Graphic design is like fashion, there will always be new trends. This is because both industries are inspired by art; art is inspired by different cultures and people and can therefore never be the same.
Though trends are important to know, you don’t have to follow them to the letter, as a good graphic designer, it’s important to always put your own twist into the trend and reinvent it to your best ability.
01. FLAT DESIGN
Flat design is simply 2D art that is quite reminiscent of pop art-full of colour and clearly defined. This trend is mainly characterized by shapes, bright colours and minimalism.
02. HANDS ON DESIGN
At a time where designers can easily copy each other’s design techniques, it has become important for designers who want to set their designs apart to get their hands dirty and hands on with their designs using simple tools and media such as stencil, potato cut outs, paints and brushes in order to achieve designs that are 100% original and unique to the designer, yes-unique-I know people say that there is nothing new under the sun but you do a paint splatter on a surface, no one can do it the same way.
03. BACK TO BASICS
More and more designers today are realizing the importance of minimalism when it comes to relaying information in print and web design; this is because basic design allows the message to be refined rather than distract the reader from it by over using elements of art and design.
Basic design is mainly characterized by the use of very few colours or even text to clearly and fully communicate the message or context as per the design brief.
04. SHAPING TYPOGRAPHY
• Slab- this architecture inspired element is playing a clever role in making layouts look sophisticated and chic. When used creatively, the slab gives an art work an essence of laid back luxury.
• Line- you’ve probably come across this trend- a line over or below text. This simple element does the trick that colour and bold strokes have been doing in typography over the past years, which is to creatively bring the desired attention to the typography; the beautiful thing about using line is that it does this in a very subtle manner.
• Distorted Text- this technique is about cleverly cutting up text to create a kind of puzzle that leads the viewers eyes around; it’s fun and most importantly, its trending.
05. TYPOGRAPHIC CONTRAST
When designing with typography, the further apart the type faces the better the composition. It takes great understanding of design to pair contrasting type faces to create illustrations that look incredible.
06. CONCEPTUAL DISTORTION – NOT FOR THE FEINT HARTED
This trend not only takes great understanding of the concept to be relayed but it also takes great confidence because without the right amount of distortion, your final artwork can end up looking like a mess or unfinished therefore it has to be executed cleverly.
07. ITS NOT WHAT YOU ARE SAYING, ITS THE PAPER YOU SAY IT ON
The textures and colours of paper can not only compliment the quality of a designers work but can also compliment the concept of the design.
08. GO AHEAD, PLAY WITH IT
Let’s take the example of the Absolut vodka bottle – no one bottle is the same; this offers the consumer a unique exclusive experience.
Playful designs are characterized by vibrant colours, abstraction and distortion of elements beautifully to create an incredible composition.
09. TRANSPARENT OVERLAP DANCES
This technique has been catching on for some time with some designers going monochromatic while others use a variety of colours. This simple technique can add playfulness and visual appeal to the composition.
10. COLOUR COMBOS
Colour combinations have been evolving from pop culture to fashion and all industries that leverage on colour for creative expression.
Designers now are either going back to the basic black and white or pastel palettes that are sometimes creatively combined with more serious, somber colours like grey, black, rusty greens – colours that are nostalgic.
The colour palettes now are mainly romantic and sensual rather than bold and loud.
To wrap it up, follow trends to keep up or create trends to set yourself apart.
– Aina Kiwelu