Trends emerge, grab attention, grow big and then after a short or long run spanning over few months to years they vanish from the scene. When it comes to graphic design we have seen too many trends appearing in the course of few years with varying degree of success and lasting influence on the web and digital apps. In the catwalk of graphic design trends, we have seen some of the most enduring and continuously evolving ones like the Flat design and also some short-lived design trends like the Skeumorphic design.
We are almost at the end of 2016 and several graphic design trends matured from their earlier avatar offering a clear idea of the trends that are going to rock the web and other digital interfaces in the months to come. Here we have picked 10 graphic design trends that will continues to rock the web.
Material is the new flat
The flat design thanks to its clean, clutter-free, colorful look, prominent typeface, use of white space and delicate use gradients has taken over the web and mobile apps for few years. Offering minimalist approach with an optimum focus on readability and usefulness, the Flat design has achieved the phenomenal popularity that no other design trends achieved so far. It is also the most enduring trend surpassing a massive transformation through an array of visual treatments. It was introduced by Microsoft’s Zune mp3 player in 2006 followed by a refreshed take by Apple’s iOS 7 in 2013 and it has been given a deeper twist by Google with Material design in 2014.
- Material design with its seemingly flat look is further characterized by more deliberate color choices, full blown imagery, larger visual typeface, and a lot of negative space around content allowing a bold look and feel.
- Material design is rightly being called as “Flat 2.0” as it looks like an updated and fine-tuned version of the flat design. The erstwhile flat design has been upgraded with the use of light and shadow, weight and depth and background movement.
- Although it holds all the simple, clutter free and usability-optimized attributes of Flat design, it offers a deeper sense of realism previously missing with the Flat design.
- Technically speaking, Material design has been created for optimum usability and loading speed.
Bold, stylish, multiple typefaces
Bold and stylish typeface as a graphic design element have been around for quite some time since it has been extensively incorporated by the proponents of Flat design. Now together with their boldness and style designers are more inclined to add more variety to their look and feel. So, an increasing number of interfaces are coming up with multiple, varied typefaces. Several complementing font types at different sizes and styles are being used to create better visual hierarchy and to optimize readability. Experiment with typefaces will continue and fonts will play a key role in new design innovations.
Use of negative Space
Negative or blank space as an essential part of graphic design is continuing to grow in importance as spaces around text helps to enhance readability to a great extent. But apart from their well-appreciated role in augmenting the prominence and clarity of contents they can also be utilized to invoke a deeper or double meaning when used appropriately with other design elements. Moreover, use of blank space allows a minimalist, stripped-down and elegant look and feel.
Care-free, hand drawn illustrations may look childish but for incorporating amusing elements in serious design layout they are simply irreplaceable. Doodles being popularized by Google are now being widely used by a lot of professional services, web interfaces, and apps. They can easily incorporate a very playful and warm human feel. Hand drawn illustrations with sketchy lines, sharp brushstrokes and subtle use of colors are creating crisp and clean interfaces that grab attention and make an enduring brand statement.
Cinemagraph is the new kid in the block reserved for innovative graphic design. A little flickering movement in the background images just has enough to grab attention and impress us to stay on the page. This hybrid design encapsulating both the elements of motion and still is increasingly becoming popular across web interfaces.
Card-like modular layouts had a very successful run for some years. It has been adopted by a vast majority of the big brands for websites and apps. This design after being widely introduced by Microsoft in its path-breaking Windows 8 design went on to take over the websites and mobile apps of an array of companies. Card or grid based layout can be instrumental in adding variety, diversity, and flexibility in the design layout.
The trend of using geomagnetic shapes is hip now. They offer a textured background effect with layers. Originally conceived as packaging design it has been taken by websites and mobile apps to allow prominence to the typeface with a textured backdrop in behind. Experiments on geometric design will continue with color schemes, contrast, and depth.
With the widespread design focus on readability and usability, the minimalist design took over the web and app design. In complete contrast to the dazzling, flamboyant and sometimes hippie design of the 1980s, minimalist, purposively focused and simple design styles have now become more popular. To add to the attractive look and feel over minimalist design abstract artworks and geometric forms are also being used by many websites.
The inspiration from the print world for some time is shaping web design. The pre-digital printing elements like color slabs, rich textures, misprint or overprint effects, etc. are being incorporated into digital interfaces for a lively, material look.
Colors continue to play a pivotal role in web design. Vibrant warm colors besides helping hierarchical design are also boosting clarity and usability of web interfaces. Emotional use of colors keeping sync with the website niche, focus area and target audience is now critical element for any design endeavor. Bright colors from pastel shades, neon, and saturated colors are being more preferred for the hip, eye candy looks and feels they offer.
Darshan Patel is a lead SEO Analyst & Storyteller at Nimblechapps – The coolest mobile web application development and mobile app development company. He believe in using a variety of strategy to create business’s online presence that delight and deliver.