Reviewing 2019 Trends in Graphic Design

Subject matter experts (SMEs) on graphic design trends like 99designs, GraphicMama, and Just Creative rallied their top experts and compiled separate lists for what the New Year would bring. This was 5 months ago. Now as we settle into the pace of 2019, I wanted to look back at their predictions and compare the expectations to reality. Let’s take a look.


  1. Art Deco Influences99designs is right on the money with this one, especially when it comes to new logos. More and more businesses as leaning towards angular clean logos that rely on geometric, line-based imagery rather than heavier graphics. This style is very popular for logos right now, and will maintain their popularity for years to come.


  1. Sans Serif Logo TextJust Creative founder, Jacob Cass, recognized some of the most popular household brands (think Google, Netflix, Spotify, etc.) changed their unique logos to use a variation of the sans serif font. Sans Serif fonts are also highly recommended for user-friendly design websites like Canva. I always use Sans Serif fonts for my work, especially in body copy. It’s easier to read. This font is here to stay.


  1. Bright, Vivid Colors: With Pantone listing “Living Coral” as the color of 2019 and companies like Samsung and Apple pushing their neon graphics, Graphic Mama claims bright colors are here to stay in 2019. This is a fair assessment. There are many aspects that go into the choice of colors in advertisements that play a larger role in the client’s mind, though – think brand standard guidelines and more.


  1. Typography as a Focal Point: VE Engage and others reported that large typography would dominate design over the use of images to display innovation and individuality, and to easily translate that message to a mobile audience. I definitely agree. Using your messaging as the main focus of ads works better for the shortening attention spans found in consumers today. With mobile advertisements, you only have a second to grab someone’s attention. I don’t go back to look at things on my computer. Not many consumers do.


  1. Gradients in Logos and Graphics: Following their rise to popularity in 2018, gradient backgrounds and design elements prove their relevant continuity this year by invading logo designs. Personally, I hate gradients in logos due to problems with production. They need to be able to print it for color. You need to also have a flat color version for certain printing processes. I like duotones – blending a gradient on top of photography – for digital design or large format print advertisements. This design trend will only prove relevant for brands that 1) operate only through digital mediums or 2) can afford the printing costs.


  1. Colorful Minimalism: Imagine taking number 3 from this list and inserting that bright pop of color into a minimalist layout. This design is widely popular online, especially for e-commerce sites and testimonial pages. I’ve used this trend recently. In the mobile advertising environment, the simpler designs hold the most potential for impact. Adding a pop of color to a streamlined message is a safer bet, and better for passing social media advertising guidelines.


  1. “Authentic”-like: With the push for brand authenticity in social media, consumers are starting to expect design staples like stock photography and color pallets to represent their own lives. This means more stock photos that look like they were shot on a smartphone, and colors that aren’t as saturated for overall brand color guides. Candid-looking photography works well now. That being said, the images for a professional brand should always be high quality. It’s got to look like it was taken from a photographer. I purposefully make sure the models from our stock photos aren’t shot too much. If they’ve been used in a series, I don’t want them.


  1. Ditch the Framework: Asymmetrical and broken grid layouts are becoming more and more popular in web design and advertising visuals. This is mentioned as another tool to add dimension and depth to a static design. It looks cool, but there’s a huge risk of losing consumers due to confusion and, again, impatience with the content. I’m a fan of grids. I always want typography and copy to follow a grid. Design can be an open concept.


Do you agree with my assessment of 2019’s design trends so far? Reach out with your thoughts on social media!


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