One of our favorite things about the end of the year is looking ahead to what’s coming up next. And one of our favorite ways to do that is to take a look at the logo design trends that are gaining traction and getting ready to dominate the scene in the new year.
So we asked our community of designers from around the world which logo design trends they think will be big in 2022. Last year, we saw lots of logos that played with ideas of innovation within constraints. In 2022, we’re going to be seeing bolder, less constrained logos—logos developed for a world that’s adapted to life amid a global pandemic. As we move deeper into the new decade, it’s these designs that are carving out and defining the 2020s’ aesthetic.
Take a look at the top 2022 logo design trends
Retro rubber hose logos
You’ve seen rubber hose imagery. If you’ve ever played Cuphead or Bendy, or if you’ve ever simply watched a cartoon produced in the 1920s or ‘30s, you’ve seen rubber hose animation. And in 2022, you’re going to see it a whole lot more… in logos!
Maybe we’re seeing a resurgence of the rubber hose aesthetic because it’s just about a century old. Or maybe because this style lends itself to characters, and as brands aim to feel more personable and more human, character logos are a way to do it. In any case, 2022’s rubber hose logos are colorful, creating a contrast against the black and white cartoons of yesterday.
By presenting these characters in color, designers can incorporate brand color palettes and make this style feel fresh and modern. They’re also nearly universally non-human characters, which makes them feel whimsical and fun.
These types of illustrations will stick around for years to come, due to our tendency to take some important message or something boring, something you’ve got used to for years and turn it into a new, exciting and eye-catching design.
You’re supposed to be able to read a logo’s text, right?
In 2022, that’s going to be a much lower priority as designers experiment with blur effects to emphasize fluidity and movement, rather than focusing solely on readability.
Image via Pentagram
Keep in mind that although readability isn’t necessarily the top priority in these logos, it’s still necessary. Otherwise, people won’t know whose logo they’re looking at! Striking a balance between legibility and an artistic blur effect can be a challenge for designers creating this style of logo, and there are a few different ways we’ve seen them handle it.
You could blur only the edges of the letters, so the main body of the word is apparent. Otherwise, you could accompany the blur logo with a clearly printed version of the brand name so the reader can get a fuller understanding of your brand identity. Creating a blur effect for your logo is so captivating and memorable; plus it welcomes the possibility to add animation.
Stretched and continuous lettering
Blurred logos aren’t the only kind of distortion we’re going to be seeing a whole lot more of in 2022 logo design trends. Designers are also playing with stretched and continuous lettering for a boundaryless, infinite look and feel.
As you can see, these logos have curves. Some of them feel like strands of spaghetti just waiting to twirl around your fork, while with others, only one or two letters are stretched while the others remain regular-sized, pushing the viewer’s eye to those stretched letters for emphasis.
Type is already so expressive for brands and this really extends that idea further. Blending in customized typography to really tap into deeper meanings for brands is going to create a lot more interest and visual diversity.
When a logo emphasizes one letter by making it larger/stretched/in another font/otherwise different from the others, it highlights that letter, like how Alex Tkachev’s logo for Steve Kranco (pictured above, top left) emphasizes the stressed vowels in his name. Other logos work with this trend in different ways, like the curvy, connected logo for Over Pizza (pictured above, bottom left). In this logo, the connected letters resemble the gooey imperfection of a cheesy, saucy slice of pizza.
2000s nostalgia is something we’ve explored on the blog before. Last time, we wondered if it was too soon to start incorporating throwbacks to the aughts aesthetic in designs. Now, the answer is clear: absolutely not! Take a look at the style that’s been dubbed “McBling”:
So what is McBling? It’s an aesthetic that embraces and exaggerates the stylistic features of the 2000s—specifically, approximately 2003 through to 2008. It’s a mixed bag of contrasts to sum up the highs and lows of that period—the devoted celeb worship, the dawning of twitter and cultural obsessions with the color pink, diamantes and gothic fonts.
Now that we’re firmly into the third decade of the 21st century, designers and creatives of all stripes are revisiting the 2000s. If we’re not following documentaries about Britney Spears or Paris Hilton, we’re binging series revivals and nostalgic movie reboots.
Design is following and innovating this maximalist period of aesthetics, paying homage to its emo culture, lavish displays of wealth and of course, bling.
The 2020s were once considered the future of design and technology. We are now turning our backs on the polished minimalism of the now and are looking to the past for inspiration. Specifically, the Y2K boom of the 2000s in all of its kitschy, metallic glory.
Scribbles and sketches
While some designers are riffing on simpler times in their logo designs by incorporating aesthetics from past decades, others are going in another direction for their nostalgia: shaky, scribbly, child-like art:
In 2022, expect to see more scribbles. Expect to see more logos that have that rough, unfinished look, in contrast to cleaner, more “produced” logos you’ve seen in the past few years. This style is raw, yet sophisticated and simplistic. And for a world that’s ready to simplify and shed all the burdens from the past as it looks toward a more optimistic future, simplicity is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Experimenting with line thickness
These logos stick with their brands through thick and thin… literally! In 2022, expect to see a lot of logos that have varying line thicknesses. By doing this, designers are playing with balance to give their designers additional depth and complexity. Take a look at these:
These logos have a dynamic feel that fits right in with our dynamic, forward-thinking vision of the 2020s and beyond. Traditionally, letters are either thin or thick—and in the cases where they aren’t, their weight varies in logical places.
But as designers push boundaries and continue to innovate through their designs, they’re throwing old rules out the window and experimenting with fonts that don’t feel constrained. Perhaps this is a reaction to how constrained so many of us have felt over the past two years or so—or it could be that because 2022’s logo design trends are so font-heavy, it’s only natural for designers to look for ways to play with text.
White space finds imagery
White space in your logo, also known as negative space, is often just blank. That blank space can do a lot of things, like create a “setting” for your logo’s text and other elements or balancing those other elements out so the logo doesn’t look cluttered. In other cases, blank space communicates a brand value like directness or openness. But in 2022, you’re going to see more logo designers working with blank space in a way you might not have seen before: treating it as a blank canvas to fill in different ways, depending on where and how the logo is being used.
This kind of logo is super-versatile, which is what makes it so appealing to many brands. When you need to alter your logo’s look from website to print, or from winter to summer, or even from edition to edition—a logo with customizable white space is easy to adapt to different needs without having to actually change it.
A groovy revival
One recurring theme in logo design trends, year after year, is retro-styled logos. While the style being deemed “retro” changes, the underlying reason why we romanticize nostalgic aesthetics remains: they remind us of “simpler” times.
They remind us of a time before we were online 24/7—before “being online” was even a concept—an era before many of us were seeing climate change happen in real-time, back when it felt like just a possibility or some far-off worst-case scenario. That’s not to say life was easier for everybody or that society didn’t face challenges but it can be easy to look back on the 1970s (and other periods in the 20th century) wearing your go-to rose-tinted glasses.
In 2022, expect to see throwbacks to the 1970s as designers embrace the ultramodern revival look in their work.
In these designs, we see lots of free-flowing lines and bright colors that feel like they’d be right at home in a hippie commune. When many people today think of the 1970s—whether they lived through them or not—they think of inclusive attitudes and optimism for a peaceful future. So while our news channels and social media feeds show restrictions, strict boundaries, climate disaster and rising far-right governments, throwback designs to a period focused on peace are a comforting contrast.
Another one of the key logo design trends we’ll see rise to prominence in 2022 is logos with layered elements. Minimalism had its moment; now it’s time for big, bold, fluffy logos that have lots of colors, shapes and textures working together to create complex designs. Like we saw with the blurred logos, legibility is taking a backseat to looks in many of 2022’s logo designs, and with these layered logos, we’re seeing abrupt color and pattern changes “interrupt” text and visually separate elements within a design.
In these logos, you can also see elements of other up-and-coming logo design trends, like varying line thickness and bold splashes of color. You’ll also notice what’s perhaps the biggest constant between 2022’s logo design trends: an emphasis on wordmark logos.
Typography takes shape
Once again, we see wordmark logos taking center stage, with the logos’ lettering communicating their brand personalities. These logos come in two varieties: logos where the typography reigns in the imagery, providing an emblem-like shape for the logo, and logos where the typography is nestled within the imagery, providing it with structure and shape.
In these logos, we see text and graphics working together in harmony. They aren’t like the kinds of logos where you have next to an image; with these, the text is crucial to understanding the graphic.
Grunge gets a revamp
We’ve just seen how designers are paying homage to ‘30s animation, ‘70s groovy optimism and ‘00s maximalism in 2022 logo design trends. But these aren’t the only decades whose aesthetics are in the spotlight this year. Designers are also throwing it back to the ‘90s with grunge-inspired designs.
Think lo-fi and primitive versions of modern technology. Think dark and brooding with a DIY feel. That’s grunge aesthetics in action. And with these logos, you see a broader trend at play: wordmark logos where the font is the defining characteristic. These typefaces have texture, and that texture is rough.
Logo-wise, 2022 is already looking great!
When you look at the logo design trends we expect to see everywhere in 2022, do you like what you see? We do!
As you can see, text logos—in a variety of styles—are going to be one of the “it” styles of 2022. We’re also going to be seeing a lot of nostalgia from a lot of different decades and art styles. As you search for inspiration for your next logo design, look to the past. Think about what’s worked before and what’s evoked the kinds of feelings you want to evoke in your new design. Then, find a way to reimagine it for 2022: that might mean stretching it, blurring it, animating it or simply giving it a fresh color palette.