- September 15, 2016
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.
02. GRAPHIC POP
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.
03. GETTING SIMPLE WITH IT
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.
04. BACK TO BASICS
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.
05. DECEPTIVE DEPTH
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.
06. SEE THE BIG PICTURE
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.
07. INTO THE GREAT WIDE OPEN
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.
08. FORWARD TO THE PAST?
Retro can change based on your generation, but here we mean the vivid design elements and color palettes of the 1950s, '60s and '70s.
09. RAINBOW CONNECTION
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.
10. PUTTING THE ART BACK IN GRAPHIC ARTS
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.