Startup Logo Trends in 2012

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Being ahead of the game in branding and logo design is essential. As a brand, you should always be keeping a close eye on current design trends in order to present the fact that you’re in the now. Any brand who’s considering using an arc over the top, double letter overlapping or shadow effects (or anything else from the 90’s) should certainly read on.

Luckily, there are plenty of useful sources that break down current trends of branding in an analytical fashion such as Bill Gardner’s report, taken from Logo Lounge. By using sources such as this, designing a logo for your startup company does become a lot easier; helping you to bring your business truly into 2010’s. Here are some of the top startup logo trends for 2012.

Overview of 2012

In recent times function is the driving force behind form, while detail is pushed to the sidelines somewhat. Take the tech industry for example: designers are producing logos for an ever-increasing amount of consumer devices and electronics. In turn, consumers are more savvy these days, so focusing on the unique function is more important than the intricate design of a music player or smartphone.

A noticable facet for design during the 2010’s is that pinpointing styles to a certain worldwide location is becoming increasingly difficult, and perhaps even irrelevant. Design is not location specific anymore. Where in past years you could see a logo and pair it with somewhere like Chicago, London or Paris; nowadays it is not so easy to tell. The ever-evolving worldwide web has made global communication more accessible than ever before; allowing brands to sell their product and communicate with clients overseas like never before.

More specifically, with the increase of electronic devices, such as smartphones and tablets etc. designers are beginning to question ‘what is a logo?’ as they blur the lines between favicons, buttons for apps, logos and icons.

For example: if you were to show the modern day internet user the favicon for Google…

credit: Wikipedia

…they would probably recognize it as Google’s branding, not just the favicon.

This just goes to show that branding has to be as strong as the logo for every minute detail of the web branding formula; giving something for contemporary digital consumers to latch onto.

Honest and Healthy

The ‘natural look’ is one which is appealing for 2012. The whole world is turning greener by the day, and people are constantly looking for healthier ways to better themselves. Honesty is a good tactic (and not just in design), which sends an upfront, ‘no BS’ message to the consumer. Check out Honestly Healthy for a great example of ‘organic’ branding.


Bringing the human touch back into design seems to emerge each year in a different skin (if you’ll pardon the pun). For designers, it is always important to rebuild the relationship between digital design and physical design – even if it’s through the use of a digital technique. In 2012, designers are not only using watercolours as a feature; but are actually using them to define the logo. The shape, form and shading of the logo are all structured by the use of the digital watercolour’s paint; which is most interesting. Check out some interesting watercolour logo designs here.


If you are wise to the emerging trends in logo design over the last few years, you will notice that tessellation in design is nothing new. However, Bill Gardner on Logo Lounge makes the point that from analysing the trend of tessellation you can see that logo design is evolving and not emulating. The tessellation designs we are seeing in 2012 connote accuracy and meticulousness to a consumer; branding the product with a scientific precision. Have a look at some good examples of tessellation logos from 2012 here.

In conclusion, if you are making the step towards logo design, it is essential that you do the fundamental research leading you to the initial design you want to pursue. Evolving and progressing past designs from the 21st century and building on trends that are new to 2012 will truly help your logo stand out from the congested crowd of digital design.

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