Predicting the next trend is pretty hard to do, but if you take a look at what was popular in 2013, you will start to see what will continue and what will expand off of those ideas. Every creative wants to come up with something that is their own unique design, but it’s also important to follow visual trends, or at least be aware of them. I recently purchased the December PRINT magazine that recapped the 2013 regional designs. This gave me good insight into what I think may evolve in 2014.
Flat Design Trend
I wrote about this before and it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon in my opinion. Apple made this mainstream and everyone followed. Stripping away drop shadows and gradients leaving behind a simple, clean, easy to navigate design. Easy to read or easy to look at is going to be a major player in design (web and print) in 2014. So much to look at, so little time, this will help us take in all (or most) of the information that is thrown at us. Below is an example of a spin on flat design using long shadows.
This is something that was a big no no when I was in college taking Typography classes. Never use to many fonts, it makes a mess of the design. Well it looks like that has changed. You have probably seen it a lot on those inspirational quotes on pintrest. It is also becoming pretty popular in package design. I think that we will see more of this in website and print design. This is something that really grabs my attention, while walking through a book store, books with a design like this always grabs my eyes before anything else. Combining fonts helps give the design an artistic/handmade feel that still serves a purpose by making the right words stand out most. Wholefoodsalso uses it a lot, it really pushes their homegrown feel.
Large Images and Text
This leads us back to the idea of cleaning things up to leave behind a really easy to consume design. Websites and advertising have been stripping away the less important things for that purpose. Budnitz Bicycles does it best, their website and emails are the cleanest in the cycling industry that I have seen. This really isn’t a new trend for 2014 but I think that it will be something that you will start noticing more often.
Pantone Color of the Year
And here it is, the color of the year chosen by Pantone. Pantone is the color system that everyone from a interior designer to a web designers uses. This year the color that they “spent the year spanning the world for color influences” is Radiant Orchard. Not sure that I will be using it to often in my work but it might be good for accents in a home or for fashion. I never really got on the pink bandwagon either though so maybe I’m not the best person for this color.
Just because these are the things that I predict to be a common trend in 2014 doesn’t mean that it’s the only way to go. Continue to produce work with your own unique touch, but give some thought into mixing in a little of the above. It might not work for every client but that is the joy of graphic design, no two clients are alike.
Justin Piontek owns Justin Piontek Graphic Design, based in Madison, WI and is an avid biker. He started designing professionally for casinos and has since developed a versatile portfolio including nonprofit and retail clients, among others.
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