Now that 2016 is behind us, we’re looking forward to 2017 and all the exciting graphic design trends that will come with it. Here are the trends we think are going to be big in 2017.
2016 marked a noticeable evolution in flat design: shading and depth were added to graphics that were previously flat. The bold, striking colours were kept for clarity, allowing designers to communicate greater complexity while retaining the fun levity of flat design. This trend was dubbed ‘Flat 2.0’ but has now been taken over by a different trend: Material Design. Google’s Material Design took all the design tenets of Flat 2.0, then refined and perfected them. Expect to see it everywhere in 2017.
Spotify popularised this particular design, where a half-tone illustration is made with two contrasting colours on the original image. Simple images can be transformed into striking graphics with this simple trick, plus it makes typographic uniformly legible.
This is another trend that gained steam in 2016 and is expected to become more ubiquitous going into 2017. This trend incorporates patterns, styles and designs used in the 70s and 80s but presents them with a modern twist. Nostalgia is a powerful emotion and recognisable retro designs can be highly evocative for certain consumer segments. Take a look at NASA's fictitious ads for space travel, which evokes the decades-old collective imagination the public had for space travel. Expect to see this trend proliferate more in 2017.
Hand drawn logos and illustrations communicate authenticity and childlike whimsy. With the success of brands like Innocent and Dropbox, more brands are adopting this particular design as a way of creating a fun and friendly image.
As responsive design gains popularity, which adapts websites to the platform it’s being viewed on, so too does logo simplification: if a logo is a brand’s stamp of identity, it has to be kept uniform across platforms. Mastercard’s new logo by Pentagram, unveiled this year (its first redesign in 20 years), simplified both the font and its distinctive overlapping circles - retaining the recognisable elements of its logo while doing away with unnecessary detail. Simplicity is king: expect to see more brands simplifying in 2017.