Gathering these predictions every time gets more and more dizzying each year. As it’s been said, “the past is the present once again,” and 2018 will be a time of modernizing graphic design patterns from the past and deviating from the regular design landscape of recent years. In 2015, it was all about animation and motion graphics. In 2016, we focused on digitising and making the experience more user-friendly on different devices. And in 2017, it was all about augmented and virtual-reality. As New Year rings in, we anticipate that simplicity will stick around; the return of old favourites will make their reappearance with contemporary and updated looks.
When it comes to typography you would agree that the bolder, the better. This year it’s all going to be about extra-large font sizes and cosmic headlines. We can expect more typeface variety in the coming year. Helvetica-inspired sans serifs have dominated digital spaces and we believe they’ll remain as fashionable as ever (especially their extra-bold family members).
Our serif font friends have been making a rapid reappearance on screens, especially when paired with sans serifs. Truth be told, no other font category can convey the classic, everlasting presence that the bold serif can. With the serif’s increasing acceptability on screens, we can expect a ripple effect and for it to regain some of its former footing.
Not so long ago gradients reigned supreme. They were found almost everywhere, on every website, page header and PowerPoint presentation. Your documents were pretty uncool unless a gradient graced the cover. Soon after they were side-lined as we welcomed an era of flat design around late 2017.
Flat design is progressing, and gradients are making their modern comeback as a flat design improvement. This improvement is part of a design upgrade often spoken of as “flat 2.0” or “semi-flat design”. Their re-emergence in iOS and implementation by industry frontrunners like Stripe and Instagram have solidified their status once again, and you’ll be seeing them as exciting UI, branding, backgrounds, graphics and overlays.
We’ve been seeing them really frequently of late, and it’s safe to say that shadows are officially back in 2018. Like gradients, shadows were put on the back seat as we removed realism from our designs and looked towards extremely minimalistic and 2-D designs.
Designers had been trying out “long-shadows” as a suitable means to enhance their flat designs when Google Material Design reintroduced real shadows as an improvement to their UI. This spread like wild fire outside of Material Design and designers began adding shadows to their own work. These shadows ranged from being large to soft, sometimes colored that added delicate depth and dimension contrasting from their overused, “drop-shadow” forerunners.
Palettes & designs from the 80’s & 90’s
From attractive pastels to electric shades, colour patterns from the 80’s and 90’s have been acquiring admiration once again. With steps being taken away from ultra-flat designs, expect to see the abstract and symmetrical designs inspired by the era move from the peripheries into the mainstream as well.
As children of the 80’s and 90’s become more dominant and significant as both brand frontrunners and key target audiences, this drift can add graphical excitement as well as a dash of nostalgia to your designs.
It’s been a decade since responsive design transformed the web, and since then it has turned into an industry norm. The speedy rise of mobile surfing (and an endless array of devices and screen sizes) has produced serious usability concerns for old-style websites. Designers and developers began testing out numerous ways to make designs acclimatize to the user’s device as a one-site-fits-all solution. This laid the foundation for what would become known as “receptive design.”
The notion of modifying logos to meet the same user demands has mostly remained unlikely; until now. Businesses have been revitalizing their logos into contemporary, simplified kinds over the previous years and responsive logo design is the rational next step in meeting the current demands.
Animations & GIFs
When it comes to big animations, GIFs and SVGs are treasured tools for communicating concepts, impressions and procedures while creating more attractive content for users. GIFs have come a long way and have grown to fit in spectacularly with the current web. Add interest to ads, email newsletters, illustrations, icons and logos by taking benefit of this trend. Animated GIF logos have really become a trend of their own.
There has been a significant move from polished photography to grittier real-world photographs. Such photography looks and feels real. Whether you’re working with custom photos or selecting stock, look for images that convey emotion, contain action or tell stories. It’s all about looking for a design that has a bit more integrity and it’s refreshing to see natural (and more interesting) compositions return to the mainstream once again.
Demand for real-life photography grew immensely in 2017 and will grow deeper in 2018 as brands seek to connect with their users, and designers seek to get rid of cheesy stock photography. One of the things we have noticed in 2017 is the desire to be more personal through design and luckily there are lots of amazing photographers out there who are helping meet this demand through premium and free stock photography resources.
Hand Drawn Elements
Hand drawn elements in images have been particularly big in 2017. And it’s not surprising that the kind of personal touch it adds to the brand and its marketing is undeniable. Brands looking to achieve a stand-out look often find classic design aesthetics can provide an air of distinction and sophistication.
While this trend may not be practical for everyone but it’s fantastic to see something a bit less polished that really stood out last year. In a world ever more dominated by screens, there is just something appealing about the hand drawn that resonates with many.
It’s an intriguing time in graphic design as the graphic arts are being revitalized and we’re beginning to see a resistance to the flat design movement. The design scene is about to get a lot more interesting as we continue to focus more on originality and the individuality of brands and their audiences. With so many old and new styles on the table, it will be a time of taking risks and breaking patterns.