In his article Bill Gardner mentios that transparency in logo design has become a bona fide design tool, like type or color, not a trend. It’s too ubiquitous anymore to be considered a direction: It just is.
Also, brightness in hue has become pervasive, likely due to the public’s eye being thoroughly trained now for light-projected, on-screen color. We now live in a RGB, not a CMYK world.
Text is ever more important in identity design. Driven by the delinquent dollar, clients and designers are working hard to make identity messages more succinct and/or direct, and incorporating actual words into logos makes the message all the more immediate. Some logos are simply stuffed with information.
Use of color is even more unrestrained now—which is somewhat counterintuitive given the flu-ish economy. Rainbow-like color has moved out beyond any preexisting symbolism and is often used to represent the concept of full spectrum, more choices, or additional capabilities.
A highly encouraging trend is the emergence of innovative, fresh design emerging from Eastern Bloc countries. Designers there seem to have a freeness that some Western designers have lost: They are more prone to submit a whole range of dramatically different logo designs to a single client, approaching the same problem from many directions. All trials may not be successful, but the effort and exploration are there.
Scandinavian design has also seen a shift of late, to a lighter, fresher approach in design. The clean line and contemporary feel has always been there, but designers are moving past even these factors. There’s a real feeling of freedom and exploration here.