As with anything creative, what’s popular in design is forever changing and evolving to inspire and reflect the world around it. Last year we saw parallax scrolling and bespoke illustrations take front and centre stage online, both of which have helped shape and develop this year’s most popular digital design trends. This year is shaping up to be a colourful one with a focus on interactivity; read on to find out how web designers are achieving this and what to look out for in 2018.
Turning user engagement with design from a passive experience to an active one. Interactive animation encompasses animated responses to user behaviour on websites such as button clicks and certain mouse movements. This can be something simple like a button that wiggles when you hover over it or something very complex such as background fades or changes to the width, height, or depth of a page as you scroll. The way users can interact with a website says a lot about what it represents so interactive animation is a fantastic way to communicate a brand’s personality without using words.
Less is more. Minimalism in design removes unnecessary clutter and overly complex features to ensure the eye is drawn to one key message or design element. By keeping layouts simple and streamlining content, minimalist designs help brands make bold statements with their messaging. One of the benefits of this design trend is that it helps users access key information in as few steps as possible by minimising distractions. Expect to see simple backgrounds with large text in static designs and understated animations and transitions on websites.
Modern, unique, and a little bit quirky, handwritten fronts are standing out against pre-packaged fronts in 2018. Handwritten fonts are perfect for businesses and brands looking to humanise their designs. Artistic and playful, these fonts pack a lot of personality and can convey a number of different sentiments. Anything handwritten can present legibility issues, especially when scaling for various devices, so these fonts are better suited to larger, feature content – accompanied by more simple typography – when used in text heavy designs. You can find beautiful examples of handwritten font in design all over the internet, especially on social media, but we’re particularly fond of Adidas’ #HereToCreate campaign.
Colour is making a comeback in 2018 with the increasingly popular gradient making an appearance in many designs. This trend gives designers more colour freedom and has the potential to convey a lot more personality than designs focusing on flat colours, making it perfect for logos and branded imagery such as the Instagram logo. That being said, colour gradients are also making a big appearance in background imagery to offset bold text or photographic imagery. Psychologically speaking, gradients are more reminiscent of naturally occurring phenomenon, like sunsets and oceans, which can invoke more emotional responses from the user and give a design more depth.
Whether you pronounce it with a hard or soft ‘g’, GIFs are everywhere undergoing a kind of design renaissance. Discounting comedy reaction GIFs (here’s our favourite, by the way), GIFs are being used as infographics and even replacing the humble static image asset across social media. In other areas on the web GIFs are being used to bring websites to life what with animated GIFs having the ability to convey much more meaning than their static counterparts. For example, short animations can showcase a brand’s products in action or give users a better idea of a specific service on offer.
We’ve seen some bold choices in design for 2018 so far and we’re not even halfway through the year. For razor sharp design that’s ahead of the curve contact us! We offer a range of digital (image and video!) and print design services perfectly tailored to suit our clients’ needs.