I must admit, I was quite intrigued by Dan Kelly’s Duets blog entry “I See Blue Ovals” (August 28, 2009). It got me thinking about some of the trends occurring in logo design today. My 20+ years in the world of branding has witnessed a few notable changes. Perhaps the most significant is the application of 3D effects to identity design. Many logos which were originally two-dimensional (circles), have recently morphed into spheres.

Take AT&T’s 3D sphere which replaced a 2D circle logo.

Minolta’s 3D design form also replaced its old 2D form.

XBOX has adopted a 3D design. 

Similarly, Xerox now uses a 3D sphere—a dramatic departure from their old logo (some would say that their new design borrowed heavily from XBOX).

This proliferation of 3D spheres also includes Firefox, BT, Sony Ericsson, and Wikipedia, to cite a few.

Part of the explanation for this transformation is pure evolution and advance in the field of design itself. CAD programs are now common in the design community, enabling and encouraging the application of three-dimensional drawing for corporate identities.

3D logo design isn’t limited to the development of spheres. GM, ABC, Apple, Ford (yes, the blue oval), Dell, VW, and Chevron (as well as countless others), have all been redesigned to bring dimensionality as well as a more modern, contemporary look and feel to their visual identities. As this trend continues, look for more logos of all shapes and sizes to take on 3D effects.

–Alan Bergstrom, Brand Insights