We select Top Level designers for the site based on a lot of criteria, but one of the huge elements we look at is how well they are able to differentiate their work from the other graphic design out there, putting a contemporary and unique spin on the needs of a client. In the end, it’s a process of finding, following and creating their own design trends.

Here are some that have been popular with these Top Level Designers on 99 over the summer, ready for even more experimentation in your hands.

1. Creative negative space

Design Trends: Negative Space

Designer (left): efatabali
Contest: Help us with a creative & simple logo for our freediving school!
Designer (right): Lorem Ipsum
Contest: Develop a logo for a young, unique and innovative developer of BBQs

White space is for more than just creating room for elements on a printed page or website, it can be used to bring together two concepts into one clever and engaging symbol. Incorporating deliberate white space into your design is an awesome option for a symbol or icon-style logo.

2. Geometric patterns

Design Trends: Geometric Pattern

Designer (left): Blandine*
Contest: Create sophisticated, cool designs for WOMEN’S T-SHIRTS with CITY/DESTINATION
Designer (right): majamosaic
Contest: Shazam – Fun, Funky Fresh crew seeking logo magic!

A great way to add detail to a design without making it too busy is to create a geometric pattern. A concept based on common or cultural shapes and symmetry which adds a level of fun to your design without taking away from the message or overall feel. A larger or more intricate pattern works fora for a design that doesn’t need the immediate and simple impact of a logo, while a more simplistic and straightforward pattern can be used for branding.

3. Detailed hand sketching

Design Trends: Hand Drawn

Designer (left): Wintrygrey
Contest: Original owl tattoo design
Designer(right): Alinasays
Contest: Create vintage lettering design for a Maine business

Hand-sketched design has become one of the telltale signs of a business targeted toward artsy handcrafts or locally produced goods. There’s an accessibility to a design that doesn’t look completely polished or computer made, that still has the feel of the artist behind it. And while it’s a good option for logos, it’s a great option for illustrations or even signage for a business that has to draw in customers from the street.

4. Garden fresh feel

Design Trends: Garden Fresh

Designer (left): Loveshugah
Contest: Creative Logo for Nectar Garden
Designer (right): Lady-K
Contest: create a modern/urban/natural logo for a natural soap company

Earth tones, type and shapes can be pretty easy to come up with for a nature-themed company, but finding all three and striking a balance between them is where lies the rub in this style of design. Find ways to combine rich and realistic color, mechanized and hand-drawn type, and natural versus perfected shapes (like circles), and you’ve got a stand-out natural style.

5. Teal and yellow

Design Trends: Green and Yellow

Designer (left): Vathair
Contest: Create best selling ZOMBIE design and receive additional work
Designer (right): ForestGiant

The combination of a cool shade of green and a deep shade of yellow proves to be particularly popular lately. And we predict it’s because the combo is so versatile, able to convey completely different meanings in different contexts. Such as the creepy zombie feel above on the left but the sweet and straightforward logo on the right. Test it out on any of your designs!

6. Distinctive display type

Design Trends: Display Fonts

Designer (left): indrakh
Contest: Create a band logo that will transport you back to 1967 the moment you look at it.
Designer (right): Project 4
Contest: Create a funky old school barber logo design

There is good type, bad type, boring type and then there is distinctive type. While it may at some times be more polarizing with an audience, for many brands it’s worth the risk. A strong and unique font will help a logo or packaging design stand out in a crowd.

7. High-contrast illustration

Design Trends: High Contrast

Designer (left): pmo
Contest: Beer company logo needed
Designer (right): FRANTIC
Contest: UnderRepped T-Shirts Prototype

A bold binary is a great choice for a logo design that needs to display a subject with a intricate design or vintage tone. Reducing the colors used and capturing the most important detail in chunks of color, leaving line and detail only where necessary, helps create that much-desired simple-but-detailed effect that certain companies strive to achieve for in their logo design.

What other design trends have you been noticing recently? Share them in the comments!