2018 was a year of unique design approaches that will continue into 2019. Bold colors, duotone photo filtering, playful typography layouts, deconstructed and asymmetrical layouts, and rich metallic and holographic foiling techniques are just a few of the visuals that dominated design these last 365 days.
The philosophy of building a complete brand system (not just a singular standing logo) was also something that bubbled over into the mainstream this year, especially for larger brands. These are brand identity systems that are structured for ease of use and at extremely small sizes while also being allowed to flex, expand, and contract with execution. This approach will continue on as the most effective way to create and implement a modern-day brand.
2018 also revealed the growing trend of larger brands beginning to bite the bullet and commission their own typefaces. The point being to avoid hefty licensing fees, and having their own custom-designed typeface is the ideal long-term solution.
Photography also took a hard right turn this year. Compositions that appear more amateur and “Insta-documented” were a noteworthy visual, especially for brands wanting to connect with younger audiences.
Lastly, we have a hunch that the stripped-down-personality of the super sans-serif wordmark-only type treatment trend in logo design may slowly start to fade away as we get further into 2019 and 2020. But of course, that’s yet to be seen!
No matter the trends that come and go, two important things will always remain—using tried-and-true design principles of balance, rhythm, and harmony, paired with telling a brand story that connects with its intended audience. That’s our take on how the best brands (with the best products) of today will truly thrive in tomorrow’s rapidly changing world of tastes, needs, and desires.