A logo design is typically thought of as a two-dimensional (2D) brand icon, but since the Internet became commonplace in the late 1990s, brands began thinking beyond two-dimensions. Suddenly, they weren’t bound by the constraints of print advertising anymore, and new opportunities appeared where businesses could use three-dimensional logo design beyond expensive television advertising.
Apple moved from a flat 2D logo to its monochrome 3D logo in 1998, and many other companies followed in Apple’s footsteps with their own 3D logo designs. But just because other brands are going 3D in their logo designs doesn’t mean you should do it, too.
Branding experts and designers debate for and against 3D logos all the time. Certainly, a 3D logo is more visually dynamic in some media, such as television and online. 3D logos also lend themselves well to animation and can truly bring a brand personality to life. However, 3D logos can be more expensive to produce offline and 3D effects don’t always translate well to the print medium. Think about where you’ll use your logo most frequently, so you choose a design that reproduces well in that medium.
The most important thing to consider when you weigh the 2D or 3D logo design options is your brand image. You don’t want to make the mistake of creating a 3D logo just because it’s the trendy thing to do. If a 3D logo design doesn’t match your brand image, then steer clear.
That said, there is no crystal clear answer to whether you should create a 2D or 3D logo design. The best answer is to create both at the same time. Choose one (typically the 2D version) to be your primary logo design and the other (usually the 3D version) as the secondary design used when the medium warrants it.
Bottom-line, you can never go wrong with a 2D logo design but you could gain some awareness and recall points from a 3D logo. It’s worth it to consider creating both for your brand. The reason is simple. 2D logo designs are more adaptable. However, if you must make the 3D design your primary logo, make sure the 2D logo isn’t created as an afterthought. Think about the consistency of your entire brand identity, not just the design of a single logo.