Brand Management

6 Blazin’ Hot Trends for Branding and Design

Where can you find disco balls, cheeky mascots, and giant orange triangles? In modern branding, that’s where.

The 2022 market—influenced by digital overload, everyday stress, and a zillion other intangibles—has led savvy businesses to get extra creative with attracting and delighting customers.

And the effort definitely shows up in their branding. Let’s take a look at some very cool trends:

Vintage/Throwback Designs

Who doesn’t give in to a little nostalgia once in a while? People love remembering the good old days, so it’s trendy to pay homage with throwback styles.

Although the late twentieth century had several memorable decades, many top brands have embraced retro-pop themes from the 1980s and distressed, real-life imagery from the 1990s (though the 90s had plenty of bubble-gum culture). If you’re thinking how incompatible those styles seem, you’re not wrong. Which era works for your business will depend on your brand’s personality.

For anyone looking to highlight the fun, energetic side of business, the 80s offer loads of inspiration. Think dynamic, in-your-face colors (magenta, anyone?), strobe-like effects, and dancefloor vibes.

On the other hand, if your company has an edgy, anti-establishment feel, the 90s have what you need. Look for distressed textures, muted or black and white backgrounds, and rock/grunge images (non-smiling faces, black leather jackets, guitar or music themes).

Monograms

Some industries have always demanded a level of personal branding (real estate, we’re talking to you), but with an influx of freelancing and other gig work, more people than ever must showcase themselves as a business.

This uptick in personal brands has led to abbreviated logos and snappy (like, name only) text.

A monogram, by definition, is a pattern or motif (usually a person’s initials) meshed together in a decorative logo or design. Popular examples of monogram branding include Chanel, General Electric, Warner Bros, and H&M.

So, while there’s nothing new about this trend, a comeback was inevitable because monograms:

  • Make a strong statement about who you are (in the most literal sense)
  • Have the versatility to go in the center of a business card, the margins of a web page, or the side of a handbag
  • Allow for endless creativity

Disruptive Brand Voice & Design

Coming off as sharp and sleek is acceptable in many contexts, but a too-polished look can make your company seem cold and contrived. Instead, many experts recommend a laid-back, even disjointed feel to layouts and artwork.

If nothing else, this style can surprise people, making them take a few extra seconds to engage with what they see.

To nail this messy-but-together look (and claim your extra seconds), opt for non-linear lettering, wild or off-center picture placement, or any unexpected element you can think of (a purple tree or upside-down illustration).

Doodles & Simple Illustrations

Similar to disruptive branding—but different in its embrace of whimsy and childlike themes—is a style that takes the unpolished look in another direction.

Think about what you scribble while talking on the phone, or a small child’s moon-and-stars drawing. Unsophisticated yet charming designs can make your brand look unpretentious, human, and creative.

To pull this style off, the final design should look like you drew it in less than five minutes. So don’t overthink it!

Mascots

Another craze that’s having a resurgence is the brand mascot. Mischievous and memorable, past greats include:

  • The Michelin Man
  • Tony the Tiger
  • The Taco Bell Chihuahua
  • Mikey Mouse
  • The Jolly Green Giant

Done right, your brand mascot will tell a story, have a distinct personality, and give people a reason to love your business.

Bauhaus/Geometric Elements

Bauhaus-style design came from an early 20th-century movement that embraced strong lines and sharp corners. This trend honors all things bright and geometric, with colorful semi-circles, triangles, and Tetris-like arrangements.

Brands who communicate through these bold elements will appear artistic, strong, and competent. Not a bad combination, if you ask us.

Final Thoughts

There you have it. 2022 is looking like a great year to experiment with branding, so hopefully you’ve found some inspiration.

Once you cement your business’ core elements, remember to keep them safe and snug. The best way to maintain consistency is with a trusted brand management platform. With tools for marketing consolidation, including automation software, direct mail templates, and in-house printing and mailing, Xpressdocs has been a trust source for some of the nation’s top brands for over two decades.

Want to learn more? Contact us today and get started.

 

 

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