organic geometric pattern

Some design trends I’m really digging.

I do not prescribe to trends. I acknowledge that they happen, but I do not typically follow them. Why would you want to look like everyone else? I do, however, pay attention and this year I notice some trends that I’ve been onto for a while now.

Design Trend #1 – bolder, brighter colors

Bold, bright colors are my favorite. Not in abundance, mind you. I like to pop one or two in there with a mainly muted or neutral palette. My favorites are corals and orangey-yellows. I also really like blue-green jewel tones like aqua and turquoise. My own brand has been sporting an almost coral orange for a few years now. This year I took it even a bit closer with Pantone 178 into my brand colors along with a few other beauties.

Design Trend #2 – big, bold fonts

We’re talking beefy. I am so glad that this trend has come around. I have been in love with big, thick typefaces for ever. I like the extremes. The wispy light and extra-light versions or the big black or extra-black versions. And the bigger, the better. Think Abril Fatface and Playfair Black. My favorites right now are a fat, rounded serif called Recoleta and a slab-serif called Moreno. Mmmm, so thick.

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Design Trend #3 – broken grids and asymmetrical design

asymmetrical website layout

My about me page featuring an asymmetrical design and a little bit of a “broken grid”

Websites have been built using grids since the beginning. First you had tables and then neatly aligned div containers. A grid is typically nice and neat. Alignment is spot on and everything is very square. Usually I really dig symmetry and order in design. Especially when it’s something that anyone has to read. You don’t want your audience confused. However, there has emerged a trend where we make things messy … on purpose. You create motion and movement by causing the viewer’s eye to move around the page. Mostly my work is pretty minimalist and heavily image driven. Grids are a big deal for me. Lately, though I’ve felt the urge to mix stuff up a bit and maybe that’s because it’s the right time.

Design Trend #4 – illustration, doodles and animation

I love this trend so hard. MailChimp recently revealed their new brand. It features these quirky, hand drawn, almost scribbled illustrated elements. At first I thought, “what the hell are they doing?!?” It totally grew on me though. I love how organic the brand looks now. It was appropriate, of course, since they aren’t just email anymore and were pivoting into a wider market. It was the perfect time to sort of step up and say, “Look at us!” and they certainly got some people looking.

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Design Trend #5 – geometric shapes and patterns

I nearly adopted this one and then realized that it wasn’t right for me. I love a good, loud pattern as much as the next guy. It just isn’t going to add anything to my particular brand. Now, if anyone wants me to use one in their branding … I’m all ears.

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Design Trend #6 – non-traditional and sustainable materials

sustainable packaging design trend

This one might be my favorite trend. I love it when someone does something that’s considered weird or against the grain. Especially when it’s also good for the planet. I mean, you have to really respect a brand that can take sugar cane and turn it into packaging. Now that is some sweet packaging!

Overall these design trends feel really organic to me. The hand illustration, sustainable packaging, asymmetry and broken grids just feel natural. There are some others that I don’t love as much and those, believe it or not, are pretty much the opposites of these. Metallic finishes and slick gradients are also on the rise. It always seems so silly to me that people actually report of these as if they make any sense at all. I mean how is doodle style animation trending at the same time as hard lined metallic aesthetic? This is why I always figure trends are just a whole lot of malarkey.

You might enjoy this earlier post: When a Visual Trend Approaches the Tipping Point