2022 Design Trends
When talking about design, trends are more than just a fleeting thing. Evolution of cultural norms and technology can influence how brands look, feel, move and sound, but on a deeper level, design trends are also a reflection of the current desires and expectations of the public when interacting with brands.
For the most part, design trends usually last for long periods of time – flat and geometric designs have been a thing for over a decade now – however, the global pandemic shifted how people consume and interact with brands on a fundamental level and the changes to what’s currently ‘in vogue’ are coming apace.
Following trends is tricky, if done correctly, a brand can look contemporary and relevant to its customers. On the other hand, if the trend is shoehorned just for the brand to be updated with what’s latest in fashion, it’ll look staged and untrue to the brand. People can easily sniff that out, so tread carefully when picking a trend to follow without a defined purpose.
Deciding to pursue a trend or not is up to the individual, however, being aware of the most relevant ones is definitely a must. Below are just a few of the trends we have identified that are already on the rise and will be very much present throughout 2022 and going forward.
Typography has evolved dramatically in the past couple of years, both in its design and how it’s used. More than just communication, typography is about expression and right now creativity in this area is being pushed to its limits, in particular with the ever-present use of motion graphics.
Typography is set to get more vibrant and playful with stylised, exaggerated characters, retro styles such as 1970s serifs, side by side with a rising art nouveau trend and a revival of 1990’s typefaces.
Custom fonts also continue on the rise with brands even more so realising the benefits of having full control of how they want their messages to be perceived.
Awareness for accessibility with a focus on more legibility and readability is also a priority going forward. Expect to see a very refined approach to minimalistic sans serif fonts.
Brands in motion
Motion graphics have been in the spotlight for quite a while now but this is the trend that has been most intensified by the global pandemic. We’re spending a lot more time on digital platforms and whether scrolling through a website or navigating an app, statics graphics just won’t cut it anymore.
How a brand moves have become as important and recognisable as every other part of a design system such as typography, colours, and visual language. Even small touches of motion like the micro-animations when you open an app can elevate the brand storytelling and take the user experience to a whole new level.
Animation is even taking the space of traditionally static mediums with the proliferation of digital billboards and other out-of-home advertising. With the advancements in augmented and virtual reality, even a simple poster can be elevated to an experience in motion.
Repurposing past decades style is not a new thing and playing with nostalgic designs will continue to flourish in 2022. This time around, however, instead of the overused ’70s and ’80s, the decade in vogue is the ’90s, with its colourful and maximalist aesthetic. Expect to see a lot of colours, gradients, bevels, indents and other effects on an MTV inspired ’90s revival.
With minimalism slowly losing its relevance after decades of geometric sameness, brands and designers are looking at the other end of the spectrum. Enabled by the evolutions of previous technologic limitations and the shift of the cultural zeitgeist in this post-pandemic world, a visual resurgence is underway.
There’s a distinct appetite for a more sumptuous approach where visceral narratives and thrilling visual experiences are overtaking the flat, geometric, austere brand systems, replacing repetitiveness with uniqueness.
Two other important trends that are worth noting are Inclusive Visuals and Sustainability.
Showcasing our diverse world as it truly is, is a top priority for most brands nowadays. Be sure to think about how representative images and illustrations are when creating or selecting them.
Sustainability is all about reducing the impact a brand has on the world, it can range from the material you choose to print on to the amount of bandwidth your website consumes, from the amount of water used to create a product to the impact of its production on a local community. Sustainable practices go beyond just selecting recycled paper for packaging or using green colour, they need to be at the core of the brand’s beliefs. The consumer will see right through something that appears “green” only on the surface.
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