It goes without saying that over the past decade more time is spent on digital design projects than ever before.
In the last week alone, our creative studio team at Fox Agency HQ – the beating heart of the agency – has been working on app icons, responsive websites, HTML5 display advertisements and high-fidelity wireframes. Rewind just a few years ago and creating an animated GIF was something new and exciting.
In the day-to-day life at Fox Agency, digital isn’t a thing, it’s everything. Design in 2019 will continue to follow this trend. With this in mind, I sat down with Fox Agency designer Emma Jackson to discuss what she thinks are the design trends that will dominate the year ahead.
“There is a whole discussion at the moment about the prominence of ‘flat design’. You can see plenty of examples in Sam’s 2018 rebrands blog. I think the main benefit is that in our current world – where a logo has to be seen across multiple platforms – simpler logos make for more flexibility when digital is at the forefront. However, it does take us away from distinctive branding that stands out from the crowd, and that’s a shame. Then again, you could argue that visual brand logos aren’t as important as they used to be. I could go on…”
Handily for us, she did. Below are more of her top styling themes to look out for.
Heavy usage of colour across creative – the brighter the better. Colour blocking is popular as ever and it’s spreading out from just graphics and illustrations to more diverse applications like website and app design, and as washes of coloured light in studio photography.
This one is of particular interest to me. We’ve seen ‘white space’ (it doesn’t necessarily have to be white in colour, just to confuse things) become more widespread online and I personally think it’s a bit of a cultural reaction to the information overload and increasingly short attention spans. All about giving your designs more breathing space, it’s currently a really popular trend in digital – in the words of Mies van der Rohe, less is more.
Typography is becoming more experimental, bold and decorative, and in some cases removes the need for imagery. This is an interesting trend as in an age of shortening attention spans, images are widely believed to be more impactful in messaging. So it’s refreshing to see how powerful written words can still be.
Animation and video elements are becoming the most effective way to grab someone’s attention. The possibilities for this are huge and varied, from online advertising to micro interactions in digital design and brands creating designs with animated elements in mind. This will be one to watch this year, and I hope to see the B2B world utilise it further.
Breaking the grid
In both print and digital, breaking out of defined grid structures is proving very popular. Creating new interest and doing something unexpected with layouts is helping to give designs new energy and impact.
Our challenge as an industry is to make sure the look and feel of your brand, key messages and USPs need to be just as clear online as they are offline. The marketing needs to be thoughtfully created with all platforms in mind.
You may have a great sales pitch, an exciting exhibition stand and eggshell-coloured business cards with Romalian type, but as soon as the potential customer walks away they will Google you. Should your online presence obfuscate your main advantages or fail to inspire, you can wave goodbye to that lead. Never has digital design been more important in B2B marketing.