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New Year, New Trends!

Opinion

January 5, 2017

Look at that! Another year come and gone (said everyone’s grandpa). But it’s true! And with each passing year comes fads that fade. (Thank you for leaving the mannequin challenge in 2016.) So, as a designer at Tag, what’s better to write about than the ups and downs of the design world in 2016. As well as what is to come for 2017!

2016 Trends

San Serif Mono weight

It’s everywhere. Brands like Google, Dell, even Taco Bell. They all lost their personality by taking the generic safe route. Don’t get me wrong; they don’t look bad – they are just boring. Maybe if one or two brands went this route I wouldn’t be so disappointed…but it feels like everytime I go onto Under Consideration there are four more brands that look the same. One exception is Viceland. This brand pulls it off well with the choice of Helvetica and a black and white palette that perfectly suits the “No Bullshit” multimedia outlet.

Bold Typography

I am a sucker for bold, well-designed typography! Sydney Opera House has a beautiful redesign that reflects the architecture of the Opera House. It has just enough going on that it’s visually interesting, but not overpowering. Same goes for the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau . A playful use of letterforms lends both personality and great readability.

Illustration

In the 90’s it was “hand-drawn” weird squiggles, offset color in simple shapes, bold lines and a shaky hand. Those elements still exist, but in a minimalist vector style. The lines are thinner, straighter and many times the color palette is pastel.

2017 Trends

The Digital Experience

What is the digital experience? It’s implementing the human experience and interaction into a digital platform. Chris Reath of Purple Rock Scissors gives insight on how the ever-growing Snapchat concocted theirs. “They focused on their target demographic and designed a gesture-based language based off of them.” This user-informed design trend will continue in 2017 as we continue to shift toward a data-driven society.

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The Un-designed Trend

What the heck is this you ask? Sam Becker, Executive Creative Director at Brand Union, explained it as, “Brands will become less branded. Or to put another way: meticulously un-designed. This means haphazard layouts with clumsily overlapping elements. Coarse, honest typography mechanically set without any sensitivity to widows, alignment or proper quote characters.” Kanye West’s 2016 effort, The Life of Pablo, is a great example of this trend.

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Productivity for Designers

Okay, so this isn’t a design trend, but it’s something I’m excited about. Tools for designers to work faster and smarter! As telecommuting becomes more and more popular, teams will require better tools for collaboration. Web apps such as Figma, Slack and Invision give creative and account teams the ability to quickly communicate and interact across platforms from any location. Flexible tools means teams can be more productive and have all their team notes and ideas in one accessible location. A trend that is sure to stay at the forefront! For a designer like me, whose workflow feels most productive from home, it provides opportunity to be in my most creatively comfortable space, and still be able to pump out work with the team!

So! 2017 seems to be looking up for the design world. I’m excited to see what this new year holds. What design trends are you looking forward to in the new year?

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