What better way to put a politically tumultuous year behind you than to indulge in a bit of trend spotting for the year ahead? Here at InDesignSkills we’ve scouted out the best agency work, cultural events and design influencers which are going to shape the face of graphic design in 2017.
Read on to discover our predictions for the graphic design industry this year, from Hygge-friendly packaging design to a resurgence in Eighties style…
1. Eighties-Inspired Design
The graphic design world has had its sights firmly fixed on the past over the previous decade, with vintage and retro design being one of the most defining trends of the the 2010s. This year the clock is slowly moving forward, with designs tapping into more recent nostalgia to entice clients and consumers.
To feel on-point in 2017, you should be looking to all things Eighties. The boom decade may have been the era good taste forgot, but its bold and zingy color palette feels absolutely spot-on for this year. The Eighties palette of Tron-friendly neons and darks makes for optimistic, in-your-face designs which have a futuristic-meets-nostalgic feel. After a tumultous 2016, this heady mix of childhood comfort and forward-looking futurism feels just right.
Design: Amore Studio for Absolut Vodka
With the fashion industry echoing the sentiment (who knew cone-heeled stilettoes would ever come round again?!) and with the much anticipated release of Blade Runner 2049 in the summer, the design world is going to go mad for all things Eighties this year.
To channel the 1980s in the right way this year, look to mix up your color choices. Move away from the subdued swatches of last year and take neons and bold primary colors for a spin instead.
Design: Amore Studio for Absolut Vodka
2. A Tale of Two Design Trends…Will You Choose Pattern?
2017 is going to be a year of individualism in graphic design. Flat design was a very welcome addition to graphics last year, helping to simplify layouts and improve user experience, but it became so popular that it now feels saturated. This year we’ll see more arts and crafts inspired trends, and pattern and print will return in a big way.
For packaging and brand design, bringing together the best qualities of flat design and pattern will create vibrant, colorful products which feel at once both ultra-contemporary and artistic.
Design: Pyramida Brand Identity
We’ll see the trend for nature-inspired patterns, like those found in marble, precious stones and plants, grow even bigger too, echoing design trends in other fields, like interiors and fashion. Painterly patterns contrasted with simple typography will also bring a crafts vibe to printed media.
Design: A New Type of Imprint by Anti
Pattern doesn’t have to be about multiple colors or symmetry either—bringing in more visual detail to designs via organic line pattern, will feel completely on-trend this year.
3. …Or Will You Opt for Minimalism?
For the pattern-phobic amongst you there is some welcome respite. With 2017 being the year for all things artistic and individualist, you’ll find that the pendulum swings quite happily both ways, with ultra-minimal designs standing their ground at the other end of the spectrum.
Inspired by Scandinavian design, ultra-minimal typography and layouts will still feel cutting-edge this year, and brands who opt for this visual approach will appear elegant and refined.
To channel the minimal trend, keep typography beautiful yet simple, and reduce the size of elements to allow your layout to whisper, not shout. In need of color? Keep your palette restricted and strong, and consider subtle touches of metallic foiling as the only embellishment you need.
Design: Glow Flow Chefs by Menta
4. Geometric Collages
Remember back in school when you used to spend hours creating collages of your favorite cartoon characters from magazine cutouts and PVA glue? If this was one of your best-loved activities when you were small, you’ll be glad to hear collages are back in a big way this year, but this time, they’re much more grown-up.
2017’s collage trend in graphic design is all about placing multiple elements, including illustrations, photos and type, into a single design, arranged in a cleverly conceived geometric layout.
The modern collage trend is a clever method for presenting lots of different concepts as one memorable image, which makes it the perfect trend to adopt in advertising, posters or presentation material.
In 2016 we saw the trend emerge in movie poster design, but this year we’ll start to see designers extending the collage technique across to other print media.
Delve into even more movie poster inspiration here.
5. Hyggeligt Vintage
It’s vintage…but not as we know it. Taking design cues from past decades may seem old-hat, but the design industry isn’t quite ready to let go of all things vintage.
Old things, such as love-worn antiques and old-fashioned leisure activities will become increasingly mainstream this year, and these have strong links to well-being philosophies which emphasise slow-living, such as ‘Hygge’ and mindfulness. Consumers will look for products which help complement antique purchases or help them to create a more ‘hyggeligt’ (‘cozy’) space at home. Brash branded buys won’t cut the mustard; rather packaging design which wouldn’t look out of place on an old-fashioned film set will set the right tone in 2017.
Love vintage design? Discover our pick of the most authentic vintage and retro fonts by era.
Design: Amore Studio for Sydkronan
The key to nailing this trend is authenticity. Old-fashioned print materials and methods, such as letterpress and screen printing, will enhance that perfect vintage typeface and hand-drawn logo. Candy colors will replace the muted browns and greys of 2016’s vintage designs, and bring with it a whole new sense of optimism and happiness to a product.
Design: Amore Studio for Ramlosa Kvarn
6. Low-Poly Design
This trend has been making waves in vector illustration for the past few months, but this year we’ll see the love for all things low-poly break into the graphic design world in full. Complete layouts, such as posters, flyers and stationery design will bring together beautifully detailed low-poly illustrations with logos and typography influenced by the game-inspired trend.
Design: Dmitriy Novikov
These low-poly masks are a great example of the reach of low-poly and its ability to connect with a wide audience who love the graphic simplicity and on-trend style of the low-poly trend.