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logo design
November 5, 2003 9:16 AM   Subscribe

15 trends taking shape in logo design
posted by crunchland (44 comments total)

 
Nice find. Thanks.
posted by ringmaster at 9:21 AM on November 5, 2003


Interesting. I thought the work inc logo was the most depressing thing I could have imagined - having no clue who they are I went to have a look as to who would possibly adopt that symbol. If I've got the right one, they appear to be using something much more mainstream now.
posted by biffa at 9:34 AM on November 5, 2003


Does this mean the swoosh is finally dead?
posted by spilon at 9:56 AM on November 5, 2003


I'd have to say those photo icon logos strike me as the least sophisticated of the bunch.

Re: the "spiral" trend, Grant over at Splorp has a wonderful Spirals Critique.
posted by brownpau at 9:59 AM on November 5, 2003


Boy am I glad the swoop is going out of style.

Brownpau-- agreed re: photo icons.
posted by me3dia at 10:01 AM on November 5, 2003


I think we killed it.
posted by adnanbwp at 10:16 AM on November 5, 2003


It's back.

When do the Mefite of the Year awards come out? Crunchland's a shoe-in.
posted by jpoulos at 10:26 AM on November 5, 2003


what metafilter used to be all about...
posted by imh at 10:32 AM on November 5, 2003


damn hippies
posted by tiamat at 10:33 AM on November 5, 2003


What are some "trends" that it left out? I dunno, just seemed to me to be an awfully long list of trends. Can someone point a trend of the past... something that isn't currently a trend, but used to be? I just feel like I looked at an example of every possible logo design technique, not a list of trends.

Still neat though.
posted by Witty at 10:35 AM on November 5, 2003


The swoosh is dead! Long live the droplet!

How about the not-everything-needs-a-logo-logo.

damn logos
posted by Dick Paris at 10:47 AM on November 5, 2003


Not to get into the realms of pepsi-filter too much, but I can't put my finger on exactly why it is that I like the bp logo (#10 on the site). That, with the black styling of their new gas stations, is a design coup.

I'll see if I can find some examples of outdated logo design for you, witty.
posted by crunchland at 10:53 AM on November 5, 2003


Great post. Thanks
posted by Outlawyr at 11:11 AM on November 5, 2003


These really should be called "15 bad trends". The rules that many of them are breaking (no transparency, no full-color images, etc) have been in place for a reason. While these logos will work fine in electronic meida, many won't translate well into the "real world". Are those companies going to reproduce those full-color photo icons on all their stationary, for example? Or on all their trucks? That's going to be pretty expensive.

Many also violate the "Keep It Simple, Stupid" principal. Those "punctuation" logos are horrendous--their unorthodox appearance really detracts from what a logo is supposed to do: make a quick and lasting impression in the audience's mind.
posted by jpoulos at 11:41 AM on November 5, 2003


ugh. stationery
posted by jpoulos at 11:42 AM on November 5, 2003


I read in Wired a month or two ago that the new trend was orange logos (ING, Cingular, etc.) that was replacing the old hat, blue (IBM of the top of my head).
posted by Dr_Octavius at 11:46 AM on November 5, 2003


(Here's the link)
posted by Dr_Octavius at 11:53 AM on November 5, 2003


I think the BP logo would work in greyscale too. A lot of companies now have their trucks painted with photo realistic logos and images ala Coke, Pepsi, Fresh Direct, etc. They are easier to recognise, and serve as mobile adverts. On the other hand it also works with UPS' plain brown and gold trucks.
posted by riffola at 11:53 AM on November 5, 2003


You're absolutely right, jpoulos, about the transparency and the full-color, etc. I really do agree with you. But I kinda like the photo logo technique in spite of all the reasons they suck. Sorry. Anything just as long as hunter green stays dead.
posted by DenOfSizer at 11:58 AM on November 5, 2003


These really should be called "15 bad trends"...

There's very little cost difference these days between wrapping a truck in full color vs. one- or two-color.

Most of these trends have nothing to do with multiple color use, and many transparency effects can be achieved using just two colors via overlapping, etc. Of the 45 examples shown, I counted only 12, maybe 13, designs requiring four or more colors.

And honestly, if companies wasn't OK spending a little extra on printing, these logo trends wouldn't exist.
posted by me3dia at 12:09 PM on November 5, 2003


15 trends? 15 clich├ęs more like... Adobe LogoShop 1.01

Good post.
posted by marvin at 1:13 PM on November 5, 2003


I think these trends point more to the use of the electronic pencil as opposed to a real pencil and paper to develop logos. Not that it's a bad thing, just a tad noticeable. Hey look, I'll skew that sucker, lookitthat! Whoa! I hit transparency by accident. A good thing I did! A logo, now gimme my 5K. heh-heh.

If you hated that work logo, check out where I've seen something similar.

Maybe copycat logo's could be the next topic or companies that ripped off my ideas. That'd be fun!

I still enjoyed the site, however.
posted by alicesshoe at 1:18 PM on November 5, 2003


I read in Wired a month or two ago that the new trend was orange logos (ING, Cingular, etc.) that was replacing the old hat, blue (IBM of the top of my head).

There was piece by Michael Rock (of 2x4) on logo colours in the Rem Koolhaas issue of Wired. Its online but without the pictures, which kind of defeats the point.
posted by none at 1:33 PM on November 5, 2003


Wow. With Mozilla's pop-up blocker, 2x4.org is just an empty orange page.
posted by hyperizer at 1:53 PM on November 5, 2003


[this is good]
posted by dejah420 at 1:58 PM on November 5, 2003


Jeff Halmos' site also does logo critiques, scroll down to Featured Features.

Damnation! Are those swirls I see in his own Featured Product? Are trends just in the ether? Maybe sometimes logos really do reflect the company they are designed for.

I like a lot of these logos, actually.
posted by alicesshoe at 2:12 PM on November 5, 2003


If you hated that work logo, check out where I've seen something similar.

Hmmm. Work logo. Reactor logo. Nope, don't seem very similar to me.

But then I'm weird, I didn't find that first logo depressing either.
posted by kindall at 2:12 PM on November 5, 2003


The Work logo looks awfully familiar.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:29 PM on November 5, 2003


"I'll see if I can find some examples of outdated logo design for you, witty."

80,307 here (.eps too so you can fondle them). I'm sure you can find a few outdated ones.
posted by cedar at 2:34 PM on November 5, 2003


The Work logo also reminds me of this.
posted by grumblebee at 2:44 PM on November 5, 2003


Alright already! Little did we realize there are two work logos.

See #12:Labels - image #3. [3. design firm: howalt design studio, inc. client: work, inc.]

Is that better? In comparing Reactor logo.
posted by alicesshoe at 2:51 PM on November 5, 2003


[this is good]

The rules that many of them are breaking (no transparency, no full-color images, etc) have been in place for a reason.
Wasn't the reason that it was difficult or impossible to reproduce logos that broke the "rules" because of the technology available? I cannot see any logo on that site that could not be reproduced for any purpose that a company would need them, with the possible exception of embroidered logos on caps etc. It is now completely possible and not horribly expensive to create signage for vehicles that include reasonable quality photographs and you can produce almost photo-quality images on readily available office equipment.
posted by dg at 3:14 PM on November 5, 2003


Another work inc logo
posted by smackfu at 3:33 PM on November 5, 2003


fantastic stuff crunchland. logo design is one of the most difficult things i've ever tried to experiment with and to be honest, i've never even come close to success.

their unorthodox appearance really detracts from what a logo is supposed to do: make a quick and lasting impression in the audience's mind.

jpoulos, do you know what you're saying?
posted by poopy at 3:57 PM on November 5, 2003


dont forget the one sans serif lowercase letter in a circle convention. outiline or full circle. an at once nice, but obvious fall back.
posted by c at 6:42 PM on November 5, 2003


Great post! Thanks. (finally, roots)

Green is the new orange. No, "green is the new pink". ah, pink, maybe it's the new green. Let's just stick with green for while longer.

Wired had a GREAT graphic not long ago which had corporate logos grouped by color. It was nice (sorry, I can't find it).
posted by tomplus2 at 7:20 PM on November 5, 2003


Wow. With Mozilla's pop-up blocker, 2x4.org is just an empty orange page.

Double-click the i in the lower left corner.
posted by Tlogmer at 9:04 PM on November 5, 2003


Wonderful link, crunchland! And speaking of trends, logos: hot or not?.
posted by taz at 11:47 PM on November 5, 2003





posted by derbs at 3:53 AM on November 6, 2003


Graphic Design esn?
posted by xiffix at 4:42 AM on November 6, 2003


You all have a point about today's lower costs. But here's what I presume some of these companies' logos would look like on letterhead, and they're pretty crappy. Unless you think they're going to spring for full color printing for every envelope they send...




posted by jpoulos at 7:11 AM on November 6, 2003


That orange e-graphic looks fine to me. Of course, it looks like a rock in grey scale, so I it no longer reflects the company name anymore.

The Fashion Bytes logo looks like mud in grey scale and once again, doesn't do the company name any justice. Hell, even in colour I'd say it doesn't reprazent.

There is no way they'll spring for full colour on all stationery.

Final result, 0-2-0. That does it. Great exercise BTW.
posted by alicesshoe at 7:42 AM on November 6, 2003


Wow, cedar. Great link to the 80,000 logos! I'm going to be there all day.
posted by jpoulos at 7:50 AM on November 6, 2003


I was scanning through the 80,000-logo link and stumbled across this. I had to go back and look again, because at first glance I thought the University was flipping me the bird.
posted by ArsncHeart at 10:07 AM on November 6, 2003


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