Dec 29, 2021

At TEA we love branding and so we’ve kept our eyes peeled for the hottest branding trends in 2022 just for you. We have been carefully analysing different industries including fashion, art and tech. Expect  the ‘80s making a comeback to anti-branding (yes, anti-branding!) check out our top trends to watch out for in 2022.

Brand Activism

Consumers are increasingly expecting the brands they choose to take a stance and do good within their communities. In fact, it is pretty much expected these days to see some level of social or environmental responsibility to make a positive change. From standing up for human rights to planting trees, brand activism should be considered by all. However, this should by no means be used as a tick-box-exercise or a drive for sales; it needs to come from the heart and reflect the core values of the brand or your risk doing more harm than good. Do we need to remind you of the controversial Pepsi ad featuring Kendall Jenner?

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Patagonia is the perfect example of a brand that aligns what it says with what it does. Their website clearly showcases the steps the company is taking to minimise its environmental impact, including blog posts, videos and statistics that clearly explain its initiatives and progress. The content and messaging strongly reflect the Patagonia values as well as a genuine and authentic commitment to change. 

Brewdog is another great example. The company’s whole ethos is based around sustainability and in 2020 they announced they were the first global carbon-negative beer business. As part of their efforts, they also purchased 2,050 acres of land in the Scottish Highlands – known as ‘Brewdog Forest’ – where they plan to plant one million trees and restore 650 acres of peatland!

Bold, playful typography

When it comes to communicating a message, nothing does it better than big, bold and playful typography. Having the right font is an integral part of your brand identity and can help to convey a powerful message. Featuring distinctive lettering, playful shapes, bold colours and design elements, your words will take on a life of their own with this branding trend, which encourages designers to take a fun approach to typography. Take a look at Simon Eves for inspiration!

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What do Instagram, Asana and Tinder all have in common? A colourful gradient in their branding! Gradients consist of a gradual blend of colours or shades. They can be a blend of colours in the same shade OR a blend of a wide variety of colours. You can also use a gradient that fades from one colour into transparency. To have a true gradient effect, the colours need to bleed into each other, they can’t be stacked side by side.

We’re starting to see lots of brands use gradients within their branding and we’re here for it. Gradients have previously been known as being a bit ‘old-fashioned’, but done correctly they can be beautiful statement assets for the brand. Here are a few things to consider before creating gradients for your brand. 

  • Consider contrast and accessibility when creating a gradient logo.
  • Optimise your gradient design for print by ensuring it looks clear on multiple backgrounds and materials (having both a white and black version of your logo is highly recommended).
  • Create a solid (and simple) logo design first, then test how gradients look.
  • Be subtle!

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Immersive brand experiences

This is a really important part of brand storytelling and we’re seeing more brands use immersive experiences to reach new audiences. Whether it be through hosting a themed event, creating an online game or going above and beyond with your product packaging, there’s no doubt that immersive brand experiences are the way of the future. It’s a great time to start thinking about how you can bring your brand to life outside of its usual channels.

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Another trend we are loving is the disruptive branding look. Think messy, but on purpose! It catches attention and shows you aren’t afraid to challenge the norm. Whether it’s jumbled words, bright colour splashes or a mismatch of shapes, disruptive branding is certainly becoming more and more common. Although it may not seem like it, these designs have been thoroughly thought through – so be sure to work with a talented branding agency *ahem* if you want to make an impact by adding a little more life to your branding!

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Geometric shapes and abstract art forms are making an impact once again in the style of Bauhaus. The Bauhaus design trend was inspired by the famous German art school of the same name that rose to popularity in the early 20th Century. The design is known for being very minimal, functional and has a real retro vibe, making it a perfect choice for any brand design – think stark geometric shapes, simplicity and bright colours!

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The ‘80s are calling and they’re loving how we’re bringing their branding back! Nostalgia is a big trend for brands at the moment and we expect this to continue being a popular choice into next year. Dynamic, brash designs complete with neon colours and sassy patterns are helping to give brands fun and sparky visual identities. We’re also seeing a surge of design aesthetics and pop culture references from more recent history – namely the 1990s and 2000s – popping up in films, TV shows, marketing materials, branding and social media feeds. Nostalgic branding is familiar, comforting and reminds us of our younger years – and who doesn’t want a bit of that right about now? 

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Eco brands dropping the earthy look

The obvious trees, rivers and earth colours are slowly fading from the branding of sustainable businesses as they look for different ways to cut through in an increasingly crowded market. Brands are using a more simplistic aesthetic to reflect their clean and future-focussed missions – think implicit rather than explicit!

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An exciting time is coming for branding. Expect big, bold personalities coming into play, with businesses looking to create a signature style that stands out from the masses. You can expect the bigger corporations to do the same, but in a way that doesn’t alienate their current audience. Whatever you decide to do with your branding next year, make it authentic! We look forward to seeing you shine in 2022!