Recently, on a LinkedIn discussion board, a designer asked if logo design was following the flat trend in UI design. The original post cited an article on DesignTaxi, “Top 10 Most-Talked-About Logo Redesigns Of 2013.”
Most designers who responded to the discussion favored the idea that “All good logos can be written in sand with a stick.” The concept being: simplicity is better than complexity and one-color flat design is better than multi-colored three-dimensional design. I disagreed with a lot of the discussion. Though the UI design trend is flat and less skeuomorphic, logos are increasingly becoming three dimensional in look. This started with AT&T’s logo in 2005 and continues with Autodesk’s new logo from this year.
Not many people favored this point of view and one comment indicated that the examples I shared were “exceptions, not the rule.” My point is that technology has changed and logos must be designed to look good in a variety of contexts and resolutions. Looking at the Autodesk logo, it has a three-dimensional color version, a flat color version, a black and white version like a stencil, and specs for literally reproducing it in three dimensions for signage. The key here is that logos are no longer required to be designed for strict one-color printing. Cheap digital color printing has changed that. Three-dimensional design tools have changed that. Video and animation have changed that. And we hardly use fax machines anymore because most documents are scanned, emailed, or completed online.
Furthermore, concepts of brand identity have evolved. Logos can now be multifaceted and have variations in design such as the Virgin logo. Corporations can have fluid identities such as those of Saks Fifth Avenue and the City of Melbourne. The flexibility in brand identity is a post-modern idea, which started with the infinite alteration of the MTV logo in the 1980s and its irreverent destruction when blown up with dynamite in a logo animation.
Yes, design a good, flat, one-color logo. But also design an animated three-dimensional version. The order of which will depend on the client’s needs.
Read the original on mblisher.com.