Logo design trends for 2012: Permutations

Graphic design reviews

Design trends of the past few years have gone through a lot of styles, ranging from old-school to modern geometric styles but all trends aside, digital experimentation is taking over the brand identity field. The basic principle of this 'evolution' of logotypes is that a logo shouldn't be just a static image, that it can change, move and become different versions of itself but keep a consistence that the overall recognition of the brand is not lost.


Casa de Musica, Porto. Brand identity developed by Sagmeister Inc. They took the shape of the building designed by Rem Kohlaas as their basic structure and then modified it for different applications.


For the application of this per-mutated logos, studios have developed 'logo-generators' that basically take the basic elements of the logo and start twitching them to come up with different versions, most of them with algorithms. So we've gone to another state of design: it all starts with an idea, defining the basic elements and then digitally distorting them to make x amount of versions of the original. The whole point of this new trend is looking for originality and a personalized feel for each of the variations created according to the different applications of them.

Brand Identity for MIT Media Lab designed by E Roon Kang and Richard The. The project consisted in taking the original identity elements of the lab and combined different versions using an algorithm that can come up with 40.000 permutations of it. (Images credit Richard The)


Naturally, the possibilities with this method are endless. Some may argue that it lacks character or the unified identity that a brand should have. But as long as the basic elements are recognizable, the different versions may be recognizable on their own but being part of a whole family of logos that share the same original structure. Like every other design project, some projects accomplish this better than others, and when that happens the results can be absolutely brilliant. So check out some examples of this trend and we'll have to wait and see if this takes over the design trends of 2012.

New brand identity for Deichmanske Library in Oslo, designed by Mikael Fløysand. The identity focuses on the many sides of the institution by building a brand that constantly evolves rather than being static. 

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