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32,000 new logos from around the world were studied to compile LogoLounge’s 2012 logo design trend report. The true benefit of studying logo designs and trends is that they consistently classify the path for the present and for the future. Once you see the direction these start to take, you start to understand their flow and rapidity and eventually you may get a glimpse of what’s to come. Here are our picks from that list for the top 5 logo design trends of 2012.

Transparent Links

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Though nothing is new about the use of transparencies, the increasing use of this technique is now at critical mass. A sense of lightness is prevalent with the use of clear, clean, pure chrome colors that sometimes produce a rainbow palette. These signature colors are likely used as darker or unsaturated tones will create muddy overlaps. It’s hard not to gain an optimistic perspective when you look at these bright solutions.

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Potato Chip

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The shift to a greater use of surface gradient to define shape is critical to the success of these images; if viewed with just a flat tone, they would appear as the twisted loop of an infinity sign. There is a certain tension that permeates these marks, as if releasing torque would allow the shape to relax back into a flat disk. Flexibility and elasticity come to mind as defining attributes. Being able to simultaneously show both sides of an otherwise two-dimensional shape brings forth even more conceptual opportunities (as well as an excellent bar bet).

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Sprout

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A sprout is indicative of the beginning of a new cycle of life. The spiral nature of this growth is so wonderfully generic; It’s hard to say at this stage if the seed is birthing a flower, a tree, a crop, or a weed. It simply represents the green birth. It’s a bit like looking at an egg being cracked open by its baby resident and not being quite sure what is coming out. At that moment, it is promise enough of a new day.

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Peel and Reveal

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The old faux tactile effect, which had completely run its course, is reincarnated now as a reveal. The effect is incorporated into identities set to unveil or expose an inner value or underlying trait. The rendered shadow implying that the peeling back of layers is occurring in real time gives you an immediate peek behind the scenes. DC Comics uses a family of solutions, each pulling back the curtain on a graphic representing a different super hero.

Tessellation

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Mosaic-like patterns range from highly complex to very simple solutions, created from a small number of elements. Aside from their striking beauty, these logos convey the concept of strength in numbers; combining elements creates a sum greater than the parts. These marks express a scientific nature based in math and give the assurance of precision and accuracy.

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