Graphic design trends, like fashion, run in cycles like clockwork. What was cool 20 years ago will seem new again today. Grunge is back, and those Doc Martins are stompin’ the streets like its 1990. So if you’re looking to stay trendy, look no further than your dad’s old wardrobe.
With technology improving so fast, graphic designers are finding ways to enhance the visual aesthetic of a website or app while keeping it simple and engaging. Minimalism is here to stay, but graphic designers are adding some contemporary flare to the mix to spice it up like a vintage Casio.
Here are the 5 graphic design trends to look out for in 2018:
- Semi-flat design
- Bold Serifs
- Responsive Logos
Gradients were a thing of the past. Remember when every corporate bro added a gradient to their PowerPoint presentation to capture the audience’s attention and show he had some style? In the not so distant past, gradients were frowned upon, and if you were still using gradients you were also probably wearing some beat up oxfords and carrying around a dusty briefcase.
Then along came the Instagram rebranding, along with the gradient pioneer, Stripe, and now designers are using it as a tool to enhance their flat minimal design without making it the core focus. Check out this resource for web UI gradients.
2. Semi-Flat Design
Like any new fad, minimalism went to an extreme over the past few years, and we saw most designers using flat 2D design with a lot of white space and bold colors. Designers are now striking a balance, and bringing 3D visual elements to forefront using shadows and semi-flat design. This gives designs more depth, and allows designers to create visual hierarchy on their web pages.
Background videos, gifs, and css animations have paved the way to the future of interactive web and mobile applications. Video and animation content has proven to have both higher conversion and engagement rates than other forms of media like text and static images. This is because video brings together auditory and visual senses, with the average viewer retaining 95% of a message when it is watched, whereas only 10% when it is read.
Creating animations and videos is also becoming much easier with tools like Moovly, Animaker, and Bodymovin for After Effects. If you’re too scared to jump in and create your own, there is plenty of free stock video and animations libraries you can integrate in your design. Get movin!
4. Bold Serifs
Extra! Extra! Read all about… bold serifs. The old newspaper, editorial style font has made a resurgence in user interface design, with thick-thin fashion fonts at the forefront of many new branded platforms.
Bold Serifs add a touch of nostalgia to a modern minimalist design, while portraying a high-end, classy look and feel.
5. Responsive Logos
With the rapid growth of mobile device users, website traffic from mobile officially surpassed that of desktop in 2017, with more than 52% of viewers coming from their smartphone. With the progression of responsive design came the application of mobile responsive frames like Bootstrap, the undisputed front-end framework leader. These frameworks supported grid systems allowing designs to adjust based on screen sizes using breakpoints. Designers have started implementing responsive logos to adjust based on screen size, saving space on mobile-first designs without impacting the brand experience.
We certainly don’t believe you need to follow trends to stay stylish, but understanding what’s hot now will help you foresee, and maybe create, what happens next.
“Figuring out what the next big trend is tells us what we should focus on.” — Mark Zuckerberg
This article was written by the King Tide Design team, with inspiration from 99 Designs.
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