I have often been accused of being a big design nerd. I’ll half-heartedly object to this, but then I’m going to tell you about how excited I was to learn that Bill Gardner’s 2022 Logo Trend Report was released last week. You can read the report in its entirety here.

Like the Pantone color trend reports, Gardner’s annual publication has become an invaluable industry reference that I come back to regularly throughout the year. The 2022 report is the 20th issue.

I’ve known designers who look to the Logo Trend Report for inspiration, but I see it as somewhat of a warning on what to avoid. The individual logos that Gardner shows as examples are always beautifully designed, yet I am always shocked to see how similar the logos in each category look. While leveraging trends may make a brand feel current and relevant, being on trend also means that a brand has less of an individual identity, and subsequently less recognition in the marketplace.

Rather than developing logos that fit in with what everyone else is doing, we strive to create logos that feel new and different, so that they will stand out to consumers. While I often encourage designers to look to existing work for inspiration, it’s important that they take the next step and build on that inspiration to develop an idea that’s uniquely their own.

As Gardner wrote, “Only when you grasp the trends… can you transcend.”