Design trends are influenced by technology, media, user experience and usability. Trends are usually newer, more modernised versions of the trends from the previous year with the exception of a few new influences. They will usually arrive gradually, stay for around 2-3 years, then fizzle out the way they came in. Design trends are much like fashion, always being recycled and using newer technology to adapt and improve on the trend that previously reigned maybe 4 years ago, or even 30 years ago. As such, we've put together a list of our top ten predictions for 2018 as to where design is going to go in the future.
1. Colour Transitions
Colour transitions are one of the biggest trends right now. We began with flat colours a few years ago, and towards the end of the 2016 colour transitions started growing quickly. Brands like Instagram decided to change their logo and images from a flat colour to a multi-coloured transition. From websites to mobile apps, buttons to background images, the trend is everywhere and will only continue to grow in 2018.
2. Geometric Shapes, Patterns & Lines
This trend has definitely gained momentum through 2017, and will continue on into 2018. Geometric shapes add personalisation to any design and has been increasingly used in both print and digital since arriving on the scene in 2016. For example, Dropbox recently changed their logo and design to reflect a more geometric shape and pattern, as well as emphasising cleaner lines.
3. Courageous Colours
2018 will be the pinnacle of super-rich colours online. In the past, most brands and designers have stayed with web-safe colours. In 2015 brands started to go towards pastel & flat colours. Brands today are becoming braver with their approach to using colours. A lot of this advancement in colour can be credited to advancements in technology; our monitors are more crisp and our devices are largely in retina display. A good example of this is when Spotify updated their branding, improving the flat green colour to a more noticeably vivid hue.
4. More 3D
3D is heading our way in 2018. As such, we are going to start seeing more and more of its influence in all design fields. With the VR/AR revolution building momentum, this domain is evolving fast.
We’re seeing more websites move away from the use of static imagery and finding new ways to engage users and be unique in their approach to communicating.
Story-telling and personality is something more and more brands are working on in hopes to capture their user’s attention. With further developments in HTML5, CSS and jQuery, animation is starting to play a bigger role in creating brand’s stories, and we predict that it will be a key component of design in 2018.
Cinemagraphs are still photographs in which a minor and repeated movement occurs, forming a video clip. They are published as an animated GIF or in other video formats, and can bring new dynamic to the standard gifs we see today. They've been gaining prominence in 2017 as brands explore different methods to advertise, and we predict that they will see a bigger usage in 2018.
7. Semi Flat Designs
The evolution of flat design from a minimalist style suits the new developing technologies. Flat design is still in, but it has undergone some refinement. In the past few years, flat design has dominated the web design market however, it is now becoming more dimensional. This transition begins with some light shadows, forming a semi flat design, which we predict will be one of the bigger parts of design in 2018.
8. Innovative Scrolling & Parallax
This visual idea is great to add a unique element to any website. From a multi layered parallax to a video parallax, anything is possible when innovative scrolling is involved on your website, and as a result, this new technology development will shine in 2018.
9. Mobile First Approach
Whilst not strictly design as this falls under many different categories in digital marketing, going for a mobile first approach will be key in 2018. Any websites not focused on responsive web design needs to upgrade ASAP! Since 2015 we have seen a considerable increase in mobile browsing, with tablets and smartphones now leading the way. Our mobile devices have surpassed desktops and laptops, so this trend is only going to get bigger.
10. Custom Graphics & Illustrations
Stock photos are still pretty popular, but there has been a trend that increased in 2017 and will take over in 2018: the use of custom made graphics and illustrations. If you want a unique looking website that any visitor will remember, contact a digital designer. So, less stock and more original, unique images.
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