It’s a brand new year full of brand new innovations! We’re so excited to see what 2019 will bring to the world of design and we’re confident there’ll be some brilliant surprises in store. We have, however, made a few cheeky predictions for some big design trends that will continue into this year.
1. Complex Gradients
Trend number one is actually an evolution of something that’s been popular for a while. Gradients are a big thing in design right now, you can see them pretty much everywhere. What we’re talking about today, though, is when gradients are used as much more than just an interesting background.
No, what we’re talking about today is campaigns like the one Adobe put on for their 10th Annual 99U Conference. Throughout all of their designs, they’ve created shapes using gradients alone. The gradients are used in such a way as to create the effect of light and shade on a 3D object, making these designs very engaging for only two colours.
2. Isometric Design
Previously reserved for technical drawings, isometric design is now making itself popular in other design contexts. This neat technique allows you to create a 3D appearance in just a 2D piece of artwork. The designer can then apply whatever style they like to their creation.
Isometric design is proving particularly popular in icon design. Creatio have created a mini, isometric universe for their homepage and then gone on to include smaller formations for their icons – tying everything together nicely.
3. Bold Typography
For the first of our typography trends, we’re looking at the leaning towards bold, no-fuss fonts. These fonts tend to be sans-serif and have a thick, uniform weight throughout. They do appear very strong and unapologetic which is perhaps why the Women’s Foundation chose this style for their We Work for Change campaign.
This campaign is all about changing perceptions around women and the typeface helps to promote the idea that women can be strong and fearless too. Together with the contrastive colour scheme and disjointed layout, this is a very eye-catching campaign.
4. Eco Packaging
In the world of packaging, there is one particular trend that is gathering a huge amount of momentum – ecologically friendly packaging. You must not only consider the look of your product, but also the materials used to create it and look for sustainable solutions.
This move to eco-friendly materials is often complemented by natural inspired designs too. Seed Phytonutrients have created fully recyclable product containers and they’ve chosen to keep their brand full of earthy tones and script-style fonts.
5. Open Compositions
It can be so tempting to make your designs seem ‘finished’ by putting a frame around the outside. Even without a frame, you can position the items within the artwork to be nicely centred within your canvas. However, we’ve been noticing a move towards more open compositions recently.
Open compositions are those that make you feel like you’re only seeing a snapshot of the scene and that it actually extends beyond the boundaries of the image. Take the Magic Leap website, here. It’s hard not to believe that this universe continues in all directions – this site is particularly clever because, as you scroll down, you zoom out and see more of this creation!
6. Realism + Flat Design
Normally, realism and flat design are talked about as polar opposites within design so it might seem odd that we’re talking about using both of these at once. Except, it isn’t odd at all because we’re seeing a lot of artwork that brings the two together!
This coffee brand, Egoiste, demonstrates how the juxtaposition between the two styles can work really well. The realistic coffee beans and leaves contrast with the clearly computer generated mandala designs to create a cool and quirky vibe.
7. Serif Fonts
Time for our second typography trend! For a few years now, we’ve been seeing fonts get stripped back to basics and sans-serif typefaces were seen as clean and modern. However, things seem to be swinging back in the opposite direction again.
Brands are looking for something that communicates character and serif fonts allow for much more variation. The Department of Design uses the sans-serif font, Prenton, for body copy but splashes out with Orpheus and Garamond for headers.
Over in web design, we’re getting animated. Micro-interactions are those little animations that are triggered by rolling your mouse over or clicking certain elements of the site. They could be as small as fading the text to show this is the tab you will be clicking, or they could be much more elaborate.
This site, Femme & Fierce, makes use of micro-interactions to make their retail site a little more fun and unusual. As you hover over an item, not only does the picture cycle through a slideshow of different poses, but little dancing icons appear too.
9. Custom Illustrations
Finally, we end with the growing trend for custom illustrations. Custom designs are always a little tricky – on the one hand, you can create the exact image you want, on the other, it takes more time. It looks like people are more inclined to put the effort in these days!
These exhibition posters each feature custom artwork that capture the creativity and imagination that the exhibition is clearly trying to promote. It may take longer, but we’d argue that it’s well worth the effort for results like these.
Do you have any resolutions for 2019? Check out our free eBook, 50 Design Tips for Designers and see if there’s anything in there you could start incorporating. We can’t wait to see what you come up with this year!