This is a guest post from Brian Jens at Design Contest.
The design environment seems to be very changeable; however, we can’t say that trends appears early in the morning and fade in the late evening. Of course, the design evolves, but its development directions rather change/enhance each other than appear from nowhere.
Some ideas and patterns arise within large digital communities such as Dribbble or Behance, but only a few experts can predict exactly what trend will affect the future of design. Trends are not short-term; they never disappear completely without any heritage. All of the major trends that will be relevant in the second part of 2016 didn’t appear out of nowhere: they have already been dominating for the past few years, gradually changing while remaining totally recognizable.
Many graphic designers are watching what is happening in the industry and trying to use new approaches in their work. This makes sense: by analyzing trends, you can get rid of stamps and clichés. So, what trends will be the most important until the end of 2016?
Unlike conventional retro, modern retro style is focused on the style of the 70s and 80s. This is the era of the first personal computers, video games, an active space exploration, and rapid development of digital technologies.
Modern graphic design and digital technologies are closely linked so that designers influence the trends prevailing in other sectors, for example, in web development. When Google introduced its concept of Material Design, no one expected that it would have such a strong impact on the whole design. This visual language is characterized by the deliberate choice of color, scale typography and bold use of empty space.
Although the material design is similar to Flat 2.0, it’s a completely separate direction. It has more realism, depth, volume and movement. Google has created a visual language for the digital environment, but its principles can be used in various types of design.
Bright Color Palette
Such trends as a modern retro and material design promote the use of bright and unusual color combinations. Therefore, designers will actively use bright colors in their works. Despite the fact that now muted tones dominate in the web, in graphic design everything is all the way around – catchy and vibrant color like peach, yellow, deep blue and bright green is in trend.
Bright colors and geometric shapes are reminiscent one more trend in graphic design…
Today, a growing number of designers use the so-called polygons that are used to create three-dimensional models and video games. Until recently, this graphical method was incomprehensible to the viewer, but everything has changed and illustrations along with geometric figures will appear more frequently.
Negative space is an integral part of any good design. Using this method, you can add depth or double meaning to the design. As a rule, negative space is used when creating a logo or in branding, but nothing prevents you from using it in other types of graphic design.
This trend shows that typography can be used to create a dramatic effect. Large letters attract attention; at the same time, you can enhance the experience by using bright color combinations, textures and unusual arrangement of the elements.
The designers are moving away from the use of stock photos for the reason of lack of individuality. Nobody wants his design to become a cliché. Today, every brand tries its best to stand out from the competition, so the use of non-unique stock photos is the worst thing to come up with. Stock images reduce originality and increase the risk that some of the elements are already used.
So, up to the end of 2016, custom illustrations will be very noticeable. They will be used in a variety of projects ranging from the design of printed materials to the websites’ landing pages.
Of course, you should be aware of what is going on in the industry. But please don’t introduce any new chips until you sure it works. If you just can’t keep the desire to try something new – then introduce changes partially, making sure that a particular trend fits well into the project and will be correctly understood by the audience. Be pragmatic and use only those elements or color combinations that are relevant to the design.
About Brian: Brian Jens is someone who successfully combines design and research. Being a moderator at Design Contest, Brian constantly investigates the market and shares the results with the world. Feel free to send Brian your craziest ideas: who knows, maybe they’ll be embodied on the paper soon.