Trends are integrated into the nature of design; they are inevitable, and design relies on the coming and going of different visual styles and elements. Trends in graphic design start off with a basic style that continues to grow and develop as it is tweaked by more and more designers. While we cannot entirely predict the future, we can take a look at trends from the past year and predict what trends we expect to continue growing in 2015. Here are some of our top picks for trends that will dominate graphic design in 2015.
1. Huge images
We have seen a lot of pages, particularly website landing pages, begin to use one large beautiful high definition image as the main focus. Gone are the small, bitty images scattered in a design; rather, a larger image is taking up almost an entire page. We think we’ll see more of this kind of design in the future, and we like it!
We’ve seen an increase in better, more interesting typography being used lately and this will surely continue to grow. No more boring Comic Sans and Helvetica, but rather more visually appealing and strong, bold statements will be made with newer developed fonts.
3. Semi-flat design
Nearing the end of 2013, and the beginning of 2014, we saw the beginning of flat designs led by companies such as Apple and Microsoft. From here, the trend has grown into semi-flat designs that incorporate flat elements with realistic enhancements. Google has started to take the lead with this kind of design, and many more designers are taking on this approach as well.
4. Magical images
Ever seen a photo of a tiny human mowing a beard off a man? Or perhaps a normal sized human trying to pull a giant head along a path? Well, all these surreal images are now possible thanks to software like Photoshop. We’ve started to see these ‘magical realism’ images appearing in more graphic design projects, brightening up the imagination of your average reader.
5. Hand-drawn illustrations
Going back to basics and manmade art, hand-drawn illustrations are once again on the rise. They can make a bold impact with clean lines, whether it be in black and white or colour, and can be really appealing for design projects that want to add something a little different. Because they are drawn according to specific design needs, they can add a very unique touch to any project.
6. Grid layouts
Arguably started by the website Pinterest, grid layouts for design projects are on the rise. They feature geometric, clean lines, and use basic, solid colours. The layout is a grid pattern and is often squared off to create symmetry. It is a minimalistic design that really stands out despite its simplicity.
7. Kpop craze
Remember that catchy Kpop tune that had everyone dancing along for about a year? Well, it turns out this craze landed itself into graphic design as well. The key to this design is loud, funky, and bright illustrations with smiley face elements added. Think of clashing prints with a Japanese cartoon feel and you’ll have yourself a Kpop design element.
Gone are the days of pixelated images, but maybe we can bring it back! Pixelated art has been back in use in recent times, mainly for the creation of graphics and logos. They’re simple and minimalistic, but often stand out in their retroness. Even some of the latest games like Minecraft and Terraria have incorporated pixels into their designs.
9. Subtle gradients
Subtle gradients are reminiscent of past design days when they were harsh and unnecessary. But now they’re making a comeback. Apple began incorporating gradients when they upgraded to their iOs 7, and a lot of designers soon followed. Gradients can give an image depth or suggest a change of light within an image, and can also make flat designs really pop out.
10. Liquid smoke
Adding a textural effect such as liquid and/or smoke to an image, or even typography, has become a hit in the world of graphic design recently. This rather abstract design can make ordinary images turn into a work of art with the natural flow of movement it projects. Bright, neon colours work best on a pale background, and the use of these organic shapes will only become more popular as the year goes on.
11. Hand lettering
Lettering that looks or has been hand written by an actual human being is on the rise, as the drawings, and for a good reason. Sometimes we need to add a personal touch to our designs, whether it be for a brand of toothpaste or for a website testimonial. The fact is, hand lettering looks like it was written personally by someone (it was), and often makes consumers and clients feel like the design is more down to earth.
12. 3D printing
There’s a lot of hype around 3D printing, and with it slowly becoming a more affordable option, the technology is gaining more popularity within the graphic design world. With many businesses moving away from print to digital media, the focus is starting to shift back towards print – this time in the 3D sense. The potential is almost limitless when it comes to 3D printing, and it’s certainly a trend we believe will be a key factor of many graphic design projects in the future.