Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2013 Design Trends Forecast

From what I've seen for the past few months, the following trends, in my opinion, are up and coming, or will be fully utilized in the coming year.
Looking back, my State Of Fashion 2012 post, the trends I posted started to rise out of obscurity and become mainstream. Most of the trends I listed were in preparation for the coming Spring/Summer seasons, and I didn't look much past that to the winter during the second half of the year.

The 5 points are the main place design in heading, in my opinion. The first three are the unique directions brands and designers are taking, and 4/5 are these same brands and designers venturing out into uncomfortable territory.

  1. Simplicity over excess - (Design approach #1) - Examples: Windows and Ebay - Both companies traded in their complex or flamboyant logos in for more simplistic versions
  2. Complexity balanced simplicity, resulting in serenity - (Design approach #2) - Mainly, I think this approach is due to the Rise of the Gradient. For years, the gradient has been abused to be made for a "faux metal" look in Windows, but due to designer's more open use of colors, they can complexly insert many colors, but still make the piece very calming.
  3. minimalism - (Design approach #3) - Yes, you might say this isn't new, but I think the way it's being used is completely new and exciting. My favorite use of it is in a design that can be found HERE where the designer utilizes transparent paper. 
  4. Daring colors - Neons, lasers, iridescence, limes, bright COLORS! Neenah Astrobrights are a great example of all the crazy ways designers are willing to try. Instead of simply printing colors using CMYK, designers are adopting printing on more daring types of paper than the boring predictable black and white.This brings me to mention this project which I think is a great example of daring colors, and rejecting black/white, and the Approach #2 I mentioned earlier- complexity balanced simplicity, resulting in serenity. Even if companies don't adopt lime green paper for their branding, I think the Rise Of the Gradient will entice more color into design.
  5. Borderline glitch - I don't think this will become an extremely mainstream trend, but I think slowly it is making its way to prevelance. Glitching is more experimental, and unexpected, which designers are willing to try, but sometimes only to a point. Unpredictablility is never a good thing in design, especially when printing. Even if the unpredictable glitch doesn't rise, I think the unexpected patterns can be adopted into design and used across boundaries, such as this project.

The reasons for these trends is due to what is now referred to as the Great Recession. During that time, brands were determined to stay the same, but simultaneously cleaning up after themselves, cutting off the excess. Post-recession, people are still set in the simplistic mindset of saving and cutting off excess, but are, at the same time, venturing out and trying new things.

Now for the more general trends I see coming:

  • Websites bleeding to the edge 1  2
  • Alternative alphabets/ alphabetic appropriation 1 2
  • Experimental spacing/positioning 1  2
  • Reflecting/Mirroring images (I think this trend is probably the most annoying) 1
  • Tribal/Experimental typefaces 1  2  3
  • Sans Serif block typefaces 1 2
  • Revival of dead artforms- letterpress, typewriter, and a new emphasis on handmade 1 2
  • Colored business card edges 1 2 3
  • Interaction between photography and typography 1 2 3

Agree? Disagree? leave a comment