POST WRITTEN BY
Tech Entrepreneur & Writer. CEO of Little Dragon, a graphic design agency, and Head of Strategy at Nebbex, a blockchain protocol.
When it comes to design, whether it’s print or digital graphic design, trends often rule the day and dictate the market. If you’re not following or, even better, setting the trends, then you may fall behind in a race that only the fittest survive and the most adaptable thrive in. I’ve noticed that so far in 2019, some old trends are returning, some have started to build steam from 2018 and some are just forming and could be key for helping your brand emerge from the crowded landscapes of ever-growing and ever-changing industries. Predicting what’s coming throughout the year can be a fickle and elusive nut to crack, and things will likely change as we navigate through 2019, but these are some of the most impactful design trends to look out for and embrace.
- Minimal Design
In a design realm and world in general where attention spans have decreased in recent decades, I believe that getting your message across in a simple and concise manner is the most important trend in graphic design for 2019. No matter your industry or your target market, getting straight to the point can be the most effective way to convey your message and engage your audience.
As technology speeds up, the amount of time you have to get your point across and make an impact on a visitor to your website, or a glancing eye scanning an ad on a subway platform, dwindles. The window to draw in a consumer and create an impact is the smallest it’s ever been, and it’s probably only going to become smaller. Making a splash at first glance can be the key to brand recognition and conveying your message so that your brand can thrive and, in some cases, survive.
- Bright And Bold Colors
Color brightens our world, and making a splash through color can help grab the attention of consumers, so it’s easy to see why bright and bold colors continue to trend upward in 2019.
With new brands entering the marketplace and your competition increasing on a daily basis, vivid color palettes using intense hues, such as hot pink, turquoise, ultraviolet purple, sunbeam yellow and harvest orange, are becoming more commonplace. Why? Because grabbing the viewer’s attention is becoming more and more difficult with all the noise that’s out there. Making a bold statement and separating yourself from your competitors through bold colors started to become a trend in 2018, and I predict it will gain even more steam in 2019.
- Gradient Design
We started to see this trend in 2018, but in 2019, I believe that gradient design — which is a blend of two or more colors or of two shades of the same color — will be one of the top graphic design trends. Many times, what is old becomes new again, and gradient design, which was most popular in the 90s, is no different. As bright and bold colors come to the forefront this year, I think that the use of those colors in dual-tone gradient designs will become another dominant design trend.
- Asymmetry In Design Layouts
Symmetry isn’t always best. As we are creatures of our environment, and symmetrical designs are all around us in nature, symmetry is often naturally pleasing to the eye. Symmetry, however, is not always the best approach for designing in an ultra-competitive and crowded marketplace. Symmetry is a beautiful trait of our natural world, but asymmetrical design is becoming a powerful trend because it grabs viewers’ eyes and attention. This unbalanced approach can help set your brand apart from your competition.
- Hand-Drawn Illustrations
Just as things that are old are becoming new again, so is putting pencil back to paper, but this time, it’s happening in the digital world. The reemergence of hand-drawn illustrations was showing some signs of popularity in 2018, but this year, I predict that hand-drawn illustrations fused with digitally created layouts will be a top trend.
Graphic design has become so polished and slick, and through technology, we’re becoming so separated from one another that audiences seem to crave more interaction through design and more of a human touch. Because of this, I predict that hand-drawn illustrations and detailed vector illustrations that are part of clean, minimal design layouts will become more and more popular in all realms of design in 2019.
- Retro Design Aesthetics
Just as fashion trends are cyclical, so too is design. I’ve noticed that retro design trends are starting to pop up in the marketplace more and more frequently. Whether they’re the simple stylized layouts of the 70s (think solid color banding and simple patterns) or the colorful bold layouts of the 80s and 90s, these retro design aesthetics are likely to be a top trend in 2019.
Standing out from the crowd has always been the pinnacle in any business, but the importance of doing so in 2019 within the realm of graphic design cannot be understated. Exploring and adapting to the latest trends and using them to your advantage can help separate your brand and your message from the noise of your competition. I believe this is the best way forward and the best way to grow and flourish in today’s marketplace. Pay attention and adapt or be left behind.