2020 marks a generational shift for all of us.
Worldwide, we shifted from in-person gatherings to virtual ones. From in-office working to working at home, from restaurant dining to parkside picnics. From a sense of spontaneity to a newfound need for caution.
This shift, while ongoing, has had notable impacts on the world of branding and design.
With global internet use skyrocketing, and lockdowns affecting how businesses connect with their consumers, the need for ecommerce rocked traditional retail businesses. But if we’ve learned anything from this year, it’s that humans are adaptable as hell. And this year’s logos indeed reflect that.
According to Shopify’s 2020 ecommerce report, 10 years of ecommerce growth happened in just 90 days at the height of the pandemic. The need for fast, smart, and effective design was stronger than ever this year. We felt this at Looka, with an over 48% rise in online search for “logo makers” during the first wave of lockdowns in 2020. People needed logos—and they needed them fast.
Not only was there a rise in new online businesses, but we saw an entirely new set of niche businesses arise over the course of 2020, notably in the cleaning/sanitization field, facemasks, and food delivery, creating a demand for new symbol choices and squeaky clean color palettes.
In our first logo trends report, we’re going to dive deep into the trends we’re seeing from Looka customers designing their own logos, parallelled with some of the biggest rebrands, logo updates, and new logos of the year. In this report you’ll find:
- 2020’s top logo colors and color combinations used in logos
- The top 5 fonts collectively used in over 16% of all logos in Looka this year
- An analysis of the budding logo styles for 2020
Logo styles of 2020
Trends don’t happen in isolation. They are the effect of a broader context. This year’s top logo styles show how a global phenomenon, like a pandemic, made waves in the world of branding and logo design.
An urgent need for versatility
If we’ve learned anything from this year, it’s that humans are adaptable as hell. And this year’s logos indeed reflect that. With millions of consumers migrating to online shopping for things they’d traditionally purchase in-store, the need for highly versatile logos swept 2020.
In some cases, we see monograms replace wordmark logos, see Adobe and Rudsak as examples.
In other cases, we see logo symbol choices made to double as patterns for branded packaging to increase delight and win customer loyalty from folks who’ve never interacted with the brand in person. See the Looka customer example below.
Logos that double as easy graphics on social media or website symbols, aid in easier visual recall of new online brands. The below are great examples from Looka customers.
As more and more businesses move online, the burden a logo carries has increased. Logos need to be sharp, easily read, well-defined. They must function across platforms, from social media to websites. And across realities, from online to in-hand. As this trend continues, we’re likely to see an increase in monograms and brandmark logos that can meet the fluid demands of both brand and consumer respectively.
Similar to a need for versatility, but deserving of its own category, drastically minimal logos with non-nonsense design became a huge trend in 2020 logo design.
Take Mr.Pringle as an example. One of the most beloved logo mascots received a major facelift in 2020, and the internet had a lot to say about it. Hair replaced two indicative arches for eyebrows, and a mustache was stripped down to two brown organic shapes.
We’re seeing logos transition away from being highly-decorated to the rawest elements they contain. Maybe, designers believe the consumer’s eye has evolved enough to fill in the details. We don’t need any more fluff. BMW and Nissan followed suit, with two logo redesigns that move right back to basics.
Looka customers felt the move towards raw design with an increase in hyper-minimal logos showing up.
The success of these minimalist logos is that they’re eye-catching without being distracting. They are engaging but also highly communicative of the most important details. When we drop the fluff, we end up with focused logos that withstand the test of time. An important outcome for brands both old and established, as well as new and growing.
Back to the future
Too much time cooped up indoors lead to a wave of nostalgia reflected in design this year. Retro and vintage-style logos were seen across the board from Looka customers to bigger logo redesigns like Popeyes and Watties.
These logos serve as an ode to a different time but have the precision of design that’s driven by an urgency only a pandemic can create. We miss what once was, but know there’s no going back. How can we honor the past whilst solidifying our place in the future?
The answer lies in doing away with distracting elements and focusing on the essentials— something we are all-to-familiar with in 2020. Clean lines, intentional color choices, and font styles that speak for themselves are all characteristics of these new-and-improved retro logos of 2020.
Top logo colors of 2020
We know color has a deep connection to human psychology. Every color on the spectrum evokes a unique emotional response. It’s an important thing for all brands to consider, especially when starting in the chaos of a year like this one. Let’s take a closer look at 2020’s top logo colors.
1. Neon green, slate gray, and white
A combination of slate grey, white, and neon green was the top color combination for Looka customers in 2020, with over 6% “favoriting” logos with this color scheme.
Green stimulates a sense of harmony in the brain. It evokes feelings of calm, nature, and stability. Dark gray (almost black!) creates a sense of power, strength, and force. In some ways, these two colors are opposing in the responses they provoke, but when paired together we see a careful balance of strength and structure, power, and rootedness.
2. Deep red & dark teal
Coming in at a close second, Looka customers favorited 5.8% of logos with iterations of a deep red, as well as a dark teal. In many cases, we see them paired together.
As consumers, we’re used to seeing red and white used in logos. Brands like Coca-Cola, Pinterest, Target, and Netflix have secured this color combination as a timeless classic. However, by throwing a third hue into the mix, an opposing color on the color wheel, the logo’s story changes.
Red is a color known to incite passion, it’s a color that humans associate with danger, excitement, and aggression. We’re feeling a lot this year, it makes sense this color is trending. But, when paired with a muted dark teal, the mood is softened.
Teal is a more analytical color, associated with logic and objectivity. By pairing a warm red, with a cooler teal, the logo is perhaps balanced out and made more dimensional. Reminding us the goal is to find balance in times of high-emotion.
Top logo fonts of 2020
With nearly 2k font options available in Looka’s logo maker, people are not starved for choice. But a few fonts have risen to the top of the list this year as chosen favorites all around. Let’s take a look at the top font trends this year in logos.
1. Cerebri Sans Family
Cerebi is a classic font choice. Defined as a geo-grotesque typeface, this font style is highly versatile and sophisticated. Cerebi is warm, rounded, and inviting—making it a top choice for this year’s wildly varying services that have cropped up in response to the pandemic. At Looka, we’ve seen Cerebi used in almost every industry in almost 6% of all logos created in 2020.
2. Airwaves Regular
Airwaves is a fun condensed sans serif with a lot of character. This typeface knows how to make a statement in small spaces, like a logo. We’ve seen it used largely in tech. Airwaves showed up in over 3.3% of logos this year at Looka.
Functional and creative, Northwell is a scripted font that we’ve seen used time and time again over 2020. This font is prominent in wellness, handmade products, creative consulting services (like photography), and the wedding industry. Northwell was a top choice for folks this year, appearing in 2.8% of logos in 2020. A great option for those looking for a soft, hand-drawn feel to their logo whilst remaining practical and legible.
4. Boxen Bold
Boxen is a wide-set typeface that stands out amongst a crowd. Looka customers looking for something a little different were drawn to this font’s unusual counters, brackets, and terminals. Somehow, Boxen manages to look both vintage and futurist simultaneously, we love the fluidity of this font and it’s clear our customers do too. Boxen was used over 2.3% of all logos generated in Looka in 2020.
5. Allison Script
Allison beautifully impersonates a hand-drawn signature script. A great option for those who want to use their name in their logo, as we see in the example below. The flowy feminine script appeals to those in the wedding industry, as well as other creative fields. Allison was used in roughly 2% of logos in 2020.
- The urgent need for highly versatile logos became prominent as most businesses moved online in 2020
- A move toward straight-to-the-point minimalist logos is reflective of how little time we have for “fluff” these days
- We’re sensing a wave of nostalgia as more and more logos turned to a retro-style this year
- Surprising color combinations like neon green and slate grey entertain while creating a sense of harmony
- Top logo fonts for 2020 include: Cerebri, Airwaves, Northwell, Boxen, and Allison Script