Design trends 2018

Design trends 2018

1. 3D
Over the past two years we have seen an increasing number of 3D design projects. While looking at some of the top leading 3D artists such as MVSM or Peter Tarka, we predict that 3D still lifes will become even more popular in 2018. This will be especially true for corporate collaborations in combination with logos and product placements.

2. AR design
The rapid growth of Augmented Reality or ‘AR’ will not only be noticed in the games, video and app industry. We believe that AR has good prospects of taking over the design community as well, particularly with mobile devices. A potential source of inspiration may come from DIA Studio, using interactive 3D typography on everyday objects.

3. 3D Typography
In 2018, 3D typography will become more and more popular. The key will be to look impressive and push creative boundaries. 3D has become important for corporations (i.e. Nike) as they are an effective means of both connecting with and impressing their audience. We will certainly be seeing more 3D type animation as well.

4. Digitalized Handmade art
New tools (such as tablets, stylos, etc.) and new apps are making it much easier to use hand-drawn techniques and merge it with digital. The days of ‘old brushes in Photoshop’ are now officially over. The new trend, called ‘digital paintbrush’, is much more versatile, making use of dimensions and ultimately giving off a more modern and aesthetically pleasing look. More and more brands such as Adobe or Nike are integrating their brand or product using this technique.

5. Bright Colors Gradients
Gradients made a comeback in recent years and we expect this trend to continue, yet diversify. We will discover more gradient innovations, particularly with the use of bright and vivid colours in combination with a variety of textures. Gradients 2.0 will also include dual tone effects.

6. More Animated 3D merged with 2D
Similar to the AR trend mentioned above, we expect more designers to merge 3D graphics and particularly animations with flat 2D design, as the talented designer Baugasm had done in his poster series. 

7. Flexible 3D
There has been a huge leap in the past two years in which 3D design has been perfected in every sense. The intersection between reality and fiction will become increasingly blurred and undistinguishable. We can bet that there will be a rise in more organic natural forms and movements that make 3D design artworks and animations even more eye-catching. This may include liquid forms and movements that we recognize from nature.

8. Artful Photography
Modern photoshoots and brand campaigns will become bolder and more edgy, using illustrative and artful set designs. Whether these will be handmade from paper or enhanced with 3D mappings and visualizations, they are sure to stand out and remain firmly in your memory.

9. Color-Gel Photogrpagy
Another upcoming trend among photographers that is sure to be on the rise is the use of photography color gels or filters. This technique allows for endless possibilities, creating interesting colorful lighting situations for the photographed object. When using two or more different color shades, beautiful color fadings and contrasts are created which cannot be replicated in Photoshop. 

10. Responsive Logo's
Responsive logos have become increasingly important in world ruled by mobile devices. It will no longer be sufficient to create one logo and scale it down with changing screen sizes. Logos are becoming adaptive, containing several versions for mobile, tablet, desktop devices, and beyond. Much like responsive web design several years ago, responsive logos are now a ‘must’.

11. Arty Typefaces
Custom designed and eccentric typefaces are becoming a hit - especially among designers. Whether fragmented, distorted or visually broken, this style of type design certainly stands out and this is exactly their purpose. Some of these typefaces are also interactive, reacting to mouse cursors. One thing that’s clear is that custom typefaces can never be unique enough, and there will certainly be a rise in experimentation in this field in 2018.

12. Interactive Mouse Pointers
Interactive mouse pointers add another layer to a website’s user experience. The user controls the mouse pointer with specific interactions that are customized for the individual website. In the example of Ben Migo, the mouse pointer starts behaving like a magnet when menu items are approached. The cursor can also react differently for different actions which is perfectly demonstrated in the example of Walking Men. We are curious about what clever cursor interactions are yet to be explored.

13. Creative Website Loading
Gone are the days of websites using boring loading bars. Why not use the downtime of your website in a more creative way? Below is a great example by Awwwards that make great use of creative website loading.

14. Instagram Storytelling
Not necessarily a design trend in particular, but moreover a trend among designers. 2017 has been the year of many Instagram innovations. Since the launch of Instagram stories, this feature has immediately found recognition and is increasingly being used among designers and brands on a daily basis. A great example how to engage with your audience can be seen on the feed of Ales Nesetril, who has also published a successful e-book "The Perfect Grid: A creative's Guide to Instagram" on this subject. Storytelling is most important to build an authentic truthfull brand and gain passionate followers. In 2018 we will certainly see a rise in its usage in many creative ways such as Tutorials, Live-Videos, Work-in-Progress shares etc. Lastely we also predict that there will be more cross sharing across different designer accounts. 

15. Isometric Design & Photography
Isometric projection is a method for visually representing three-dimensional objects in two dimensions. This was formerly mainly used in technical and engineering drawings before it had been discovered by designers. Whether in photography, illustration, 3D Design or iconography, isometric design is certainly enjoying its moment on the fast lane, and you can expect to see much more creative isometric work in 2018.