What looks on point and on trend one day can look dated and out of touch the next.
Of course, designers want their work, their ‘designs’, to feel timely and relevant. Keeping creative fingers on the pulse of what’s going on in the design world and, in particular, the most up-to-date design trends, is important.
In recent years, many brands and designs have been following the trend of ‘playing it safe’ – which has led to a more formulaic approach and creating experiences that have become homogenous. In my view, creative agencies must subscribe to the philosophy that decoration is not a strategy. Strategy drives creativity. Fashion is a paddock for sheep…Er, sorry…where was I? Oh yes, trends.
So, what are the creative soothsayers predicting for 2020?
Pantone, known for its Pantone Matching System (PMS), have informed the world that from their 1,800+ colours, 19-4052 aka Classic Blue has been given the nod as the colour for 2020. As they say: “The colour is genderless in outlook and seasonless in endurance. It’s emblematic of heritage but at the same time highly contemporary.”
Well, there you go!
On the subject of colour…while a lot of great designs have often boasted neutral colour palettes, a prediction for 2020 is that we can expect the colour trends to lean more towards the bright and bold.
Designers are starting to inject more personality back into their work, often through the use of colour and gradients. The days of black Helvetica on a white background are fading, with many designers opting for a more playful approach. Companies like Slack, Mailchimp and others are using more colour, animations and illustration to bring their brands to life.
In 2019 logo design wandered towards the sans serif end of town. Some commented that this was a journey to blandification. To others, it was modern and contemporary. Referencing online brand showcase Brand New, the trend seems to be continuing into 2020. That said, it’s a competitive market out there and it’s never been more important for clients to break through the clutter and grab their audience’s attention.
In 2020, expect to see a more custom approach to typography. Font licensing can be expensive, especially for big global brands. Using the recent Warner Bros rebrand as an example, more clients will invest in custom typefaces for their brands. This can give a brand a clear point of difference and potentially save money at the same time.
I hope that design will be braver in 2020 with more ‘surprise and delight’ and creative experiences that are strategically on point, insight driven and that ‘push it.’ Working with the best – clients and partners such as photographers, illustrators, animators, copywriters, videographers etc – will reap commercial rewards and creative awards.
We’re living in a tech-driven world, where brand experiences increasingly happen online. Perhaps ultra-simple design just conveys an authoritative, uncluttered user experience that’s more important than having individuality?