Choosing which design style to pursue for a project will be more critical than ever, as the challenge to attract audiences and stand out from the crowd tightens in a world overloaded with information. But even with an information-driven world, design has the opportunity to make people feel even more - to draw out emotions and create reactions intuitively found in human interaction.
Duotones & Dual Exposure
In late 2015 Pantone shook the design world by declaring Rose Quartz and Serenity as 2016’s “Color of the Year,” possibly sparking the trend on the use of blended, duotone colors in the digital landscape. By 2016, plenty of websites started adopting the use of duotone, most notably Spotify, creating both a striking and vibrant look, that even as it is in 2017 the style has permeated. Lately and by 2018, the style will have evolved to be incorporated into double exposure layer effects as well; providing a balance of color and drama in the specified photos.
Even as gradients or colour transitions have recently staged a comeback, bold, individual colors still hold their ground and relevance in the design world. In the midst of so many brands popping here and there, nothing makes one stand out than having brads donning a courageous and vivid palette. However, making bold decisions about colors is also about being smart on which ones work well together and which ones work with your brand’s look in order to fully capture the audience you intended to talk to.
As choices for colors get more bold and courageous, it’s not surprise that gradients, or color transitions as we’re calling them now, have continued to evolve. It has been a while since the gradient’s comeback, but it sure looks like it will stay as brands and designers have utilised this style in web design, logos, user interfaces and various forms of media. Color pairs, triads or combinations overall will only get more bold yet also stylish and attractive.
Following in the footsteps of flat design and minimalism, geometric lines and shapes have taken on a new form as distinct patterns in design. Paired with bold choices in color, geometric patterns bring with it a certain complexity yet also a sense of excitement; of which makes any design overall eye-catching and quite compelling.
Animations have evolved over the years and as time passes by, it has become more smoothly executed and feels more intuitive to the interacting user. It adds life and energy to any design, regardless if it’s serving as backdrop to a web page or as transitory elements in a mobile app. Animations don’t have to be quite so obvious or big enough and be superfluous; they only need to aim to provide subtle cues for feeling, interaction and progress that will satisfy and delight the user.
Parallax is one web design trend that never seems to grow old as it still makes plenty of websites quite interesting and memorable. Creating a 3D effect between shifting foreground and background elements, parallax gives off a subtle depth and a smooth flow to the viewer’s browsing experience.
As the world has slowly moved forward from flat design, 3D has rose in prominence and it is not going anywhere anytime soon, especially with the strengthening immersive technologies of AR and VR. Whether they’ll be used to represent real-life objects or be a piece of original art in itself, 3D models will be more refined than ever; having smooth finishes and surfaces, employing proper lighting and looking almost identical to the object which they represent. Not only will 3D typically provide depth to any work, it will also give viewers a sensory perception of the object(s) at hand - of how smooth they may feel, or in what directions they might move.
Refined Metallic Finish
More powerful rendering tools have paved the way for 3D models to look very smooth and refined. With this, it is no longer impossible to achieve a realistic and an alluring metallic look that just speaks luxury and class. By employing proper lighting, reflections and shadows, metal surfaces and elements need not look awkwardly-executed and lacking in depth and realism.
Design no longer has to be purely flat, it can take on plenty of perspectives even while being so. Isometric projection presents objects and elements in a three-dimensional angle to make each distinct, and presents the opportunity for a creative and compelling bigger-picture view and story.
More White Space
White space gives designs the much-needed leg room and breathing space so viewers don't feel choked by the tons of information it could have contained. By giving any design ample or generous white space, designers give it a more contemporary and sleeker look. With this, viewers are left with nothing but the main attraction and content of the material to consume and have immediately interacted with the brand sans any distraction.
Breaking the Grid
For quite a long time, design elements have been sequestered to their own area and sections of a design; hardly overlapping one another. This of course made designs organized and guides viewers to specific areas for the sort of information they need. Over time however, designs looked more and more similar, and viewers are left getting bored with seeing the same look.
So designers have often decided to break the grid, achieve a unique style, and look more moren and contemporary. This trend will carry on so long as the challenge to remain relevant and stand out against competition stands.
Look forward to seeing these trends and styles dominate the design scene this 2018! Designs will be getting bolder and pack more unique punches as designers and brands wrestle to stand out and become more memorable. Viewers and audiences can expect more immersive design experiences that beautifully balances information with entertainment and delight.
Design in 2018 will definitely be a blast.