The Evolution of Logo Design in The Local Industry: A Guide For Small Businesses in The USA

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Shannon Robinson

15th January 2021

Shannon Robinson

“The logo plays a crucial role to create a successful brand identity for a brand. It’s the visual representation of a brand and will convey, in one quick glance, all the emotions, thoughts, connections, offerings, benefits, messages, and value of that particular brand.”

Everyone has their own take on what makes a brand’s logo perfect. New trends and fads appear every year in the  logo designing industry. The evolution of custom logo designs is a gradual and slow process. For example, stripes, letter stacking, fades and geometric shapes were popular in logo design but just a year ago monoline designs, negative space, and retro designs were in the rage.

Today, small businesses and startups have to struggle in an increasingly noisy world, against bigger, more established brands. To do so, SME’s are needed to get noticed. Customers who are discovering a new a comparatively small brand need something to remember the brand. This is when professional logo designs come into play. The logo works as a souvenir for the customers to hold on to. After understanding the potential and the importance of iconic logo design, you must know how important it is to hire a Boston logo design company. The experts working there have the capabilities to create such iconic logos that will set your brand apart from others in the marketplace.

Customer choices and markets vary over time, so it’s significant to understand trends before you settle on your brand. I’m not proposing you to follow fads. For example, for some time, it was very popular to have 3D, animated logos but those were impossible to print and often very difficult to read. What we mean is that settle for those lasting trends that will help you to shape and define your brand. Passing fads can lead you astray.

Fundamentally, a logo is a small, symbolic piece of design that represents a business. But, we’ve uncovered a bit deeper than that. When you set aside all the design trends and fancy fonts, at its core, a successful logo must:

1- Personify your brand.

2- Be immediately recognizable.

3- Be versatile.

4- Be timeless.

5- Memorable.

These tiny logos build a strong brand identity in the digital marketplace. The expert logo designers working at the San Diego logo design agency can create impactful custom logo designs. Understand that it’s vital for the logo to stand out, but you don’t want to create a logo that is too busy or has numerous elements. This is when the best San Diego logo design agency in the USA can help you, they will not let you be stuck with a logo design that limits your marketing efforts.

Further, the experts at the professional San Diego logo design agency have knowledge of color psychology. They use colors in such a way that evokes emotion from the customers. Scientific studies have shown that people have cognitive and emotional responses to colors, and the color of a logo can actually influence whether or not a user makes a purchase. Color choice plays an integral role in communicating and reinforcing the identity as a company.

As more importance is placed on mobile devices recently, it is more important to have custom logo designs that will adapt well to these placements. The internet is littered with clutter, scattered information, spam, etc. Therefore, the more precise and simplified a brand can appear in this space, the more it will resonate with consumers. One key example is Google, which in 1998 was battling with several large search engines. Those engines literally cluttered their pages with tons of links, advertisements, logos, etc. Google was able to stand out from the crowd by providing a clean and simple design of both its landing page and logo. This allowed consumers to avoid distractions and immediately focus on what they need.

What is logo evolution?


Does it mean the logo design completely changes? Um well yeah it could be or It could be one or two of these trivial characteristic updates:

  • A simple clarification of the icon to communicate the message.
  • A contemporary font change to modernize
  • A new set of color palettes to appeal to a fresh set of audiences and stand out from competitors.

The evolution of logo design in the industry.


During the 1970s and 1980s, custom logo designs were ruled by bold colorful backgrounds that were in most cases square or rectangular in shape. The designs were also moderately simplistic. Then logo designs, in the beginning, had only a few core brand colors, flat design styles, and limited any cluttering details, which results that the consumers’ focused immediately on the icon and brand colors. Both Coca-Cola and Pepsi embraced these design trends throughout this time period. However, it was not long before all logo designs started adapting to the design trends that the 1990s bought.

1970’s – The Typographic Era


federal express - FedEx


VISA - logo design

To create an iconic Logo design in the 70s, every brand had a very distinctive approach. The logo designs mainly had slanted typography. Federal Express, currently know as FedEx had a perfect example of a 70s style logo. In the 70s, designers and custom logo design services would use rich colors and questionable color combinations, along with Sans Serif fonts to complement the bright hues.

The 1990s and early 2000s saw a notable change in the way logos were being designed. There was the emergence of 3D animation and the following wave of design improvements, logos began using the three-dimensional elements outside of simplistic accent shadowing.

1990’s – Shapes & Colours


Mc Donalds Logo Design

The 1990s also saw a sequence and pattern of incorporating shapes and color trends that debuted back in the 80s. Since it was the beginning of designing a computerized iconic logo design, a lot of brands started re-branding. The bright colors and shapes were the fashion for this decade. McDonald’s is one of those brands when they introduced the golden arches on top of two quadrilateral shape.

Logos today are very different from the logos that have gone before. With the progressive changes in cultures, trends, and consumer behaviors, logos have adapted them over time. Technological improvements also cause the role of logo designs in our industry to evolve. We have witnessed how custom logo designs have evolved over time and majorly has shifted from complexity to simplicity.

“A logo cannot survive unless it is designed with the utmost simplicity and restraint.”

The Visual Age – Today’s Dynamics


Nike logo design

As we are living in the Visual Age, images and videos are becoming more and more relevant and essential that shape the customer’s online or social media experience. This could be down to a number of factors, such as increasingly busy lifestyles or a change in social media content consumption. If  “a picture paints a thousand words”, we can understand how a logo design holds its meaning. An image of a logo can say a lot more than the actual words of a brand’s name because of how quickly visuals resonate with the minds of customers today. From cluttered logos to minimalism, there are many trends that came and gone along with time. Here are a few current trends in the logo design industry.

Hand-made custom Logo designs


Hand Made Custom logo design

In recent years, custom logo designs trends have turned towards modernization and digitization. Thus, many businesses believe that going back to a more old-style will make their brands more noticeable. One manner of doing so is through the use of handwritten or hand-drawn designs. Logos with hand-made design provides a trustworthy feel to customers. This type of design has actually gained importance again over the last few years. And signs seem to point to this trend being strong in 2021.



Instagram custom logo design

Another trend that has bought evolution in the logo design industry is Gradients. Adopting the comprehensive use of gradient color in logo design has been one of the most polarizing trends that the logo design industry has witnessed over the last decade. As compared to old logos, where the designers only used selective bold colors for logos were not able to create logos that could last long. However, this current trend of making the color transfer into a different spectrum without touching other design elements delivers a bunch of benefits. It makes the logo more exciting, playful, alive, and animated.

The gradient trend was popularized by Instagram. NY Times even called the event “the Great Instagram Logo Freakout of 2016” and described the logo as a mockery. After that, however, the internet was flooded with plenty of gradient logos.

Retro style


Retro style custom logo design

The retro design is a trend that brings a strong sense of nostalgia to customers. The retro design came back to all spheres of life. Therefore, it gradually came back on logos as well. The simplicity of shapes, dimmed colors, connection with the development of new typography, and filling generations with growing nostalgia at once. This design trend will capture more attention due to its exquisite style with the use of random art strokes. It’s remarkable to see that these logos are particularly effective for coffee shops and pubs, showrooms, and hair salons. The use of the retro design in all these industries is a great way to conclude that this trend is here to stay with us.

Negative Space


Google Custom logo design

Custom logo designers are using this technique for a long time and they have applied it in their work. What’s surprising is that none of them has stopped using it. We can say that this is probably the steadiest trend in creating an iconic logo design. The negative space makes the logo designs simple and elegant and such logos have more retention rates.

Companies who have evolved their logo over time:



instagram logo evolution

Instagram’s original logo looked like a knock-off Polaroid camera. The logo changed when it was realized the icon had nothing to do with the app since this is the modern era of mobile phones. The new gradient logo design of Instagram represents the various color filters available in the app. This logo is simple, catchy, and timeless along with a modern look.



Shell logo evolution

The Shell logo has moved from a realistic image of a pecten to today’s bold shape with a distinctive color. This logo explains the evolution of logo design, from the 1950s onwards, the design became more and more simplified, improving recognition and memorability.

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