2018 in the design world was defined by minimalism and modern calligraphy, but the new year has arrived - and it's bringing new ideas with it! Let's take a look at the direction that the graphic and web design world is heading and the characteristics and choices that will make sure your brand is on point (and on trend) for 2019!
Living Coral : Colour of the Year
Each year Pantone announces a colour of the year, and this year's is Living Coral; a gorgeous peachy red hue. As with every year's announcement, this colour is sure to inspire a lot of designers - so expect to see it popping up frequently over the next twelve months!
At the closing end of 2018 colour choices became more vivid, and this trend is set to continue long into the new year. Rich, saturated colour combinations bring lots of energy and have a futuristic feel, perfect for creating ‘out of this world’ experiences. This trend holds true in the use of typography as well, with multicolour typographical designs becoming quickly more common.
Gradients & Duotones
Made ever popular by the playlist covers on Spotify, duotones and gradients have become increasingly popular. 2019 is going to see designers push the complexity of these gradients even further and integrate them into designs in more innovative ways than just simple backgrounds.
Metallics & Holo
The rose gold fad might be over, but that won’t stop the metallic effect trending in 2019!
Gold in particular will be a key tactic in taking compositions to the next level and creating expensive looking designs.
The theme of the year is "retro-futuristic", and it shows as much in the textures that are growing in popularity as it does in the vibrant colour palettes that are taking favour; an iridescent or holographic lighting effect in metals is also becoming quite stylish. It will especially become a key point of interest on package designs, and will work to highlight the luxury and exclusivity of a product.
Strong & Solid
Bold fonts project power and are easy to read - especially on mobile devices - which has made them popular in web design. This trend is expected to continue on this year into the other avenues of design to create strong focal points that demand attention.
Hand Drawn & Detailed Illustrations
Complex and detailed illustrations will become a popular go-to in designs. Illustrations that demonstrate a lot of love and care maintain a uniqueness that gives the finished design a personalised and wholesome image. More brands and designers will be seeking custom art for their products to keep their designs feeling fun and original.
Genuine Stock Photos
Maybe it’s that we’re looking for something more relatable from brands so that we can identify with them, maybe it’s that stock photos have become renowned for being overly polished, composed and often cold; either way, traditional stock photos are on the way out. Designers in 2019 will be looking for photos that have a more authentic and genuine feel than the traditional over-posed stock photography - even opting for photography taken from personal phones or cameras in order to create the right atmosphere in their designs.
The use of imagery and photography in design has always been diverse, and comes with many opportunities. Like design in general this year designers will start abandoning traditional cropping and framing and instead aim to create dynamic designs with imagery that seems to float on the canvas and suggest depth in new ways.
Designers are beginning to abandon the frame, instead opting for open and airy designs that seem to continue beyond the canvas. Showing only part of a whole design triggers a viewer’s imagination and leaves them wondering what more there is. When used cleverly, it allows for a continuous and strong motif across your web and print designs so that, when placed together, they create one unified canvas.
This trend will continue on into web design, with designers opting for full-width, open pages and interactive websites that encourage prolonged browsing.
For the last few years rigid grid based design has been the go to, but now with sites such as Wix and other template based design sites making gorgeous websites and design products so easily available to even those who have no idea about the basic principles of systems and grids in design, the designers themselves are moving into the creation of designs that feel more organic and alive.
With the traditional grids abandoned, these designs create more movement and direct the eye fluidly around the design. Even more prevalent, asymmetrical elements demand our attention, triggering discomfort in our brains which are naturally soothed by patterns and regularity.
3D has been a consistently building trend of the last few years and will continue on into 2019 without fail, especially into web design.
Going hand in hand with open composition, designers will continue to use this immersive tool to create still life, or windows into another world. Those worlds are limitless; from capturing the real world, to creating futuristic and fantastical.
Realism & Flat Colour Combos
We’ve seen a lot of this popping up recently - especially in social media, and in beauty and product marketing targeted at the younger audiences. The use of real-life objects and people tied in with bold, flat colour lays creates pop art-inspired, eye catching contrast and is thus far still a new and exciting visual combination for viewers.
It takes a certain level of creative thinking to achieve this visual effect, but is a strong way to create a mood or personality.