8 Hot Logo Design Trends in 2023

8 Hot Logo Design Trends in 2023

Keeping up with the evolving world of logo design is crucial for designers, and 2023 is no exception for emerging trends. While the year is not over, discernible patterns have already made their mark. This variety accommodates diverse preferences, catering to those who favor understated yet powerful designs and those intrigued by animated and kinetic logos.

Minimalist animal motifs and clever use of negative space are gaining traction. This demonstrates a wider cultural shift toward simplicity and clarity, shunning excessive elements and favoring clean, impactful visuals. Negative space, especially, has found innovative applications in logos, doubling as functional design elements while adding a layer of ingenuity.

Animation is taking the spotlight in logos that come to life. This goes beyond simple aesthetic appeal; animated logos captivate the viewer’s attention in a crowded digital world. The utilitarian aspect of animated logos cannot be ignored, as they make for memorable and easily recognizable symbols across different media platforms.

Consultations with design studios and creative professionals have shed light on the motives behind these burgeoning trends. Symbolism plays a significant role in the choices made by designers this year. Whether using negative space to create additional meaning or incorporating animation to communicate dynamism, these design elements are not mere decorations. They enhance the message, making the logo not just a symbol but a narrative in itself.

This array of 2023 design trends is a testament to the industry’s adaptability and keen sense of evolving consumer preferences. The emphasis lies on creating logos that are not only visually appealing but also meaningful and functional. Watching how these trends continue to shape the design world will be interesting as the year progresses.

Archways and ovals

Archways and ovals in Logo

Using arch and oval outlines in design is a contemporary reinterpretation of emblem and badge-style logos that have enjoyed long-lasting popularity. Not only confined to graphic design, these shapes are featuring prominently in 2023 architecture and interior design, making them a multi-disciplinary trend.

In her Mindfulness Croyde logo, designers like Clara Jonas fuse arch shapes with metaphysical symbols like moons and eyes. This combination promotes a balanced, harmonious feeling that aligns well with wellness-focused brands. The use of these shapes and symbols contributes to what Jonas describes as ‘soulful branding,’ capturing the essence of the client’s aims in a visually compelling manner.

Similarly, Damjan Ćorić often incorporates arch and oval motifs in his designs. His work frequently references heraldry and medieval art elements, lending an air of classicism to modern branding. Irina Kolosovskay employs ovals in a contemporary style, as seen in her design for Cèu clothing and an under-development cosmetics brand, aesthetically combining shape and function.

Suzy Grimsley provides:

  • Insight into the trend’s longevity.
  • Emphasizing how arch-shaped logos offer hierarchical structure.
  • Contrast.
  • Movement to a design.

Grimsley’s work in the brand identity ‘Space Cowgirl’ and The SD Network logo demonstrates how arches direct attention toward the focal point of the design. These shapes introduce fluidity and balance, traits that enhance logo memorability.

The current prevalence of arches and ovals in design isn’t merely a nostalgic callback but a well-thought-out design strategy. The elements work in concert with other visual symbols to create brand identities that are both aesthetically pleasing and functionally effective. These shapes serve multiple purposes: they encapsulate and spotlight the core elements of the logo, evoke historical or mystical themes, and generate a balanced and inviting visual field. This multiplicity of functions explains their wide application across various design disciplines.

Hidden in plain sight

Hidden in plain sight in Logo

Exploiting negative space in design—particularly within the hollows of specific letters—creates subtly clever visuals in flat logos. In the case of Five Star Kitchen, also known as Five Star Chef on different streaming platforms, the use of negative space goes beyond aesthetic value. Supple Studio founder Jamie Ellul inserted a knife icon into the void of the letter ‘a,’ adding a second layer of meaning to the design. Initially, viewers notice a luxurious design, which eventually reveals its cutthroat essence—a fitting representation for a high-stakes cooking challenge show.

Pierced by Claire’s logo, it shows another inventive use of negative space. This brand, popular among children and tweens, made several modifications to create a unique identity. The spaces within the letters’ P,’ ‘R,’ ‘C,’ and ‘D’ were reduced, and the lettering was closely kerned. Circles were integrated into the design to represent various types of ear piercings, such as lobe studs, helix studs, or barbells. These changes add depth to the design while remaining true to the brand’s core identity.

Vincent Walden from Studio Walden opted for a different approach for the Sunflower Home Support logo. He transformed the ‘o’ characters into sunflower petals, harmonizing the logo with the company’s mission of providing home assistance to those requiring extra care. This design complements the client’s ethos and aligns seamlessly with Studio Walden’s eco-friendly, sustainable graphic design commitment.

While the techniques may vary, the overarching principle remains consistent: deliberately using negative space can subtly convey multiple layers of meaning, enriching the viewer’s engagement with the logo. It serves as both a design strategy and a means to encapsulate the essence of a brand or a message, often revealing itself through a closer inspection, much like a hidden gem.

Kaleidoscopic patterns

Kaleidoscopic patterns in Logo

Creative manipulation of geometric forms is evident in contemporary design trends. For instance, Pentagram utilized the NHM initials to craft a mesmerizing, circular pattern for the Natural History Museum, aiming to bring awareness to climate change issues. This design is discussed in a separate interview that sheds light on the creative process behind it.

On a similar ecological note, By Amine fashioned a logo for the renewable energy exhibit Solairexpo. A sun figure sits at the heart of the logo, encircled by fragmented geometric rays that signify the scattering of light and energy across various mediums.

Regarding comprehensive rebranding efforts, Motability transitioned into the Motability Foundation, adopting a new logo that conveys its identity as a disability-focused charity. The logo’s circular geometry, crafted through minimalistic line work, signifies a range of concepts, such as mobility through wheel-like forms, unity, and transformation.

In a different sector, All Good Agency took on the task of rebranding Bloom Bakers into The Biskery. The revamped logo features refined lines that form a timeless, minimalist design. Icons resembling hearts surround a biscuit shape, emphasizing the handcrafted, personalized biscuits crafted for high-profile clients like the BBC and Fendi.

Optical illusions in classical music

Optical illusions in classical music in Logo

Optical illusions have been increasingly integrated into music logos, signaling a transformation in design thinking. Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano, for instance, has rebranded with a logo that metamorphoses a double ‘M’ into a structure evoking the famous Metropolis film. This significant departure from their earlier La Verdi brand identity brings them closer to the realm of the arts than corporate sectors like accountancy.

Brussels Philharmonic has taken a different route, employing a text-only design that simulates motion across a digital screen. Designed by WeWantMore, the logo utilizes variable letter widths to achieve this kinetic illusion. Yet this approach has its drawbacks; the visual distortion could disorient some.

Philharmonie Luxembourg has embraced a design that is more harmonious with its surroundings. Crafted by NB Studio, the logo imitates undulating sound waves and reflects the concert hall’s architectural features. This logo has the unique ability to adapt its form to align with different musical compositions, embodying a level of flexibility rarely seen.

As this trend gains traction, concerns over accessibility cannot be overlooked. Such visually arresting designs can potentially isolate certain segments of the audience, notably those with conditions such as photosensitive epilepsy, autism, migraines, and vestibular disorders. The challenge here is to navigate the intricate boundary between innovation and inclusivity.

Design professionals have voiced concerns over this dilemma. Optical illusions provide a fertile ground for creativity, conveying brand values in nuanced and ingenious ways. It’s crucial to strike a balance to avoid crossing into inaccessibility. For instance, animation elements in logos need to be carefully calibrated. A too-flashy or disruptive design can cause distress for individuals with epilepsy, ultimately detracting from the logo’s effectiveness and the brand’s message.

As this design ethos evolves, it necessitates a more nuanced understanding of how aesthetics and accessibility coexist. There’s a pressing need for designs that are both visually stimulating and universally accessible. This dual requirement presents a complex challenge for designers, pushing them to be increasingly mindful of the broader implications of their creative choices. The key takeaway from this emerging trend is the imperative for balance: to create logos that captivate while being conscientiously inclusive.

Rise of the Rubber Hose mascot

Rise of the rubber hose mascot in Logo

The rubber hose animation style, rooted in the early 20th century, has found its way into contemporary design for diverse industries. Initially favored by iconic brands like Disney, this design approach features simplified shapes, rounded edges, and line work reminiscent of marker pen drawings. In his work for golf client Caddy Gilmore, CJ Cawley adopted these traditional elements to create a mascot that appeals to adults and children. This method of design, once largely associated with streetwear and food trucks, is now applied across sectors, from sports teams to utility providers.

Modern designers continue to find innovative ways to apply this retro animation style. For instance, Creamy, a gelato brand targeting a younger demographic, opted for rubber hose animation complemented by a plush typeface called ‘Cream Cheese.’ The style perfectly aligns with the youthful vibe of the brand. Similarly, Expressim, a coffee shop, utilized the style to animate a coffee cup. A droplet of coffee at the cup’s rim adds a touch of dynamic energy to the design.

Another compelling example is Nicole Weber’s logo for Moody Desserts. Her design incorporates contrasting facial expressions on a cup and a pie—happy and sad, respectively—to resonate with the brand’s slogan, ‘Eat your feelings.’ This smart use of contrasting emotions enriches the brand’s narrative, making it memorable for the consumer.

Incorporating the rubber hose animation style is an artistic means to connect with audiences across generations. Its simplicity and nostalgic charm have a universal appeal, which explains its resurgence in various industries today. With its fundamental characteristics, this style provides ample room for creativity, enabling designers to construct meaningful, multi-layered messages within straightforward designs. It’s a testament to the enduring power of vintage design elements in establishing contemporary brand identities.

Flowing psychedelic abstraction

Flowing psychedelic abstraction in Logo

Recent years have marked a notable shift in design aesthetics, with 2022 witnessing the burgeoning of the psychedelic style characterized by free-flowing typefaces and sinuous symbols. This trend has evolved even further into a realm of abstraction that can best be described as having a lava lamp-like feel.

One case that illustrates this shift is Agency MullenLowe’s in-house rebranding. Led by João Paz, head of design, the agency transformed its octopus logo from a static, symmetrical figure into a completely fluid representation. The change captures the essence of contemporary trends, emphasizing fluidity and constant change rather than fixed, rigid shapes.

Salt and Sister Studio’s Heidi Elkholy has expressed appreciation for designs incorporating “weirdness” and fluidity, departing from the once-dominant, serious, homogeneous minimalism style. This stylistic exploration is increasingly prevalent in both commercial and high-end design sectors.

Studio Yukiko, based in Berlin, took the psychedelic trend to a new level with its rebranding of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of World Cultures) logo. Here, gelatinous blobs form the HKW monogram, morphing into a fluctuating pattern. An advanced face filter allows visitors and audiences to interact with the logo in real time, making their sounds and movements part of the dynamic design.

Pentagram had a unique opportunity to explore this design style when working with the music therapy charity Nordoff & Robins. The agency infused its design with references to sound waves, moods, and emotions, epitomized by an undulating hand-drawn ampersand.

These examples underline the current direction in which design aesthetics are moving. Rigidity and symmetry are giving way to fluidity, movement, and abstraction. This reflects a change in design preferences and resonates with audiences’ evolving expectations and emotional states. Whether it’s embracing the abstract, the quirky, or the emotive, these shifts are becoming defining features of contemporary design.

Minimalist animals

Minimalist animals in Logo

Emerging trends in animal logos are notable for their creative flair and inclusivity. One example is the new Pets at Home logo created by Nomad, which subtly features an animal’s tail. This design is versatile enough to be associated with a cat or a dog, providing a broad appeal to pet owners. This design marks a shift for Pets at Home, which had previously relied on simple wordmarks without any imagery and had a fragmented brand identity with multiple sub-brands.

In a similar vein, Kamila Štěpničková utilized dual tails in the logo for Flüf Boutique. The focus here, too, is on minimalistic but impactful design elements that speak to the brand’s essence.

Switching from conventional to more modern and attractive styles, Hmmm Creative Studio revitalized the logo of the charity Nähtamatud Loomad. The updated design features a rounded single-line drawing, replacing the previous silhouette logo, which makes it more visually pleasing.

The environmentally conscious packaging company De-Extinction opted for a dinosaur in its logo, crafted by Koto. This choice challenges viewers to contemplate the planet’s health, making it an effective, thought-provoking symbol.

Atlas Branding Agency made a similarly insightful choice for Ecusta Market & Café. The agency chose a chicken as the logo’s centerpiece, symbolic of the homesteading lifestyle the market aims to evoke.

These designs stand out for their creativity and convey the core values and essence of the brands they represent. They are evidence of the dynamic shifts occurring in animal-themed logo design, prioritizing flexibility, inclusivity, and meaningful symbolism.

Wide, poster-friendly wordmarks

Wide, poster-friendly wordmarks in Logo

Broad wordmarks often exude a friendlier vibe and naturally occupy more visual real estate. One example is Nordstrom Rack, a subsidiary of Nordstrom department stores, which recently underwent a design transformation by Jones Knowles Ritchie. This design features a notably thick typeface that has the flexibility to be configured into a cube-like arrangement. This cube formation cleverly places ‘Ra’ above ‘ck,’ evoking the sense of items being organized on a rack.

Another example is Salt and Sister’s design for Drop City Books. The logo here is robust and modular, with the option to stack the word ‘books’ in a manner reminiscent of novel spines. The client described this design as a fusion of traditional letterpress and modern protest-board aesthetics. Elkholy points out that the bold, minimalistic approach resonates strongly in design, emphasizing simplicity and clean lines.

Le Shuttle, previously known as Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, introduced a redesigned logo that opts for a wider footprint. Landor & Fitch, the agency behind the redesign, made subtle yet impactful changes to the eyes of the ‘e’ letters. These alterations symbolize the two pivotal aspects of any journey: departure and arrival. Using ligatures to connect several letters adds fluidity to the logo, aiding visual navigation. This design further stretches the letter ‘S’ in certain applications, amplifying its versatility and adaptability.