Trends of 2020: The year in branding and logos

From clever responses to Covid to a visually revitalised financial sector and a renewed understanding of heritage, we look back on the last 12 months of branding

Despite a year of upheaval, plenty of companies invested in branding in 2020, commissioning updated logos, overhauling visual identities and, in some cases, dreaming up playful ways of responding to the pandemic. At the same time, we saw the rise of Black Lives Matter’s raised fist symbol, and signs of many companies tackling difficult topics such as climate change, politics, and mental health.

While 2020 was, understandably, not a year packed with blockbuster rebrands, it’s been encouraging to see that businesses didn’t neglect creativity in the wake of Covid. And despite the upheaval caused by the pandemic, we did manage to identify a few standout trends…

Hay branding by Christopher Doyle & Co

FINANCE GETS A FACELIFT

The influence of Monzo – and indeed the wider category of young fintech companies – is still being felt on the finance sector, as banks embrace a less corporate look. At the start of the year, First Direct – once considered a disruptor brand – made waves with a shift in positioning, which saw it focus on financial wellness. Seeking to reclaim its place as a consumer favourite, First Direct emphasised its commitment to putting customer wellbeing at the forefront, with a #moneywellness campaign that united photography with a decidedly more personal tone of voice.

Natwest also set out to improve people’s relationship with money by launching its Bó app – which now appears to be shuttered –to encourage users to save rather than spend.

JUNIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Milton Keynes