in this years trendy list 😉

  17. Interesting post. Does being impractical count as a trend? While some logos will look great no matter what the size, some of these logos are impractical just in the sense that they lose all their detail once they reach a certain size. While I’m sure they all have minimum size requirements, it’s almost as if some of these logos are too detailed for their own good.

  18. There are a lot of good posts here on this topic. There can clearly be many takes on the ideas of trends in ANY industry. By the very nature of trends, they have measurable life spans with the potential of negative connotations for the next decade (or two or three) after they day…and before they once again resurrect.

    Usability, in my opinion, next to branding and brand communication, should be the top three reasons around which to build a logo. Everything else is just flashy and pretty – which, as a designer, I myself am guilty of. We need our brand identity to be able to live beyond a five year stint and not burn out in shame as Uggs are currently (look around you! Scary old ladies wearing them under their mumus! The trend is now dying-and dead in some cities!) when when the trend begins to fade. And we look like yesterday’s hat.

    SOME can be softly morphed on a continual basis into new trends…but isn’t that a lot of shape shifting and changing when you want to promote stability in a brand?

    A final thought: the cool red and turquoise front-loading washing machines today will soon be the mustard yellow and harvest green refrigerators of tomorrow…

  19. Interesting!
    Talking about trends, have you heard of the Picol project? (http://www.picol.org).
    Going throught the logos does seem a bit drab due to the inherent black-and-white theme, but they’re gaining quite a bit of popularity. (esp with the history of internet video they came out with).

  20. Following the post by Abhishek Kumar

    > Interesting! Talking about trends, have you heard of the
    > Picol project? (http://www.picol.org).

    That is certainly one to follow as it matures.
    However, it is far from new. “Pictograms” have been around
    since the first burned charcoal scrubbings on cave walls.
    Not to be confused with Logos. (Although sometimes mingled)

    But Abhishek …
    > logos does seem a bit drab due to the
    > inherent black-and-white theme

    Remember the cardinal LOGO rule:

    . . . “It MUST work in Black and White”

    Take all of the logos above and print them in BLACK only.
    Now which ones are wonderful?


    This morning I got this information — the author wishing to
    have it reviewed in DTG Magazine:

    http // www incspring com

    Could this be a new twist in the saga of pedestrian logo design? They even have “domains” that go along with the logos. So you find a domain that suits you, buy it, and presto — instant branded site. It could be an effective gimmick. And, it could become profitable.

    (I intentionally left the punctuation out of the link above because Jacob might not want to give free link rankings to this site! )


  21. Thanks for the post Jacob, love the links to all the logo trends sites. I also love the conversation that the post prompted – great responses!

  22. Definately some interesting trends there.

    As to whether they are suitable for practical use is questionable, as has already been stated above.

    I guess it depends on the industry though.

    Psychedelic or origami style logos may suit a business in the creative industry but would look a bit stupid for a realtor or mortgage broker.

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  24. Looking for some ideas to create a logo for a real estate site. Still didn’t get the feel for it. 🙁

  25. Hi there. Nice collection.

    I asked a few designers to create a logo for my website and business and the price they asked is between $300 and $500. Is that a fair price?

  26. Cool one nice sorting of logos i like the typography logo design work.
    Thanks for share the creative post with us.

  27. Just like fashion, it seems like logo and design trends comes back at some point in time.

    Some thing is totally ignored at times and other times, the same things are so popular. Very nice and natural, I feel.

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