Good design is good design, and that never changes. But in marketing, we need more than just good, solid design. It’s our job to grab attention, and to do that our graphics also need to be fresh and on-trend. So let’s dig in to the most hip elements of today’s graphic design.
To illustrate what’s happening in advertising, graphics and marketing right now, I invented a pretend brand, Perspective, a unisex clothing line targeting consumers 18-24. I then created this faux ad campaign featuring my very own daughter, Lauren. (Hi, Lauren!) First off, I want to point out how very different these three graphics are, and yet they hold together due to the similar vibe. Let’s break down why this works:
- Native Images: As 2017 progresses and rolls into 2018, you’re going to see a lot fewer perfect stock images and a lot more native, natural photography. (I “liberated” these selfies from Lauren’s Instagram page.) Brands like Urban Outfitters and American Apparel are paying big money for professionally-shot campaigns that mimic a native look.
- Text-based Logos: Our faux brand has a logo that is simply the name of the brand in all caps Ostrich Sans Medium with a double underline. That’s it. No picture. Nothing tricky. It looks sharp, clean, spare, minimal. It looks very 2017.
- Minimal Design: One image. One logo. One branding color. Nothing extra at all. Right now, this is the height of design chic.
- Bright Colors: For years, we’ve been confusing minimalism with neutral color palettes. All hail the return of REAL minimal design, featuring gorgeous rich pop-art colors. This super-bright pink is perfect. It’s just edgy enough to feel new.
- Tone on Tone: The center image is the best example of this trend, utilizing a gray scale image and sheer overlay of the brand color (shifted to a darker version). We’re left with a pink tonal image. Then we added the text logo in the pure brand color. It pops.
- Sheer Overlays: You can’t get away from semi-transparent shapes. They are everywhere. Use them to divide space, add a brand color or offset text without losing the single-image impact. Or, as in image three, do all of those things at once.
Take these tips to your own drawing board and see how they can freshen up your marketing efforts!