2017 was a year of transition for graphic design stye. There was a resurgence in classic graphic design trends and new emerging modern trends that may prove valuable heading into 2018. The new year will bring a few new concepts and give life to some old classic stylings. Regardless of your current brand, it might be helpful to incorporate a few of these design techniques into your graphic design marketing for the coming year to stay on trend.
This past year we saw the return of hand lettering; with a boost from the release of the Apple iPad Pro and its companion software, Procreate, calligraphy caught up with the modern times. Gone are the days of formal, stiff calligraphy. This style is all about grand swirling descenders and crossing your t’s with flair. Hand lettering creates a classic, relatable, Joanna Gaines-eque, welcoming style. Try incorporating it into your logo design, promotional posters and stand banners, or even your company-branded Thank You notes.
In 2018 we can look for an uptick in bold color choices. Single-colored backgrounds with white copy and a graphic product shot keeps your site clean, crisp and straight forward. While copy on bold backgrounds can often be seen as overwhelming, it plays to your copywriter’s benefit—the bolder the statement, the simpler the copy should be. Keep your opening page to a brief sentence (or your company mission) and solicit the viewer to contact you or navigate the rest of your site for more information. Clearleft, a digital strategy company, does this very effectively throughout their entire site.
A culmination of the elements we’ve already addressed, incorporating a style that overlaps these bold statements is a modern bold trend we will likely see more of in 2018. Netherlands-based company, Bolden, does this with their interactive homepage that at first appears illegible; however, upon hovering, clarity is brought to the site navigation. Try utilizing bold colors and typography to create your very own graphic-free design statements. For a clean and fresh 2018 design look, think beyond filling white space with irrelevant graphics, and instead see what you can visually accomplish with type alone.
A long-standing small business graphic design trend, statement photography can speak volumes to your company culture and business standards. Brands like Hugo & Cat successfully use photography as their homepage, incorporating their company mission statement as a leader into the rest of their website content (where they continue to use cutout photography in conjunction with their bold color statements). While there are many great stock photo sites available, nothing beats taking your own photographs of your team and office environment to maximize relatability, and set expectations for your clients when they meet you in person.
2018 will be the year of bold colors and comforting, relatable visuals in both web and print design. If you’re looking to update your company’s brand, think about what you can do with your copy first and foremost, and then make your visuals follow suit. Whether you use all or one of these trends in the coming year, hopefully these boost your brand strategy as we look forward to the future of small business graphic design.
Do you have any other predictions for small business graphic design in 2018? Let me know in the comments below? Looking for additional small business graphic design tips? Check out our Small Business Graphic Design kit!