Trends in graphic design are constantly changing, especially as companies struggle to differentiate themselves. With such rapid revolution of design elements, some even becoming outdated in as little as a year, marketers often wonder, is staying on trend even worth it? Truthfully, it is. A good design can go a long way in boosting brand recognition. It keeps pace with your audience's expectations. In the end, your success is about connecting to your target market. Mirroring current visual trends can help bridge the gap. Take a look at these nine current trends in graphic design and decide which ones you can put to work for your business website:
Pantone started the year's design expectations with its Color of the Year, Greenery. This new hue represents environmentalism, freshness, and reinvigoration. Pantone's annual color palette typically leads the charge every year in fashion, home decor, and trends in graphic design. Expect to see plenty of "green" themes on websites and collateral. These might include elements like natural images and earthy textures
Bold Transitional Color Trends in Graphic Design
It's a big year for color, and not just green tones. Ombre and color gradients continue their popularity points. Colors that transition from flat to blended hues will likely be found in logos, picture overlays, and buttons, such as the Instagram logo. Many of these color transitions will rely on bold and bright hues. Design is moving away from neutrals like blacks, whites, and grays. Instead, expect louder and prouder color schemes. Other formats may include the highly visual duotone technique. This technique combines two bright colors into a heavily contrasted image. The final effect is hard to ignore. However, be prepared to inject a little extra design work into doing this one right.
Mixing font combinations isn't a new trend for 2017, but it's one you can count on seeing more of. Combining bold typography with feminine italics will be a mainstay for a while. Google fonts will rise in popularity, given their universality across all platforms. Designers emphasizing a consistent UX should note the 800+ Google fonts available. Many of these come with a zero-dollar price tag.
Original, Real-Life Photos
Stock photos and illustrations may be on hiatus as users are leaning more toward genuine images. Companies are beginning to invest more in photography. Their goal is to capture one-of-a-kind photos that document their authenticity. It may take more creativity and potentially cost more than a $5 stock photo. However, this move gives brands a way to truly capture their essence. Plus, it's a surefire way to guarantee your competitors won't be showcasing the same tired images on their own website.
Unless you're still living in the 80s and 90s, less is going to be much more for quite a while. Everything from simple web design to product packaging demonstrates this theme. This is to ensure that messages don't become lost since there's only one message to look for. Websites are making better use of white space, thus reducing viewer fatigue by creating fewer focal points. Though not entirely new for this year, the look and feel still gives a fresh, elegant vibe that simply can't lose.
GIFs & Cinemagraphs
GIFs are those quirky little video clips that play in short loops, usually with accompanying text to support an idea. Similar to the meme phenomenon of the past couple years, GIFs often stem from pop culture icons, movies, or other recognizable sources. As video continues to dominate digital communications, GIFs will ramp up their popularity. People crave their short, sporadic content and ability to capture immediate attention. Cinemagraphs are similar to GIFs, but are typically higher quality and don't carry the same familiarity. Rather, a cinemagraph represents a still image with only one small animated portion. For instance, you might see an image of a woman pouring milk into cereal, with the milk actually moving in the image. The emergence of cinemagraphs solves an age-old marketing problem of grabbing attention quickly in a short amount of time. By bringing ordinary photos to life, you stand a higher chance of highlighting the most important part of that image.
Polygons and Geometry
Low-poly designs are becoming a graphic design mainstay, thanks to video games. It adds dimension to otherwise flat images, along with additional color shades to further its allure. Low-poly design can be combined with other trends in graphic design, such as duotones or bold colors, to create an entire look of 2017 centricity. Aside from polygons, geometric figures as a whole remain rooted in 2017. Clean edges add classiness, plus they pair easily with just about any modern typeface and color palette.
Custom Illustrations & Graphics
Stock photos seem to be going the way of the buffalo in favor of original images, including the hand-drawn kind. Tacking on to the Snapchat fever, handmade doodles are ever popular. In addition, more sophisticated illustrations and graphics are pushing creative limitations. As a result, marketers and designers can bask in having one-of-a-kind images, much like the original photo trend. Even if you don't have any artistic abilities yourself, you can hire a freelance artist to create an original, copyrighted image for you.
Modular Layout Design
Boxing texts and images into bite-sized ideas can help manage your content like never before. Again, this trend in graphic design isn't new by any means, but it's not going away this year. The better you can separate ideas in your design, the better the user can interact with them. It helps eliminate long, boring blocks of text, opting instead to pair it with relevant images to create a cohesive story. In doing so, you get clean, crisp lines that look both professional and effortless.
Learning about trends in graphic design is just the beginning. It takes practice to master these trends and put them to good use. By that time, there's probably plenty of new trends for you to explore. If you need help perfecting your design, give us a shout today and together we'll create a website worth visiting again and again.