5 Tried and True Design Devices for Logo Designers

When applied appropriately, crests can convey a sense of tradition, whether the brand has a rich history or not, and they blend a variety of design elements to create a cohesive look. “I like them because they are complex but still simple to read and take in,” Glitschka says. “A handful of these were in my top-rated logos.”

Draplin adds, “I loved the ‘pack a bunch of stuff in’ crests I saw. But of course, those work best when you can read all the stuff, say, on a T-shirt. I just dug the detail, line consistency and overall spirit of how people packed in a ton of info to such beautiful lock-ups. That’s how we used to do it on the top of a barrel carrying—I don’t know—hard tack or some shit.”
logo design ideas; crests
Copper & Brave by Braue: Brand Design Experts 

logo design ideas; crests
Printed Threads by Paul Sirmon LLC

logo design ideas; crests
Elevation Beer Co. by Sunday Lounge

Geometric Devices

“I have noticed the use of basic geometric elements—circles, squares, either on their own or involved in constructions where symmetry and logic were involved,” Tass explains. “It is definitely a classic direction, but one that never gets old.”

logo design ideas; geometric devices
Steeple Bay by Gardner Design

logo design ideas; geometric devices
Tsukat by Brandforma

logo design ideas; geometric devices
Stacks by Greg Thomas


“The unified weight look has really caught fire over the past decade, where an image or typography is designed with a single stroke weight,” Michael observes. “I enjoy this approach, but it is difficult to master beautifully.”

logo design ideas; monoline
Outbound Coalition by Brokenstraw Art & Design

logo design ideas; monoline
Fluent by Tractorbeam

logo design ideas; monoline
Magnus Alpha by Mauricio Cremer

Handcrafted Logotypes

With so many breweries and coffee shops popping up everywhere, it’s no surprise that hand-lettered, artisan logos are still relevant. People crave the details over the monotony. Sockwell thinks it’s simpler than that. “There’s a lot of digital stuff that looks impersonal, and this goes directly against that.”

In the same vein, seals and type on a curved baseline were prevalent. As Santosa notes, “They are classic devices, but I’m guessing it’s really popular because it gives a crafty/artisan feel.”

logo design ideas; handcrafted logotypes
Green5 by Denis Ulyanov

logo design ideas; handcrafted logotypes
Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild by Chapa Design

logo design ideas; handcrafted logotypes
Wild Theory Brewing Co. by Sunday Lounge

Highlighted Silhouettes

“The highlighted silhouette look has been around for over 100 years, so I found it comforting to know designers are still employing this and successfully so,” says Michael. “Of course, as with any style, it is all about execution and avoiding regurgitating a form we’ve all seen a hundred times. The highlighted silhouette is here to stay.”

logo design ideas; highlighted silhouettes
Keg Creek Brewing by Oxide Design Co.

logo design ideas; highlighted silhouettes
Highbrow by Spin Design

logo design ideas; highlighted silhouettes
Khi-Khi Milk Co. by J Fletcher Design

We teamed up with the brilliant minds at LogoLounge to provide our readers with an extensive look into this year’s logo design trends and insights in a recent issue of HOW magazine. LogoLounge’s Bill Gardner and an esteemed panel of judges pored through 40,000 logos collectively to select the cream of the crop in logo design from around the world. This year’s judges were:

Aaron Draplin, Draplin Design Co.

Von Glitschka, Glitschka Studios

Su Mathews Hale, Lippincott

Andreas Karl, Karl Design

Chad Michael, Chad Michael Studio
Emily Oberman, Pentagram

Yo Santosa, Ferroconcrete

Felix Sockwell

Alex Tass

Alex Trochut
In addition to the trends the team uncovered this year, the judges saw plenty of time-honored graphic styles that were employed because, well, they work.

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5 Tried and True Design Devices for Logo Designers