This post was written by Tom McCallum

15 Graphic Design Trends for 2015

As graphic designers the world over start to map out their strategy for the year ahead, the way 2015 will look is being decided. Will we see a continuation of the flat design trend of 2014, or a turn back to skeumorphic design? Will generative design grow in popularity, or will it fade out to nothing?

Though we can’t tell for sure what will happen, we can certainly have a good guess. Below we predict 15 graphic design trends that you may well expect to see coming your way in 2015.

1.  Interactive Design

Some savvy graphic designers are already using interactive design to encourage their audiences to click, scroll, and zoom around their designs. Putting the user in control of their own journey will be a big feature of this year too. Greater interactive adverts, animations, presentations, infographics, and more will become  firm favourites in 2015, and they will all form part of trend number 2…

2.  Storytelling

picture of children being told a story

Image by Zhao licensed under CC BY 2.0

Storytelling will be a key feature of all design work this year. As companies attempt to brand themselves as unique, graphic designers will be afforded more time to tell in-depth stores with visuals that audiences can relate to. A brand’s story will become as important as their visual identity and designers will be expected to combine these two elements in increasingly inventive ways. Take, for example, our very own interactive presentation of IDI’s 10 year history.

3.  More Prevalent Video

As the ideal medium for telling stories, video will be at the heart of website design in 2015. Graphic designers with video editing skills will reap the benefits of this new approach. Big videos will take up the whole screen on website home pages, encouraging the user to watch what a company is all about instead of just read. Faster internet speeds and more advanced devices have finally made this possible.

4.  A Greater Range of Typefaces Online

list of typography use rules

Image from the Curwent press newsletter, 1938

Let’s face it; typography on the internet is pretty limited compared to in print. One trend in 2015 will be the appearance of more diverse fonts on web pages. These fonts won’t be too outlandish but they will be big, bold, and easy to read. Expect to be surprised by a number of companies attempting to brand themselves online with typography this year.

5.  Responsive Typography

Another problem with typography online is in refining the consistency of how it appears across different devices. What works well on a 15-inch laptop screen may not be so easy to decipher on a 6-inch mobile screen. 2015 will see designers overcoming this problem and finally beginning to achieve success with responsive typography that actually works.

6.  Hand Drawn Illustrations (and Typography)

row of coloured pencils

Image by Darren Harvey licensed under CC BY 2.0

One big graphic design trend we expect to see coming this year is the use of hand drawn illustrations in a number of high profile advertising and branding campaigns. As companies attempt to invoke an emotional response in their audience, they will employ the soft, appealing nostalgia of the hand drawn illustration as opposed to the blocky, futuristic and possibly intimidating feel of digitally rendered illustration. Hand drawn typography, which was a popular trend of 2014, will also make its way out of artists’ personal portfolios and into the commercial space.

7.  Nouveau Grunge

OK, maybe not to quite the extent of 90s grunge, but you can expect graphic designers to start to look at a more human and rustic approach to their work. Everything is beginning to look a bit like it’s computer generated and a core group of graphic designers will decide that enough is enough. Looking to restore faith in the audience that there is indeed a person behind the creative work, one graphic design trend for 2015 will ‘get attitude’ and become a bit rough around the edges.

8.  Patterns and Textures Compliment Flat Design

The minimalist trend of flat design witnessed over the last few years is starting to look a little jaded. Though we expect to see it continue to trend long into 2015, the solid block colours that have come to define it will be replaced by a greater variety of patterns and textures.

9.  ‘Mobile First’ Philosophy Continues

interface design for mobile phone

Image by VFS Digital Design licensed under CC BY 2.0

Website design continues to look at the mobile first philosophy signalling the end of tiresome ‘above the fold’ doctrine. As Google begins to penalise websites that don’t have a good mobile philosophy, companies will be forced to adapt. Web pages in 2015 don’t have folds or top bar navigation, instead they scroll infinitely and have hamburger menus.

10.  Vibrant Colour Palettes

The 80s was once the era that everybody loved to hate, then we began to love it in an ironic way and now we just love it. Don’t expect to see neon pink and acid green popping up everywhere in graphic design work this year, but do expect to see less of pastels and more saturation.

11.  More Coding

picture of coding for html

Image from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY 2.0

Coding aficionados rejoice, your time has come. More and more graphic designers will move away from Photoshop skills in 2015 and begin to work more with code and other alternative methods for digital design. The algorithm design techniques that were a key part of the generative design trend last year will continue and generative design will start to make big steps into everyday life.

12.  Digital Surrealism

While many graphic artists will look to put the human touch to their design work this year with the ‘nouveau grunge’ movement (graphic design trend for 2015 number 7), a counter group of 3D digital artists will use their computer aided design skills to produce remarkable artistic works of digital surrealism. Which faction will prove most popular? Only time will tell.

13.  Graphic Designers Become More Powerful

As visuals become increasingly important in the commercial world, where audience attention spans are dwindling to nanoseconds, graphic designers are becoming increasingly respected. Whereas clients have invariably come to designers with an idea to put into practice, a trend in 2015 will see graphic designers asked for their input at an earlier stage of planning. This will mean that graphic designers will have the power to shape the world even more.

14.  Material Design

material design image

Material design image from Google

Google’s enthusiastic endorsement of their very own ‘material design‘ is sure to see it become one of the stand out graphic design trends for 2015. Material design is based on Google’s idea that the digital world should appear more physical and has been presented as a complex new grid-based design language. However, a simple explanation of it is “flat design with shadows”. Google plans to role it out across all platforms this year, so you can expect material design to be popping out of a screen near you soon.

15.  The Rise of the In-House Graphic Design Team

Due the increasing importance of graphic designers to company operations, more businesses are keen to bring designers in-house with some even splashing out on entire in-house graphic design teams. While this could mean more jobs, it could also have an impact on the availability of freelance work and on the fortunes of graphic design agencies. This trend could be both a good and a bad thing for the industry. Time will tell, but it’s clear that the increasing importance of graphic design will be a feature this year.

Conclusion

While it’s impossible to predict exactly what will happen, these 15 graphic design trends for 2015 paint a pretty optimistic picture for the industry. Now all you have to do is wait and see if they come true. Keep your eyes peeled to see if we’re right.


 

Design1


If you enjoyed this post be sure to check out our Graphic Design Predictions for 2016! Let us know what you think in the comments below.

 

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