Before you choose colors, finalize fonts, or pick a logo for your brand, you’ll first need to decide on a high-level approach to your design. Is your brand trendy or a market leader? Is it traditional and trustworthy? Is it innovative and cutting edge?

Making this decision will set the tone for logo style and other branding design decisions you make. And, it impacts how your customers perceive your business. That’s why Branding Compass is so valuable for its ability to provide insight into this decision.

It can be challenging for small business owners to choose the details of their logo and branding design. Looking at three popular logo design trends—modern, vintage, and minimalist—may help you understand how to start with a theme first. Design details that originate from an idea of how you want your product or service to be perceived by your customers will lead to a logo design that reflects and reinforces the desired traits of your brand. Remember, it’s more than just what looks good to you!

Modern logo style and brand design

“Modern” is the most sought after brand trait and logo style by Branding Compass clients. While it makes sense to want a logo and brand that feels fresh and up-to-date, developing a modern brand can sometimes be a moving target. Logos and brands designed in the 70s, 80s, and 90s may have been modern for their time, but they feel dated now. And modern, by its very definition, is constantly evolving. So if you want a modern brand, it’s important to first learn what that entails and the traits that makeup today’s modern logos and brands.

Vintage logo and brand design

Sometimes seen as the antithesis to modern design, vintage design draws inspiration from logos and brands from years ago. Vintage design has an “old school cool” quality and has been used successfully by numerous brands. Yet, it’s not right for every brand. And, if done poorly, it looks more dated and drab than it does retro and interesting. Before considering vintage logo design, first read about its traits and what type of brands it works best for.

Minimalist logo and brand design

Minimalist logos and packaging

Sometimes lumped in with modern design, minimalist brands and logos deserve their own categorization. In fact, sometimes vintage logos could also be minimalistic. Minimalist design can be boiled down to the idea of “less is more.” However, creating a great minimalist brand and logo is much more difficult than stripping it down its most basic elements. It takes careful deliberation and smart, efficient design choices. If you think a minimalist approach would be right for your brand and logo, it’s vital you understand how to execute it properly.

Every design and logo style has a story or history connected to it. When you choose your colors, typefaces or imagery for your logo and branding, make sure that this backdrop makes sense with the values, benefits and traits of your product or service.