2018 design trends
The year is almost half over, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been full of amazing, colourful and fresh design trends. These trends range from the bold typographic to the modern gradient. Check out Hive’s top 10 design trends (so far!) for 2018.
1 – Split screen Page Design
Typically when designing a webpage you would stay away from a design that would give equal importance to two separate parts of the screen at the same time. However, split screen design ignores these guidelines and creates a (somehow) balanced approach. Users can choose between two elements or be shown two concepts of equal importance.
Designs in this style (if executed correctly) can reduce clutter on a site and create flexibility. For example, if you are designing a website for a café you can easily display photos of people enjoying food or drink, next to the café’s address and contact information.
2 – Custom Illustration
As the web has evolved it has become much easier to digitise and retain the quality of hand-drawn design both statically and as animations. Many companies are choosing custom illustration to give their brand a more personal touch and point of difference from competitors. Whether the design is to explain their service or just add a quirky, whimsical touch to their brand, custom illustration is making a big comeback.
MailChimp’s 80s inspired homepage design
Denise Chandler’s portfolio
The Interactive Resume of Robby Leonardi
3 – Logo Scaling
There has been a growing trend over the last few years of companies simplifying their logos, removing detail and scaling back following the minimalist/flat design trend. This simplification, as well as the massive increase in mobile device usage has led to companies rethinking how their logo should be viewed on smaller screens. In some cases, this has meant dropping part of the company name and in others it has meant reverting to the company icon only on mobile devices.
4 – Isometric Graphics
Usually found in architectural drawings, isometric design is a method of portraying 3 dimensional objects in 2 dimensions. Possibly building on popular flat design trends of the past few years, many websites are using isometric animations or illustrations.
5 – Gradients
Gradients were found everywhere, in everything. Websites, buttons, powerpoints and company logos all had gradients in them to keep up with the fashion at the time, which quickly lost its shine. What used to be a dated element to include in a design is now fresh and new with modern, vivid colours, sometimes paired with duotone images. Gradients are usually found in freeform shapes, as backgrounds on websites, illustrations and overlays. This is a trend that could date quickly, but probably won’t due to the endless diversifications possible.
Magic.co landing page design by Ludmila Schevenko
Daily Posters by Magdiel Lopez
6 – Adding Depth to Flat Design
First, there was skeuomorphism (i.e. realism) in web design, where, for example, a photography app might be designed to look ‘real’ using gradients and shadows. Then there was flat design, the absolute antithesis of skeumorphism, stripping away shadows and realistic elements in favour of simplistic, minimalistic designs that still conveyed meaning. A variety of versions of flat design evolved, some using long shadows, and others keeping truer to flat design with the addition of shadows to add depth. A great example of this is Google Material Design where shadows are used to show users elements of the screen they can interact with. So, shadows are back in a big way to add depth and meaning to images and websites.
Nike Promotional Ad by Jardson Almeida
7 – Bold Typography
Big, bold and out there is the new trend in online typography. Beautiful, artistic typefaces in large fonts allow companies and individuals to express their brand clearly and make a statement. This is very effective for setting the mood and tone of a business, portfolio or design, ranging from light and whimsical to corporate and reliable.
8 – 3D Typography
As software for 3D rendering becomes more accessible and the technology more advanced more and more 3D animation will grow in popularity. This effect allows brands to grow and connect with their users while demonstrating their innovative designs.
9 – Authentic Photography
Authentic photography is basically the resurgence of more natural, realistic photos in advertising that step away from the much more staged photography found in stock photos. This type of photography develops a feeling of trust and openness for the company and should be a trend that continues well into the future.
10 – Modern Still-Life
Still life is by no means a new concept, but the rise in usability of 3D software has transported artist’s abilities into the 21st century. Modern still life creates the look and feel of a still life artwork, but is entirely developed digitally (which is impressive!). The designs are often abstract, utilising geometric shapes and simple colour palettes to create a memorable design. This trend isn’t everywhere but forward-thinking brands like Tiffany and Co can be seen using this trend in their 2017 Christmas Campaign.