We spend a lot of time designing pretty pictures and writing clever headlines, all in an attempt to attract an audience and motivate them to act. Words are important – they tell your audience what they need to know and encourage them to take action. But how something is designed – the colors, fonts and graphics used – is what initially attracts people to your brand. You want your design to look modern, but staying on top of today’s trends is no easy task. Many design trends come and go before you even realize that they are a “trend,” while others stay around for a few years before they eventually fizzle out.
What is design going to look like in 2018? Here are 10 trends for you to remember as we gear up for 2018.
- Think Digital First
Start here. Our world is digital. What we do in digital now drives what we do on all platforms and mediums. We live on earth…but we market in digital. It drives what we do.
- Design for the Future, Not Just for Today
We know there will be one constant: Evolution. As you are updating your brand standards, tweaking your logo or maybe even rebranding your organization, imagine what our future digital will be like and ask yourself if your brand will stand the test of time.
- Simplify, but Maintain Differentiation
Visual simplicity is in. Since the amount of time to engage consumers is so limited, less equals more. Your design must be simple, but maintain uniqueness. Simplify means removing barriers. Like Joanna and Chip on HGTV’s Fixer Upper, think “open concept” and knock down the walls.
According to the Siegel+Gale Global Brand Simplicity Index 2017, simplicity pays consider that:
- 64% of consumers are willing to pay more for simpler experiences
- 61% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand because it provides simpler experiences and communications
- 62% of employees can be considered Brand Champions in companies perceived to be simple
- Use Flat Graphics to Keep it Simple
Flat design is a minimalistic design approach that emphasizes usability. It features clean, open space, crisp edges, bright colors and two-dimensional/flat illustrations.
But it’s important to remember that flat designs don’t mean boring. Bright, contrasting colors make illustrations and buttons pop from backgrounds, easily grab attention, and guide the user’s eye. Simple images convey messages more quickly than detailed illustrations. Everything is clear and understandable, and designs rely mostly on colors and icons to give meaning.
- Design for the Environment: Match the Message to the Medium
Quite simply: Make it fit. Designing must be intentional. As yourself the following questions:
- Where is what I’m designing, writing, creating going?
- Where will it be seen/experienced?
- What will the user experience be?
- How will success be measured?
- Personalized Design: Individual wants, needs and aspirations
It’s a “more data” world. Data is being gathered constantly at an exponentially increasing rate. Use data to personalize and customize your design and message. One size does not fit all anymore. With data, we’re able to identify and reach more specific audiences/segments.
- Typography: Keep it “firm but fresh”
You need to follow your style guide – keep it firm. But work within the fonts to keep it fresh. Use thin serifs for a more modern feel. Using a mix of serif and san-serif fonts will give you a clean look that provides some contrast.
- Think Total Brand Immersion
We value brands that keep bringing us freshness, and allow ourselves to immerse in them. We follow them because we want to see, “What’s next?”
- Use Photography to Give Visual Cues
Capture photos and use them to direct action. Use eye lines and gestures to direct our eyes and actions.
- Tell Compelling and Authentic Stories
We all want to be told a story, but if you don’t capture attention in the first two seconds, you won’t. Make your story visually interesting by using engaging images and video.