Trendspotting is fun, and a great way to inspire your work with fresh and innovative ideas. But even if you’re not the person who follows the trends, as a designer, it’s wise to be aware of the shifts going on in your industry. At least you would have the opportunity to twist them into something novel and fascinating.
We are pleased to have 4 recognizable design experts to share with us their thoughts about the upcoming trends in the industry. Throughout this article, we’ll have a glance at 10 potential trends to take over in 2020.
01. Breaking the rules with motion design
Motion design adapts with the times and has steadily evolved over the past years. Designers have pushed the boundaries of what is possible, experimenting with new trends that entertain us or make us think or feel.
Storytelling through motion design will definitely impact the trends in 2020, setting the stage for truly authentic and customized experiences. Brands are realizing they have a chance to form deeper relationships and evoke real emotions by investing in storytelling. Motion design is perfectly suited to this, leveraging animation and movement to tell a story. Whatever motion design looks like by 2020, one thing is for sure: it will continue to break the rules, push the boundaries, and be bold.
02. Minimal and eclectic meets colors that pop
The mantra “less is more” has dominated design in recent years. Expect this trend to continue in 2020 as clean, uncluttered visuals become even more necessary for viewing content on smaller screens like smartphones and tablets. Projects that pop with color are far from over.
As pop culture pushes for authenticity and transparency, designers will have to get real, too. The resulting shift in illustration style celebrates the imperfections in art. We’ll see more projects that feature freestyle doodles, bold colors, unique brush strokes, and organic textures.
The eclectic shift will push designers away from rigid, grid-based layouts and toward a more asymmetrical approach. Doing so will create a feeling of raw, kinetic movement.
03. Open compositions
Say goodbye to framed finishes and hello to free-flowing final products. Open compositions make people feel like they’re seeing one beautiful piece of a bigger picture. Elements fly on and off the page with ease, creating a glimpse of infinity.
The power of open composition is its ability to tap into the audience’s imagination and spark curiosity. It makes you wonder, “What else is there?”
You’ll find the first hints of this trend in web design since it lends itself well to interactive digital experiences, but I predict it will expand to print projects, too.
With 16 years of experience, Nicolai Qvindbjerg is a web and graphic designer who keeps a keen eye on graphic design trends. He founded his company Savage Studio in Copenhagen, Denmark with the mission to help businesses grow, launch products, build meaningful relationships and gain a competitive advantage in the connected world.
04. Analysis tool
The analysis is and will always be an important tool in the design process. The demands will increase on designers to have a wider and greater knowledge of the brand owner’s challenges of sustainability and how to incorporate environmental and economic aspects in the process. The challenge for designers will be not to rely on consumers’ presumptions about environmental issues, but rather to make correct decisions. The consumers’ knowledge and awareness increase very quickly, and in order to not create short-handed solutions, designers need to understand the real effect of sustainability calculations. Designers must stay updated in the development that is taking place in everything from sustainable materials to design challenges in communicating sustainability.
An example of this is the packaging industry, where the consumers’ perceptions regarding what is sustainable aren’t necessarily the most sustainable packaging solution – worst-case scenario, it could be the least sustainable solution. The designers need to understand the challenges and demands that the brand owners face in order to create relevant and sustainable solutions. These are challenges for both designers and brand owners who want to take part in creating brands for the future.
E-commerce is already changing our way of looking at and relating to brands and products. Design communication is replacing a personal meeting. The interface of a website along with the packaging design will contain the whole buying experience, which before was created by store environment, sound, smell and personal engagement by the staff. This is an exciting challenge that has many possibilities, but it also puts higher expectations and demands on the design process.
Sara Larsson is a knowledgeable design professional in Sweden with more than 12 years of experience. She is currently performing as head of the graphic design department in Brobygrafiska Utbildning – educational center within the graphics area: graphic design, packaging design, web, prepress, and flexographic printing
06. Design community
I do not believe that many would have anticipated, that great design would become a commodity in the world today. Dribbble has greatly contributed to this development of design, mostly for the better, but also for the worse. As design movements and trends become more accessible, it has also shown tendencies of becoming bland, where everything is a copy or remix of another designer’s work.
This is also where I see the opportunity for developing truly amazing experiences, where interaction, design, and technology will reach a pinnacle. Whether we’re looking at web or app, the need for thinking beyond design into deeply meaningful features is becoming ever important to the perception of quality services or products.
These deeper micro features will make or break the success for most projects and should be chased to give the users some extra in their experience. It can be achieved in many ways, a simple one would be to let the user know that their delivery guy is 5 minutes away and you should get ready by finding your wallet and prepare the table. It is a simple service addition, that would give the user an added sense of urgency and real-time feedback.
Thinking in these directions will give anyone the edge over their competitors and most will find great inspiration in similar industries to their own, rather and trying to drive hard innovation. Simple meaningful microfeatures are the direction I’ll be looking to find quality in 2020.
Kenneth has been doing full-stack digital design in Copenhagen, Denmark for more than 10 years. His main focus is visually balanced design in technology, solving complex challenges in the simplest ways.
07. Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality
2020 is the future. All the movies say so. By then all the world’s ills will be solved; cities will be breathing, living structures covered in trees, and of course, we’ll have flying cars. Sadly, it’s 2019 and I don’t see all of that happening by 2020. What I do see for 2020 are some fun design trends coming down the pipe.
We’ve heard about “experience” for a while now, but in 2020, I think this will play a stronger role in marketing and design efforts than before. With the rise of Pokemon Go and now Minecraft Earth, more and more people are accepting augmented reality (AR) interaction. This opens so many doors for designers to create experiences not limited to VR or the real world. I can’t wait to see how more and more brands work AR into their strategy.
08. Make use of data
Speaking of strategy, as more and more brands learn to use available data to make informed decisions, designers will have to keep up. Over 90% of the data in the world has been generated in the past few years. 90%! [Forbes, 2018] Understanding and using that data not to drive design, but inform design is key. Using that data to help craft the story in every design is going to be more essential than ever for designers, regardless of where they are in their career path.
09. Brand values through visual design
And even more to my point on strategy, we can talk about what colors will be popular, image styling, etc., but more important than all of that is that the brand is truly represented by their visual design. It’s not just about a product or a service, but about brand values. How does a brand interact with the world? If you strip away all the bells and whistles, what does the brand hold dear? What is their “Why” for Simon Sinek fans? And how do you represent that in a visual way? Yes, the word “authentic” gets bandied around quite a bit, but for good reason. Like will attract like and brands that are “authentic” will attract an audience they can serve with minimal friction.
10. The two visual trends
Visually, what’s coming down the pipe? I’ll discuss two trends I see emerging from 2019 design in 2020.
First, while the bright, oversaturated pinks, greens, and purples aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, I do see them being paired with more natural elements. Less tech and electronics and more plants and wilderness – driven by the growing climate action movement.
Secondly, in the United States, the 2020 election will have an impact on design trends we’re already seeing. Large, bold type dominating imagery plays well with both posters and online assets. Using variations of red, white, and blue will be common, but they will be used in unexpected ways. Perhaps an almost indigo, purple-hued blue instead of the traditional dark blue as an example.
2020 is going to be an amazing year.
Aimee Tuck – Strategic Graphic Design & Creative Marketing for Solar, Clean Tech & Clean Transportation | Principal, Corbae Creative
Aimee has a diverse background in design and creative pursuits and has chosen to direct her career toward helping sustainable companies in the solar, clean energy, building, and transportation industries. Through innovation and focus, Aimee believes we can make the world a better place. Her company – Corbae Creative – was set up in 2002, to advance passionate, sustainable businesses with strategic design and marketing. By pairing science with creativity, Corbae provides branding and identity development; strategic, goal-oriented graphic design for social, web, content, and print marketing campaigns.
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