2016 Graphic Design Trends 

Design trends come and go. While some trends we can happily salute as they leave (anyone remember the "Rachel" hairstyle?), some trends bring great visual interest. This is especially true for businesses, where design trends can help set businesses apart. The following slides were presented at the PRIMA NC conference held at A-B Technical Community College in Asheville, NC.

 

 

01. THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

BOLD + PLAYFUL TYPE

Let the wallflowers stick to the fringes and get bold with your type. This throwback to the graffiti and bold pops of color from the early 1990s is back, and it is a rad way to make your message stand out from the crowd. Design trends are also big on the hipster, modern-vintage vibes, pulling in old school serif type and using it in a bold new way. 

2016 Design Trends - Bold and PLayful Type

2016 Design Trends - Bold and Playful Type 1

02. GRAPHIC POP

DUOTONE

What is duotone? Basically duotone is an image with just two colors (hence "duo"). It is a great way to create striking contrast and incorporating color into a design. It is a throwback to early printing days, and can give designs a fresh look.

2016 Design Trends - Duotone

2016 Design Trends - Duotone1

 

03. GETTING SIMPLE WITH IT

FLAT 2.0

What is flat, and how can it be 2.0? Flat design has been around for years, and is based around minimalism. Flat design killed drop shadows and the appearance of raised page elements (like buttons). But flat design fell flat when it came to what users had come to expect from designs, especially online. Users need some hints as to what they are supposed to do with a design. In comes Flat 2.0. Flat 2.0 brings in hints of 3D design without going full drop shadow. It brings back some gradients and borders to make graphic elements stand out from the background.

2016 Design Trends - Flat 2.0

04. BACK TO BASICS

GEOMETRIC SHAPES

Going along with Flat 2.0, striking geometric shapes make a big visual impact. Not only are designers incorporating the bane of 8th grade into illustrations and backgrounds, but you'll also see different geometric shapes in print products. Geometric shapes maintain a sense of security and structure, but throw convention out the window.

2016 Design Trends - Geometric Shapes

2016 Design Trends - Geometric Shapes 1

05. DECEPTIVE DEPTH

ISOMETRIC PERSPECTIVE 

Remember those trippy graphics of stacked boxes and you couldn't quite tell if it was coming toward you or away from you? That's isometric perspective, or representing a three-dimensional object that is actually flat. Isometric perspectives bring together geometric shapes and the flat design trends.

2016 Design Trends - Isometric Perspectives

06. SEE THE BIG PICTURE

LARGE IMAGES 

Using high quality photography is nothing new, and advances in both the online and print world have made it much easier to produce striking visual designs using large images. Captivating photography draws people in to a brand, where text takes a back seat.


2016 Design Trends - Large Images

 2016 Design Trends - Large Type

07. INTO THE GREAT WIDE OPEN

NEGATIVE SPACE 

Want to stand out from the crowd? Stand out from everything by letting a simple design breathe. Negative space instantly tells the viewer on what they should focus, and it is an old standard for designers. 


2016 Design Trends - Negative Space

2016 Design Trends - Negative Space 2

08. FORWARD TO THE PAST?

RETRO INSPIRED

Retro can change based on your generation, but here we mean the vivid design elements and color palettes of the 1950s, '60s and '70s. 


2016 Design Trends - Retro Inspired

 

09. RAINBOW CONNECTION

VIBRANT COLORS

Leave the greige at home. Vibrant colors are a big trend in graphic design. Following the lead of the Flat 2.0 movement, vibrant colors introduce life and energy into otherwise minimalist designs.

2016 Design Trends - Vibrant Colors 2016 Design Trends - Vibrant COlors2

10. PUTTING THE ART BACK IN GRAPHIC ARTS

WATERCOLOR

Watercolor is a huge trend in both graphic design and the family consumer market. It could be because it is so dramatically different than the flat design movement, or it could be because the soft color transitions create a more personable tone. You'll see watercolor in illustrations, backgrounds, and even brush-style scripts in display type.

2016 Design Trends - Watercolor 2016 Design Trends - Watercolor2

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