Graphic design is more than beautiful, professional imagery. It tells a story of the client, their business, the product or service they are offering and reaches different audiences in very different ways.
Along with this, it becomes a stamp or tag which leads back to the designer. As a graphic designer, one needs to create work that pleases the client and meets their directive. Be it a banner on a Facebook ad or the client’s new logo for their company, imagery becomes the ‘peacock’ of advertising.
Most people hate reading. We live in the peak of a digital age where kids and adults alike are fixed on their phones, sharing memes on Facebook, posting selfies on Instagram to their 250k plus followers or tweeting short posts about climate change, Brexit or how Kylie Jenner has released a new shade of lipstick that only someone with a knowledge of pantone would be able to differentiate between the 120 odd other shades already in her line.
This is our time and we need to grab the bull by the horns (in imagery of course, because doing this in real life would be downright dangerous) and shine through the blue and white, monotone scrolling, reflect off of billboards and when directed to links, implode with impactful branding, explanation and capture an audience long enough for the message to be transcribed loud and clear.
To put it in a simpler tone:
Graphics need to look good. People need to form a positive relationship with a brand and it takes a few seconds to form an opinion on a brand or product. It could take a lifetime to change that if you get it wrong.
Graphic design can influence someone as to which company or service they choose from potentially hundreds of options. It makes that company recognizable. There is not a person out there, even friends who are firmly vegan who don’t recognize McDonald’s logo.
My word for 2019 is ACCOUNTABILITY and when one thinks about it, it’s understandable how one word can be so powerful amidst a time of imagery and its influence. A well-designed brand name and logo can sway a top decision maker because it looks professional and solid. Secure business practices start with how that brand shows itself off in the market place.
Something else that stems to mind is consistency. A brand needs a solid colour palette which is recognizable throughout their business. That shade of red needs to be recognizable throughout each and every campaign, sign and image to captivate your customer base and keep them coming home. Because this is part of good business ethos.
2020 is around the corner and it’s important as a graphic designer to stay on trend, if not far ahead of it.
3D depth is reaching its peak and when combined with 2D, realism really has a competitive edge as a focus point.
Monochrome is one of my favourite elements and it’s no wonder that it’s still super popular nearing 2020. This does not mean everything should be black and white! Think orange and black, navy and coral, two shades of red.
Shiny surfaces are an element that can be incorporated with very little effort, but they hit hard. Small areas of gold add an immediate luxurious feel to an image and up your design game by such a massive leap.
Typography is back with some rather crazy elements and I must say, I am pretty hyped about this one. Do you remember that phase companies went through when they though Papyrus was a great font? (pulls eyes out at the thought).
Flowers and geometry are great elements to play around with and one can see why. Stemming back to the time where print press was a massive addition to business, elaborate fonts have existed for a long time and keep coming back to us in a sort of loop. Vintage fonts are beautiful and with a slight modernization, add and a touch that cannot be ignored.
Regarded as Maxi Typography, we should most certainly look at incorporating this art element into our work, using heavier bodied fonts, curved text and 3D shapes are back, along with semi-transparency and overlapping.
Image and text masking are beautiful and even though it has existed for quite some time, it’s making a feature in 2020. Mystery and minimalism are beautiful elements one can add to create an effect which captures an audience wanting to know more.
Line art is simple to achieve and although quite ‘basic’ on the eye, it can tell a story without the need for too much wording.
Collages can be really beautiful and they don’t only require photography. Drawings can be incorporated for a more informal approach. When combining the two elements, an advertisement can be completely transformed and taken to the next level.
Simple illustrations will never fade out and it’s no wonder why they remain a top choice for designers. Oversimplified and sketchy are good choices, conveying a message without too much ‘clutter’.
Isometric designs can also make an impact on advertising material and their ability to convey a 3D effect without actually being such make them fun elements to use in explanatory pieces.
Earthy colours are making a comeback and this actually excites me. As one who is quite in touch with nature, there is so much to work with here. Think 50’s elements. Comic books stem from this era and even up until today, they are a fond element in my own life.
The vintage ‘blast from the past’ elements we will be seeing are great and a much-needed break from technology era we reside in.
Patterns and textures may even be making a connection, overlapping and creating some rather interesting new looks, which let’s face it, was always an arb thing to do. Remember designers telling us to not mix our stripes with our polka dots? Not anymore, well at least according to Ewelina Gąska, a freelance Polish designer who seems to be making it big right now.
One of my favourite elements making a comeback is geometric design. Basic shapes that carry heavy messages are in and although a simple shape sounds very basic, it takes an eye to create something that conveys a readable message.
The other end of the specter is liquidity. Flowing shapes combined with adjusted shades and softer elements look beautiful and bring across a certain emotion.
I am rather excited about what’s to come and hope to be able to incorporate many of these elements into my work in the near future – they’re fun, explorative and definitely a challenge for even the most talented, well-seasoned of graphic designers out there. Retro, doodling, line art and beautiful colour elements? Bring it on 2020!