Graphic design first arrived on the scene in the latter part of the 19th century as a career, although typesetters before that were arguably graphic designers. It wasn’t until 1922 that William A. Dwiggins, a typographer, used the words “graphic design” to describe his work and the field as a whole.
Over the years, graphic design has changed along with technology and society. The graphic designers of today work very differently and on a greater variety of mediums than those of 1902. While some elements remain the same, such as good visual appeal, new trends arrive with each season. Staying on top of those trends is the hallmark of a professional and shows that you understand the demands of the changing market.
As we head into 2021, graphic design will shift and change again. Here are nine predictions of what you can expect to see in the graphic design and marketing fields in the coming year.
1. Vintage Designs Increase for Older Brands
You’ve probably noticed that some brands are looking more retro than before. As America ages, consumers have a desire for simpler times. Younger generations have discovered the uniqueness of time periods past and embrace vintage fashion and designs. Expect companies that have been around a while to turn back to their past and bring out fresh logos based on older ones.
Vintage is in for clothing and interior designs, so expect to see it used in more graphic design as well.
2. Brands Expand Mobile Features
Mobile usage continues to grow from year to year, with more people than ever before using smartphones. Expect to see brands embrace this trend by releasing more apps that engage their customers. Think about brands such as Taco Bell and Chick-fil-A and how they’ve embraced mobile trends by adding unique apps that let customers order before they arrive at the store.
3. Experiential Advertising Makes an Impact
People are overwhelmed with advertising. They see billboards, watch commercials on television and see ads everywhere they go online. About 89 percent of consumers no longer pay attention to ads online. Younger generations have begun to completely tune out ads, so if you want to grab their attention, you’ll need to embrace unique visual concepts that create an experience for the user.
4. Designers Use Stock Photography
Remember the day when you had to stage a scene to create just the right look for your site? Today’s stock photography sites are so massive that you can find nearly any scenario you might imagine. Expect to use stock photography more often to both save money and speed up the design process. Of course, there will always be a need for very specific images of businesses, products and their processes. However, other types of design will change to embrace stock photography more and more.
5. Real-World Elements Added
Experts predict that the growing familiarity of augmented reality will allow designers to step away from desktop designs and incorporate real-world elements that pull the reader in. Think about the app Noovie, which works with theaters to enhance the viewer’s experience. The person uses their cellphone as a sort of augmented or virtual reality concept that ties into what’s happening on the screen. This technology could easily be applied to a website as well.
6. Typography Gets Bigger and Bolder
Typography will continue to be an important element of graphic design in the coming years. Have you noticed lately how much bigger and bolder headline and logo typography has become? Letters are thicker and larger than ever before. One thing that’s allowed designers to shift to heavier type is the ability of sites to respond to different device sizes. No longer is that long, bold font overwhelming to a small screen, as you can simply indicate the type should be different for a smartphone.
7. Websites Add More Videos
The popularity of online videos shows no signs of slowing down. About 78 percent of people online watch videos every week and 55 percent watch videos daily. Expect graphic designers and marketers both to add more videos to their work. Videos increase conversion rates on websites and get more engagement in marketing campaigns.
While you can expect to see more graphic design utilized in all designs, also expect to see videos grow shorter and less resource heavy. The attention span of the average person is shorter than it was a decade or two ago. People don’t want to watch 10-minute long videos to get to the point. Expect to see video time reduce and also load more quickly because the size of the file is smaller.
8. Brighter Colors Continue
2018 ushered in the use of bold, vivid colors in design. Expect to see this trend continue as companies seek ways to stand out from their competitors. Remember that short attention span of users? The typical mobile browser tends to scroll through various articles, sites and social media. You have mere seconds to grab their attention. A bold color choice catches the eye and makes the user pause and look at what you have to offer.
Brighter colors will become particularly important in social media advertising campaigns and images used to draw people onto a landing page. The trend of rainbow palettes has been seen both online and in print advertising in recent months, along with strong, geometric patterns.
9. Designs Get More Personal
Google’s site ranking continues to focus on quality factors, such as the reputation of the site and trustworthiness. How well your site ranks relates back to the reputation of your authors and their expertise. Because of the focus on quality, expect to see designers include more information about the business’s leaders, the history of the company and more features, such as extensive author information and longer content pieces.
Design Continues to Evolve
Graphic design continues to evolve and change as designers try new techniques and consumers demand more convenience. Changing technology also continues to change design as devices become better able to present images and videos that look almost realistic. If you want to stay up on the latest trends, study the best designers in your niche and continue to try new things that tie into changes in culture and tech