As the marketplace becomes more and more flooded, it can be hard to get customers to pay attention to your company. It becomes a balancing act of standing out while still looking credible. As we’ve discussed before, your brand can be the make or break component when it comes to getting people interested. Keep your brand current with these trends in design.
Trends in Design
Deluxe Enterprise Operations describes a brand as the sum of people’s perception of a company’s customer service, reputation, advertising and logo. A logo is a “hello” to the company, while the brand is the rest of the conversation. We’ve learned about the components of a comprehensive brand, now it’s time to dig into trends you can utilize within these touchpoints.
Trends can be described in a handful of ways. The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes a trend as a prevailing tendency or inclination, a general movement, or a current style or preference. While trends may sometimes feel like you’re jumping on the bandwagon, when used sparingly, they can be a useful tool that connects you to your audience. Trends are popular for a reason–a large mass of people enjoy that style.
Of course, it would be overkill to use every trendy thing you can think of. Some of these trends wouldn’t work well together anyway. Try and decide which trends best fit your established brand and messaging.
Whether you’re a business owner, the director of marketing, or just someone trying to grow their own personal brand, here are trends you can utilize in your branding design.
Natural in the Digital Realm
As life becomes more and more digital, there is an increased yearning for all things natural. People spend time indoors working, only to go home and binge the latest Netflix series. We’re not judging what you do with your spare time! But the lack of outdoor adventures leaves people wanting to see more green on their screen.
How do you incorporate this into your branding without changing all of your company colors to natural tones? Utilize pictures of beautiful outdoor locations in applicable advertisements. Show off your office’s court yard space on the company Instagram story. Choose stock photos or illustrations that include potted plants.
You can get in on this trend in design in less obvious ways as well. Organic shapes are strongly associated with nature. A possibility is to utilize curved, imperfect lines in a logo. When looking for a subtle background for a brochure, consider using a light, flowy, wave-like design.
The thirst for nature comes from an overall need for balance within consumers’ lives, so one way to do this is stress any natural elements your company utilizes. If any of your products contain all natural ingredients or are created sustainably, make sure to use that as a selling point. This can go beyond visuals. Events that promote zen or balance are becoming increasingly popular. Think of your town’s yoga in the park.
Another trend in design on the rise is minimalistic design, along with the belief that less is more. There are various reasons why people may be craving a more simplistic approach, but BecomingMinimalist believes increased environmental concern, high levels of personal debt, and social awareness may be some factors.
Although its growing in popularity, minimalistic art is not a new idea. The movement made waves in the 1960’s with artists like Donald Judd, Frank Stella, and Eva Hesse. Even before that, in the 1920’s, the De Stijl style of the Netherlands changed design. Think primary colors, geometry, and clean lines.
The aesthetic can vary. It can have a natural feel with neutral colors, or loud energy with neon. Either way, there’s typically lots of white space, bold font, and simple elements. The style can be calming because of its lack of fluff. With the bustle of life and constant visuals we consume, it can feel like a breath of fresh air.
Raw and Transparent
It’s not only in Rock ‘n Roll; normal people can have a distrust for “the system” as well. People are growing skeptical of large corporations or secretive business practices. They want to trust who they are giving their buying power to. How do you get customers you’ve never met to believe in you?
Building off elements of natural ingredients and sustainable practices from our last trend, being transparent in how your products are made or obtained is a start. If this isn’t necessarily applicable to your company, there are plenty of other ways to be honest.
We’ve talked before about how social media usage has grown 58% among U.S. adults in the last 12 years. If you’re on social media yourself, you’ve probably seen multiple large company’s tweets go viral. You may follow a bunch of your favorite brands as well. Why is that? Staying intune with companies like this makes us feel like we know them, or at least better than we did before.
You can utilize this by making accounts for your business on various social media accounts. Make a posting schedule and consistently share content. Playful posts can help; it doesn’t have to be all about business. As a business, you shouldn’t be afraid to interact with your followers. This includes interactive posts or replying to comments. Does your office have a special tradition or event? Share it on your story.
Another way to help people get to know your company is through your employees. A popular way to do this is through an “About” page where you can share pictures and positions of your coworkers. Company values would fit well on this page also. Instead of using stock photos, use real pictures of your office and employees when you can.
In contrast to being transparent, stylized illustrations have also been extremely popular. While they don’t showcase actual workers or products realistically, they have a playful charm that viewers are drawn to. They can also be used to continue brand elements by using a specific shape or color treatment that matches a system.
The style of illustrations used in advertising can vary greatly. Some use black and white hand drawn line elements for a personal, natural feel. Others have a mid-century/retro vibe with faceless, interestingly shaped people in a flat, minimalistic setting. Isometric illustrations can stand out with their focus of geometry, gradients, and selective color palettes.
By no means does this list include every popular illustrating style, but it gives an idea of what types are being used by big companies. What’s the benefit for using illustrations in your branding? According the Mattix, it can help your business stand out, engage with your audience, and tell your story. Because illustrations are completely customizable, it can be formed to match your distinct messaging, feel, colors, and personality of your project or company.
3-D Text Treatments
While not a new concept, three dimensional text treatments are at the forefront for a lot of brands currently. Why now? Design Shack believes the widespread popularity of both realistic effects and virtual reality technology has something to do with it. People are being drawn in to things they feel they can reach out and grab.
Three dimensional fonts stand out, feel realistic, and look eye-catching. Lettering made in unconventional formats get attention because our brain wants to stop and figure out what it’s looking at. Although traditionally text’s job is readability, display text can sometimes push the boundaries into something more fun and experimental.
How can you utilize this in your brand? Combine this trend with minimalism and create a print advertisement that contains a short bold statement with an experimental look. Stay practical and include a call to action at the bottom of the page. You can also create animated, dynamic text as a landing page for a website.
Look Professional & On Trend
Now that you have the knowledge, try implementing one of these tools in your business. Paying attention to trends in design can make your brand feel hip and in-the-know. Be careful though, jumping on too many bandwagons and ignoring your brand’s established attributes can lead to confusion and lack of cohesion.
Need help putting it together? Contact our team at Expert Media Design for your design needs. Get a free quote today!