If you’re managing a small or medium-sized company, chances are you’re handling the design aspects of the business yourself. So, before we get into design trends for 2018, our first tip is a timeless one: be proactive about design. Logos, website design, merchandise, packaging — each is an opportunity to communicate and strengthen your brand values. And if you’re not taking the initiative on these, they’re missed opportunities.
But staying on top of design trends doesn’t always come easy, especially when you’re preoccupied with a million other business decisions. So we thought we’d help out by diving into 7 design trends to watch out for in 2018. Take advantage of these early to give your company a head start and to stay up-to-date with the latest customer expectations.
1. GRIDS AND GEOMETRIC PATTERNS
Grids and geometric patterns are becoming more popular. Their application can be subtle, such as aligning your text or logo design with strict edges, or more overt, such as showing an abundance of straight lines.
When your emblem is a pineapple, you can take it in any number of directions: cartoony, circular, colorful, realistic, you name it. Northhampton stays congruent with the times by rendering their pineapple emblem in a geometric style, lending their brand a modern, even futuristic, feel. Utilizing grids and geometric patterns doesn’t have to be as overt as that, though. Even the perfectly aligned, angular typography of Getrude Contempory (designed by Fabio Ongarato) fits the bill.
How entrepreneurs can use this trend: Visual patterns are important for any company to maintain a current look, but doubly so for new and young companies since they’re expected to be the most current.
But this doesn’t mean you have to give your logo an overhaul everytime a new trend emerges. Entrepreneurs and SMB owners can utilize the geometric pattern trend anywhere they have a visual presence — websites, apps, merchandise, etc. You can even create a geometric variation of your logo without the scrapping the original; this variation might fit better in campaigns targeting younger audiences or more modern campaigns.
2. HINTS OF RETRO 80S AND 90S
Nostalgia for the 80s and 90s has never been stronger. This resurgence has found its way out of the entertainment industry into more general business aesthetics, leading to more common usage of retro-inspired patterns.
But the key word here is “hints.” The important distinction is that modern designs aren’t duplicating the 80s/90s style directly, but rather picking-and-choosing individual elements.
For example, Pikababy’s packaging for a baby bib uses heavy 80s/90s patterns for the typography of “bib,” but combines it with contemporary design choices for the rest of the elements so it doesn’t feel completely retro.
How entrepreneurs can use this trend: As with geometric patterns, business owners can implement the 80s/90s style in their visuals to stay current. Rather than diving head first into the retro look, though, you can instead choose individual components of the trend to add on top of your existing visual style. Independent components can be:
- Pastel color palettes
- Geometric patterns (as mentioned above)
- Dot and confetti patterns
- Pixel art
- Graffiti fonts
- Abstract shapes
Be careful not to go “full retro,” as that will have the adverse effect by making your business appear too dated.