Graphic design is the crucial element of contemporary marketing. You cannot launch a good website or create compelling content if you don’t follow graphic design trends and keep up with competitors. But it’s not an easy thing to do.
Severe competition has forced many graphic designers to expand into complementary marketing and other services. Today, only the best and most creative companies can get the foot in the door and stand head and shoulders above others.
This means that every successful brand has to follow the most popular graphic design tendencies. In this post, we will show you nine trends that can skyrocket your business in 2018. Let’s check them out!
Multiple Color Schemes
Most brands stick to classical color schemes and avoid improvisations in this area. However, multiple color schemes are a big graphic design trend because they enable companies to distinguish their content from competitors. For this reason, they make alternative combinations, create color gradients, and use unconventional schemes.
The purpose of this trend is to bring new energy to the brand and make it visually appealing. You can try out different approaches making mixtures of basic color harmonies. There’s no need to stick to complementary or analogous colors – you can also try rectangle, triadic, or any other scheme that could match the style and values of your brand.
This is exactly why Dropbox decided to change its image after 10 years. The company embraced an expressive look with vibrant colors, rich imagery, a versatile typeface, and playful illustrations. According to Dropbox, they paired “contrasting colors, types, and imagery to show what’s possible when we bring ideas together in unexpected ways”.
A logo is the main symbol of the brand’s identity. It represents the mission, style, and values of your company, raising awareness among customers and making it memorable in the long run. That is the reason why most brands keep the same logo for years or even decades.
However, times have changed and one of the hottest graphic design trends is to create responsive logos. This way, a logo can fit all materials, backgrounds, and devices. If necessary, you can resize it or reduce it to not more than a few elements.
There is a whole bunch of examples how big brands design responsive logos. For instance, the Heineken logo can display nothing more than its famous red star in the portrait orientation, while it reveals the entire logo structure (text included) in the landscape mode.
The worst thing you can do to the brand is to dehumanize it with boring stock photos. They are too simple and generic, so an average customer cannot relate to the content. Using this option, you reveal two things about your company:
You are not creative enough,
You don’t try too hard.
In such circumstances, you have to follow the crowd and start producing high-quality images. These should be realistic photos that show the human aspect of the business. They need to be clearly but discretely branded so that the brand itself doesn’t seem too pushy.
Take this Nike webpage for example. It is casual but cool. A real person is in focus here, but you can clearly see the new Air Max model on her feet. Each element on this photo matches the overall branding strategy, so it makes a great effect immediately upon opening the page.
Retro style is having the occasional ups and downs over years but it seems like it’s currently one of the biggest graphic design trends. According to branding specialists at Essay Geeks, the vintage design brings an important emotional component to the brand because people love to be reminded of “the good old times”.
You can take advantage of this notion to develop content and packaging that corresponds with the history of your brand or niche in general. For instance, the French cosmetic company La Société Parisienne de Savons created a whole line of products following the retro design patterns. The packaging is filled with beautiful details of the Art Deco-inspired typography, which gives the brand a feeling of elegance and charm.
You could follow the same pattern to promote your brand – use pale colors, the Victoriana style, chalkboard posters, letterpress, steampunk, and other retroelements to distinguish your brands from the crowd of competitors.
Infographics are the easiest way to compress a lot of data into one simple file sheet and still make it look good. More than 40% of marketers reported that infographics and other original graphics were the most engaging formats, higher than any other type of visual content.
Infographics give you the chance to educate and inform people, while they also provide you with enough space for brand promotion. Besides that, they are easy to create, which is another reason this format became such a popular graphic design trend.
Canva is an excellent tool for infographic design because it offers a plethora of interesting templates, photo editing features, graphs, and document types. At the same time, you can make incredible font combinations and edit uploaded images based on your personal preferences and inspiration.
Custom Icons and Illustrations
You’ve probably figured out already that we strongly recommend creating custom branding elements. The situation is no different with icons and illustrations because a tailored visual improves brand image and increases the desire for your products or services. The custom design enables you to:
Improve communication with brand followers
Find visual components that perfectly resonate with your vision
Reveal the values of your brand with nothing more than a simple symbol
Besides that, a company that develops a custom icon and the corresponding illustrations will go one step ahead of competitors and become recognizable. Strikingly is a good example of how custom visuals can improve the appearance of a blog. They look for ideas out of the box and always find a solution to make their posts more attractive.
Customization goes beyond icons and images to reach other elements such as fonts for example. Although it may seem irrelevant, a handwritten style has become quite popular graphic design trend due to the variety of reasons, but we’ll name only a couple here.
First of all, it simply screams exclusivity and uniqueness. A company that creates its own handwritten font will definitely seem more interesting to the digital natives. After all, you don’t want your brand to be boring like Times New Roman, don’t you? Secondly, it adds a subtle touch of personalization to your messages, creating a feeling of appreciation and care for your customers.
These are also the reasons why customer service specialists send handwritten “Thank You” cards to the shoppers. The logic is simple – an average customer wants to know that you treat him like a special client. You should embrace the same mindset and design a handwritten font that will make your brand original.
Create Amusing & Informative GIFs
GIFs have always been a nice way to react to trendy topics, but the format should take a step further and become more informative than before. Sports websites already use this format to show highlights to followers who don’t have enough time to watch the whole game.
You can use this type of content to keep users informed about the latest developments related to your brand and its products. Show them the new releases, announce events, or remind followers of earlier activities.
People often say that a picture is worth a thousand words. If that is true, then GIFs are worth a thousand pictures. It’s a serious advantage and you can make use of it to replace static content such as images or illustrations. Learn from Google – a digital giant often uses GIFs on the landing page to notify searchers about important historical events.
Play With Shapes
If you want to be radically different than competitors, you can always play with unconventional shapes and geometry. It’s a valuable graphic design trend among marketing leaders who want to grab the attention of the target audience.
For instance, construction companies can manipulate logo geometry to reveal the nature of their work. There are many ways to rearrange logo elements so as to create a 3D simulation. This was also the idea behind the Black Box Code logo. Besides the 3D shaping, you can play with shades and colors to improve the overall effect of your design.
It’s not possible to run a sustainable business if you don’t follow trends in every field of work, including graphic design. As much as your content depends on inspiration and creativity, it also has to respect popular design solutions in order to keep up with competitors.
In this post, we showed you 9 most important graphic design trends every successful business is using. Do you already use some of these tactics? Do you have other interesting ideas to share with our readers? Let us know about your opinion in comments and we’ll be glad to discuss it!
Chris Richardson has been working as an editor at a publishing agency in London, UK for 5 years. He is also a professional content writing expert on such topics as career growth, self-improvement, blogging, and technology innovations. Feel free to connect with him on Google+.