What will design look like this year—what will brands need to focus on and what trends might resurge? We’re here to make our predications! We were honored to be asked by our friends over at Green Loop Marketing to contribute to their 2023 Marketing Trends Report (launching in January!) so we thought we’d share a few of our thoughts here with you, too.
1. Accessibility and Versatility
At a high level, we believe we’ll continue to see an emphasis in 2023 on visual brands being accessible and versatile. Brands HAVE to be designing with inclusivity in mind—thinking of those with auditory, neurological, and visual disabilities. This adds an increased focus on contrast, color, legibility, size, etc.. especially on the web. Brands will also need to focus on creating a versatile brand that successfully stands out on an increased number of marketing mediums. It needs to be unique enough to stop someone’s scroll while also working in both light and dark modes on screens.
2. Human-Centered Stories
We believe brands will continue to tell a human-focused story, being more honest than ever and highlighting honest conversations, relatable scenarios, activism, etc…. Consumers are striving for that honesty. This is important both in the story you’re telling and the visuals that pair with it. We also see this playing out in a less ‘button-d up approach’ and a more raw, and in-the-moment format. Think Be Real.
When it comes to visual design, we believe we’ll continue to see hints of ‘anti-design’ showing up in various ways, things like purposefully low res graphics, multiple font families, busy and overlaid visuals. Because there is such a strong need for clean, clear, and precise design (as mentioned above), designers find opportunities, when possible, to rebel against these design conventions—’coloring outside the lines’, experimentation, and bold design decisions that aren’t expected.
There will be a continued emphasis on animation—logo animation, social media animations, and interactive web animation elements. These help brands not only stand out amongst other static graphics, but they draw the viewer in and are proven to convert better than their static counterparts.
COLOR will continue to be used in meaningful and intentional ways for brands. We think we could see a push for black and white/mostly neutral brands with a bold and powerful pop of color. This also provides brand versatility (mentioned above), helps brands communicate important information clearly, and also provides smaller, less resourced brands with visual guidelines that can be straightforward and more easily executed on. While exciting, larger color palettes can be harder to use properly without the right guidance!
All of this to say, I think no matter the ‘trends’, the fundamentals of design will continue to be important in building and developing your visual brand as it always has been. Understanding your audience, your unique product or service offering, communicating your message clearly through strategic design decisions, and a unique visual approach that helps you stand out is paramount!
Think we missed anything? Reach out, we’d love to hear your thoughts on what the year holds for us in the world of graphic design.