Now we are part way through 2019 we look back at what we’ve learnt over the last 12 months about the industries ever evolving design trends to see what top 6 design trends we think are going to be popular this year.
Natural photography + video
We are all used to seeing polished, staged stock photography which can be downloaded at the click of a button. However, in 2019 it looks like a stock image revolution is on its way. Stock imagery can lack relevancy and identity as well as not being true to life. In 2019, we will start to see stock imagery be replaced by custom, authentic visuals that are more believable to a user. See unsplash.com, which is a stock photo website but with an authentic honest approach. There has also been a rise in warm and moody colour palettes in photography and video, taking on vintage tones and saturated and bold duotones. They feel like a direct throwback to the soft, low-fi photography of the seventies and even muted camcorder footage of the 1980s. See Guccis advert for their 70’s inspired warm and moody coloured perfume advert.
Another trend that we are starting to see much more across the packaging sector is the use of improvisation illustration. Doodles, brush strokes, chaotic strokes and stains of colour are very much on trend for this year. Not that classic illustrations are ever going out of style but somehow incorporating alternative art into the design makes the piece stand out. They are fun to look at and can add character and personality to a design. Brush strokes add a sense of playfulness and individuality. A good example of this can be seen in Oliver Bonas’ packaging. Stains of colour can help achieve a higher end appeal and create an artsy looking off-beat design that certainly makes an impression as seen in Neoms packaging.
Another trend for this year will be the use of videos as backgrounds on websites. A video can make a statement in a matter of seconds, they are engaging and can give insight into a brand or company instantly and provide more of a visually impactful message rather than visitors having to do the hard work and read in detail what a company is communicating. It’s not all about the aesthetics though, there are some practical benefits of using video as the background, according to recent studies, videos being used as the main background can also increase conversion rates due to the fact that they encourage users to remain on your website for longer, making your website much more effective. See Go Pros homepage to see their video background.
Gradients, duotone graphics + vivid colours
Gradients have made a huge comeback in late 2017 – 2018 and I think they are here to stay for the inevitable future. With big names like Apple, Instagram and more recently Spotify using them in their branding, this is definitely a winning choice in 2019 as we see gradients play a part in other brands too. They don’t just have to appear within 2D designs but can also transition into animation, motion graphics, flat design and web-based applications to elevate and make design appear vivid and dreamy. Most gradients use a duotone using two colours / tones, this technique stands out from full-colour images, capturing the attention and imagination of the user and when used effectively, can reinforce a branding palette.
Fluid, geometrical + asymmetrical shapes
Fluid shapes are not something new, we have seen them before. However, asymmetrical, fluid or geometrical shapes mixed together with bold colours, intense gradients and fluid shapes are becoming an essential web design trend. There seems to be a steady rise in the move away from the rigid grid-based systems we were taught to abide by and instead, to create products that feel more bespoke and alive. However, with the rise of theme-based templates like Squarespace and WordPress that beginners and novices’ alike use for ease of use and cost reduction, people are wanting more of a bespoke approach to their web design, so it breaks boundaries from the norm. This fluid system delivers more kinetic energy and movement within a design and is more interactive and visually pleasing.
An asymmetrical layout, whether on a design composition, in an app or on a site, demands attention. The user feels an innate curiosity about where the information and graphics might go next, creating a feeling of wonder and interest as they scroll or peruse a design. However, always keep in mind how these ideas and concepts would transition onto a mobile experience!
Small animations for websites offer more interaction with what you are promoting. Animated logos are always a key design trend as they can enhance the intended meaning and message. Commonly they are eye-catching – logos that move with letters being warped, rearranging, expanding, transforming, hiding and revealing, rotating, etc. make for a playful approach to logo design.
Motion design for web is particularly popular if you are wanting to drive traffic to your website and boost its competitiveness. To leave or stay on a website is a choice a visitor usually makes during the first ten seconds. This is a small-time frame for capturing attention and demonstrating value, so adding some elements of motion to your design is ultimately beneficial. Its ultimate goal is to educate and engage visitors and make them stick around on your website or come back for more. So, if you are thinking about how to tell the story of your brand, showcase the specs of your product, service or simply make the loading screen not so boring, trends of motion graphics for websites for 2019 offer a variety of options.
Anti-gravity: Flying + floating elements
Flying and floating graphic elements are among our graphic design trends 2019 predictions. The idea of designs which move and behave like they are in a non-gravity environment conveys the overall feeling of freedom. Designed with an open composition in mind, these elements appear floating in and out of the screen. The 3D technique is often mixed up with the non-gravity concepts which adds a sense of realism to the composition.