A happy new year to you all, we hope you’ve all enjoyed a warm, restful Christmas.
As we jump into another year, we’re observing some of the recent developments and trends in design and how external factors have or will influence design in 2023. Read to discover more…
UP AND COMING
Here’s what we’ve noticed emerging in the design world recently:
- 3D – we’ve just had an era of flat, vector design, but we can see a bit of depth, shadows and 3D treatment creeping back in, in an atmospheric, futuristic way. This ties hand in hand with…
- Video, Animation and Motion Graphics. Thanks to web and social media moving forward as always, we now have to think about how brands MOVE more than ever. It adds excitement, and engagement and allows you to tell even more of your brand story, touching all the senses. (See our article…..)
- Stylised Wordmarks – Typography in branding isn’t playing second fiddle to the overall identity, even seemingly simple, we’re seeing more ownability and nuance into the wordmark itself.
- Stickers, Stickers, Stickers! We’re rediscovering the wonders of stickers, and they’re cropping up everywhere. In packaging, incorporating this extra detail and layer into the design is always a happy surprise to the consumer, but it also translates beautifully for digital comms. The use of ‘stickers’ in social media adds playful and endless variation, needed for consistently fresh content.
- Stripped Back Nostalgia – While we still love details of the ornate Victoriana, we’ve noticed in spirits especially, a move away from this style, that’s starting to feel a little sickly sweet. However, overly minimal design isn’t the answer – adding mood, warmth, and relaxed nature, designers have shifted their focus to the graphic art of the mid 1900s for inspiration. Check out our recent re-design of Monterey Gin for a taste of clean, contemporary spirit design with a touch of nostalgic warmth.
- Eco goes mainstream – We’ve noticed some of the biggest brands making a switch from plastics to card, along with more and higher percent of Post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastics. While the Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) make these switches, smaller, independent, and luxury brands level up their eco credentials. Mushroom-based pulp packaging is a new exciting material, along with various forms of honeycomb-style Kraft card. All are super recyclable, compostable and beautiful. Less is most definitely more.
- All hail the display serif font! We’ve had a century of modernists, bauhaus and Swiss type leading the way in bold communication, rejecting and challenging the ornate Victoriana style. But Gen-z are opting for a classic serif to elegantly curate their social posts. It’s an interesting juxtaposition of the technological modern world boomers, Gen X and millennials have adapted to, led by iconic brands such as Apple. Now, Gen-z have turned the tables on what we think of as ‘modern’.
CHANGES IN LIFESTYLE AND INDUSTRY
Trends are influenced by the zeitgeist, so everything happening around us ultimately affects shifts in design. So what’s been on our minds?
- The climate crisis (Inevitably) – Temperature extremes this year, post-pandemic – we’re more conscious than ever of the impact of our designs. For some brands it’s the small shifts that count, for others, it’s an opportunity to innovate and consider the life of the product.
- Cost of Living Crisis– While some brands want to up-sell well-made, considered products, average families in the UK are going to be heavily reliant on value for money and trustworthy staples for the bulk of their purchases. Enter the age of understated simplicity, no convoluted messaging, OR a patronising return to the value budget line aesthetic, just comfortable, approachable, and honest.
- Subscription Culture – This can be a great model, and allow consumers the flexibility to dip in and out of different movies, games, coffees, etc. the list goes on. But some may have discovered an eternal reliance on the ever-growing number of subscriptions, and companies taking advantage of being able to up prices, add caveats, and require regular hardware upgrades to operate (the capitalist dream!).
For designers, it’s Pantone that has recently gone rogue! They’ve left adobe (design software of choice) and left designers in the tricky position of having all their back-dated artworks and designs no longer compatible and reverting to black where Pantone references used to be pre-loaded OR to pay a subscription to bring these back, when design and print studios have (and probably always will) spent a small fortune on the colour books themselves, as without these, the entire system is useless. What are you doing Pantone!?
- Tech and Short-run techniques – Digital print technology, while it still can’t surpass the mass production and reproduction ability of the more traditional Litho (ink roller) printing, it’s improving, and it’s much more adaptable and flexible for short-mid run design and has the potential to separate itself entirely from the Pantone matching system (we can’t help but feel Pantone have started digging the metaphorical grave on their monopoly for this reason). Print is definitely not dead, but digital and motion are also a big part of advertising and comms, so what is printed, will be more considered and less disposable ephemera.
- Data – We think data collection will mean more flexibility within brands for targeted advertising. As we’ve seen and read about platforms like Netflix changing movie cover photo’s to suit our tastes, we’ll see more brands built with adaptable, responsive content in mind.
- We may have broken away from pandemic levels of home-working. But we’re seeing more and more flexible working. We personally believe this is going to be better for Mothers especially, who have historically been the most deprived by the constraints of the traditional workplace, but fathers also, who will be able to take on a greater share of childcare. This means a more positive work-life balance for all, a happier population, and greater productivity, as well as increased pressure on companies and businesses to adopt better practices and focus on the mental well-being of their employees. Creatively speaking, this is great news for design as we allow for more variety to keep our minds fresh and buzzing with new ideas!
- And finally – Inclusion! Our language and approach to inclusion are being widely discussed, and we’re gradually adapting to a greater awareness level. We can see design in 2023 moving another step forwards against gender, racial and cultural stereotypes, with more genuine integrity and less of the superficial, performative kind. We’ve all seen the marketing flops, so let’s leave pride sandwiches and other tone-deaf campaigns in 2022.
If you have any other thoughts or ideas on how you think design will looking 2023, post your comment here, message us on social media (Linked in, Instagram & Twitter) or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. All info can be found at the bottom of the page.