Are we peak logo? Or are expressive logos just beginning their comeback. It depends on what industry you’re in.
Hey, designers, get over logos already!
In fashion, the massive logo moment may be over, according to Business of Fashion (BoF).
The logo frenzy in high couture began when Paris fashion collective Vetement sent a designer down the runway in a canary yellow T-shirt emblazoned with the DHL logo last year. BoF relates how semi-ironically slapping a logo on a t-shirt then became the next step of logo visibility for almost every luxury brand. It could be seen as a natural step in the age of Instagram when, quoting Tommy Hilfiger in the article, “consumers, especially in youth culture, have always used logos and graphics to make statements about their choices and express their individuality.”
The spike in popularity of retro logos among Gen-Z is perhaps surprising — sportswear labels including Fila and Kappa as well as Tommy are experiencing a resurgence from consumers that didn’t experience such brands’ popularity the first time around.
But now the moment could be over: BoF writes that imitation goods is driving the trend towards its saturation point, with several brands turning away from the logo. Quoting Coco Chan, head of womenswear buying at Stylebop.com:
“The logo didn’t feel particularly new for spring. Fashion naturally moves in new directions and we try to stay ahead with that fresh energy […] The current iteration [of the trend] maybe lacks some of that joyous and playful energy [seen in the 90s], instead feeling a bit more calculated.”
LOGOS EVERYWHERE: The logo moment of fashion swept the planet. (Styletelegraph)
Minimalism? So last year
In graphic design offices, however, the pendulum is swinging in the opposite direction, according to Co.Design. After a three year transition, from a typography standpoint, towards very austere sans serif logos sometimes stripping brands of some personality, expressive logos are making a comeback:
When design moves towards this level of simplicity, designers counter it. Very expressive logos are making a comeback, which is a direct result of nostalgia–and pop culture reboots. We’ve seen it played out on the big screen in Ready Player One and on the small screen in Stranger Things. There’s a thirst for nostalgia and a hearkening to past decades. Designers are dusting off their old font folders and going back to designs that were popular in the 1970s, ’80s, and early ’90s. Letters with big, expressive serifs are an added embellishment that changes the viewer’s perspective, perhaps recalling a different time period, but done in a uniquely new way with modern influences.
Bill Gardner, who originally published a version of the article on Logo Lounge, provides a very handy rundown of the logo trends, broken into different visual trends.
Bring on the nostalgia
Nostalgia is making great comebacks with several big brands. Pepsi continues to lean heavily into nostalgia with the Generations campaign, which rolled out during the Super Bowl this year with a spot that updated a memorable ad the brand ran with Cindy Crawford during the big game in 1992.
And Nike is putting a retro spin on the Air Max 95 silhouette for one of its upcoming releases.