WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST BRANDING TRENDS OF 2022 SO FAR?
Branding - that key phrase that can make or break your business. The icons, colours and fonts that make up the shop window of your services, your values, your success and your achievements. If done well, your branding can be disruptive, industry-defining and eye-catching. If done poorly, your branding can get lost in the crowd and struggle to make an impact.
In 2022, many new design trends have emerged from businesses across the globe, with a big variety of styles and concepts making their mark. From a transitional shift in eco-marketing to the re-emergence of 80’s neon, brand designers are changing the way we see business branding for good - with more changes yet to come as the year progresses.
So let’s take a deep dive into some of the most impactful branding trends of 2022 so far:
Nostalgic branding is one of the biggest trends to transform the branding scene this year, with many businesses experimenting with 70’s, 80’s and 90’s design styles in their company image. From the retro digital style of WordArt fonts and pixelated imagery to disco colours and vibrant gradients, the cultural movements of the past few decades are being transformed and incorporated into big (and small) brand names around the world.
After the struggles of the past few years, the consumer market is looking for the comfort of the old and the familiar, reflecting back on when times were simpler and better. Seeking out the grainy designs of the businesses they knew and loved, users have created a real space in the market for these nostalgia-inspired brands.
Plus with the huge cultural successes of Stranger Things, Fear Street and the re-popularisation of Friends, this is a great time to take a deep dive into the past when sourcing inspiration for your brand.
Core Themes of Nostalgic Branding:
Bold, curly typography
Black on gradients
Swirls of vibrant colours
Displaced lettering across a space
Rounded, curvy icons and logos
Moving away from the overwhelm of digital design and virtual graphics, hand-drawn designs are becoming increasingly popular for business branding. From simple line drawings and sketches to immersive doodles and rustic painted creations, the theme of ‘back-to-basics’ branding has been a popular one this year.
With room to create texture, movement and a custom style through drawing, the handcrafted approach has made a statement in a number of different designs and brand elements - from fonts and typography to logos and icons, utilising different mediums across the board. With the possibilities of endless personalisation, this style of branding has been hugely successful with creative and professional brands alike.
Core Themes of Hand-Drawn Branding:
A sketchy, grainy texture
Use of watercolour effects or paint lines
Line drawings and simplistic interpretations
Handwritten typography elements
Typically pastel or primary colour palettes
EMBLEMS & MASCOTS
We’re all familiar with some of the biggest icons, emblems and mascots in branding, from the Pringles man to the Starbucks mermaid, and this year these iconic brand representations have emerged again. More and more brands are utilising characters, shapes and standout graphic designs to define their business and create a memorable feature for consumers to recognise.
With the idea of ‘stripped back’ branding also trending this year, the idea that a user should recognise a brand from a single shape alone is a popular one, even without the accompanying typography and logo designs we’re used to seeing. A single star for a Heiniken beer, a golden M, a half-eaten Apple - the simplicity of these emblems are making their way into smaller branding operations and having a big impact on new and emerging brands.
Core Themes of Emblems & Mascots:
A singular shape, character, letter or icon
Stripped back branding, without logos or text
A core brand colour to be used on the emblem
A link between your brand and the mascot
A key design style (i.e. rustic, hand-drawn, pixelated, cartoon)
INCLUSIVE & DIVERSE BRANDING
Another important and culturally-relevant trend in 2022 branding is the integration of a business's values, ethics and morals into its visual imagery, logo and design. Through the use of quirky, hand-drawn characters, the brand can tell a story through plus-sized, multi-racial and inclusive features, highlighting their approach to diversity in the business.
Many brands are also focusing on utilising the origins of their business, particularly those with ties to foreign producers and farmers, such as coffee roasters, food manufacturers and wine sellers. The links to their outsourced products are being found in the maps on wine labels, in custom illustrations on coffee bags and on the packaging of sauces, bottles and jars.
Core Themes of Inclusive & Diverse Branding:
The use of characters or icons that represent diversity
A visual representation of diversity
Ethical or cultural ties through iconography, typography or colour palettes
Diversity-inspired packaging, labels and marketing graphics
Links to multi-cultural origins through logos, icons, emblems and imagery
2022 has presented itself as a year of change, of re-building and refreshing the way we view our industries and consumption habits - something which is clearly represented through these branding trends. Gone are the days of static logos and simple typography, it’s time for exciting, custom and diverse branding to make its mark on the businesses of today.
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