Design Trends for 2018
A design agency has always been touted a magical place where furiously creative geniuses (the wizards of our times) are constantly given the mission to be reinventing the present and forecasting the future. Whatever happens, as a design agency’s creative lead, you must always look ahead of the curve, be extremely reactive to new trending styles or even better: be pro-active and try to push the limits of innovations day in day out. Most importantly: you cannot in 2018, under any circumstances, be left behind on this race towards the future and be lingering around as a ghost of the past.
Or can you ?
We, as many experienced players in the design industry, are every passing year more convinced that our jobs as design agencies have actually more to do with getting influenced by the past rather than trying to decipher what an imaginary crystal ball specialized in design could tell us. One simple way to prove this: just look around you. Yes, actually do it right now, don’t be shy… Now, how many objects, furniture, art, or products do you see in your direct field of vision that could be linked to past influences, traced back to proven retro lines or vintage designs, forged in pure nostalgia of times past, or naturally influenced by eras when things used to be simpler? Bar technology products, chances are that you couldn’t count them using the fingers of your two hands if you tried.
A famous Spanish saying maybe gives us the reason why past designs are constantly being recycled into modern life: « Mejor malo conocido que bueno por conocer ». Literally: One bad thing that you know is worth more than something good that you don’t. Translated to the world of design agencies out there, this means that you shouldn’t be afraid of sometimes looking back and assimilate what has been done (and possibly failed) in years past rather than blindly searching and probing for the next big thing. Relying on tried and true graphics, lines or techniques could be far more relevant at times than scratching your head to figure out what groundbreaking innovative features your project needs to adopt.
And that’s the point we want to make today. The role of a design agency in 2018, through the execution of its projects’, is equally one of a curator than one of a creator. Don’t get us wrong here: we certainly don’t mean that the creation process has to be toned down in favor of a constant rehashing of past features. But it should instead always be interlaced with a careful analysis of our predecessors’ work (be it one month or three decades ago it doesn’t matter. To ultimately fuse this chronological input, totally or partially, into the finalized design is a key trait of all top design agencies. Indeed, take the time to study the past, that’s how you recycle design and blend the best from yesterday with your muses of today.
You’ll see there a few examples of long forgotten styles making a comeback in 2018. Such as:
Corrupted glitchy images, “ruined” graphics, and color channel effects are going to stay during 2018.
During 2018 we will see a rise of double exposure designs which will stand out from other techniques. Double Exposure, Double exposure duotone and double light, a hybrid between double exposure and duotone will astonish us all. The trend has been around for sometime, in the form of normal duotone, which will be taking the lead out this 2018.
Interaction between typography and composition elements will be seen a lot in 2018, mostly when the elements come from the back and mix into the front, reminding us Escher drawings in some examples.
It is hard to say that Illustration will go out of style, since it adds significance, imagination and talent to every design. In 2018 illustrations are going to be seen in combination with other graphic design trends such as negative space, 3d structures, the “double” trend and some other techniques.
One of the most interesting trends is comining pictures with drawings, since it gives an edgy look to the photo. Besides this trend, I also want to highlight the papercut trend. Inspired by the actual papercut technique, it gives texture and depth to designs.
Typography will be highly imaginative this year, even though this isn’t a new fact, actually. Typography has been evolving from the classic styles, to new creatively experimenting with shapes, lights, negative spaces, real-life elements, cropping and other techniques, like 3D modelling.
On top of guiding through dos and don’ts of moving visuals, customized graphics and layouts, the key outtakes there are: “Generic is the one thing you don’t want to be in 2018” and the need to adopt authentic elements as a goal for 2018.
«2018 will be a year of modernizing graphic design trends from the past and diverging from the (literally) flat design landscape of recent years. Minimalism and simplification will stick around, but expect to see some old favorites make their return to the limelight »