Each Spring, designer and LogoLounge founder Bill Gardner sits down with a huge list of international design submissions and slowly works his way through them, coaxing out telling trends and patterns within the world of logo design. This year was no different, with Gardner scrutinising more than 35,000 designs from over 200 countries, and documenting his findings in LogoLounge’s annual Trend Report.
“The reason the LogoLounge Trend Report has become so valuable to the design community is that it opens our minds to possibilities that are relevant, real, and grounded in our collective psyche,” says Gardner, who’s worked on the document for the past two decades.
As always, this year has seen him identify everything from prevailing patterns and recurring graphic shapes to changing attitudes towards type. One major theme for 2022 is greater consideration towards wordmarks and typography, with Reverse Stress, Super Traps, and Tight all identified as trends.
As Gardner explains in the report, Reverse Stress references beautifully bold wordmarks that use counter-weighted letterforms to let you know that “this brand will be your sidekick if you’re looking for a good time”.
Super Traps encompasses a group of logos with pockets of negative space used as ink traps – once used to “counter ink misbehaving on press” – while Tight refers to logos that are “the antithesis of the ‘pay-no-attention-to-me’ sans serifs” that have become ubiquitous.
Other notable trends identified by Gardner include a return to the influence of Art Nouveau, which he’s designated as Whiplash. Originating towards the end of the 19th century, and rearing its head again in the 60s as part of the countercultural movement, it’s back for 2022, and seems to have lost none of its potency. Gardner names the Papier logo – part of the rebrand by Ragged Edge, and named as a Creative Review Annual Winner this year – as one example.
The lure of the human touch remains strong as well. The Hand Dots trend is relatively self explanatory, using simple yet expressive blobs to add personality to design – and serving as a reminder that there are real people behind huge, monolithic companies. “This trend is completely about handmade and we’re looking for imperfection because, well frankly, humans are flawed and that can actually be a selling point,” explains Gardner.
And it wouldn’t be a LogoLounge report without a brilliantly named, and somewhat obscure, trend. This year, it’s Uvula. “These look every bit the oral inspection and the uvula hanging properly at the back of the throat,” explains Gardner. “Here, drops have been raised to a level of high regard, encased in an informative frame, prepared to provide context to the client’s story.”
There’s plenty more, including the use of bow tie-shaped motifs, rooty imagery, almond shapes, looping lettering and bursting rays – all of which are available to read about in full in the report.