Design trends are a great way to inspire new design solutions that will be sure to grow your brand presence whilst making your communication feel fresh and relevant. Having read many articles on what to expect in branding and graphic design for 2021, which started appearing in September last year, here are my top five themes.
1. Authentic representation
This can take many forms as it builds on the ever-growing requirement to be real, transparent and true. Think about celebrating diversity and sharing aspects of your brand that is (perhaps) less glossy. Even with B2B brands it is always people to people so focus on stories that make a difference and generate emotions through insider information, tips and personal success stories. Design tools in this theme includes using real team imagery and a more vernacular design aesthetic.
2. Elements of nature
Nearly every article on design trends has included this theme and I think it is because climate change and our impact on the environment has become so important. Businesses want to show that they can relate to and care about the environment and using elements of nature in your brand platform provides a quick fix for that message. Nature also speaks about wellness and health which are hot topics. To create authentic impact, you should share your environmental credentials at some point to maximise this story about your brand.
3. Tone down or turn up colour
The trends for colour suggest that you either tone it down or really dial it up. This can be in the form of switching from full colour to duotones, going monochrome or muting your existing colour palette to create much more subtle tones. The alternative is to go all out and generously use bold, almost clashing, colour schemes. It seems that colour needs to do something more than just ‘be’ in 2021.
Basic geometric shapes can be added to any brand platform very easily and quickly and, by playing with scale and pattern (and the colour route of your choice!), you can have endless fun. Geometric shapes are very useful to separate content and create eye-catching social banners so don’t be afraid to mix and match – the idea here is to put triangles with circles and more. You can control the visual impact by choosing the right scale and proximity of shapes.
5. Fine art infusion
With art and design often blurring, it is only natural that every so often the trend to inject fine art into graphic design makes an appearance. What excites me about this concept is that design has so much it can draw from fine art and influence the way it makes us feel when we see it. This is often done by using painting or sculpture to add new dimensions and textures. It also injects a sense of gravitas and sophistication into a brand.