Remember back in Q4 of 2019 when we all read off long list of ideas, strategies and tactics to try in 2020? That was when most of us never heard the word “coronavirus” before. We were just looking forward to a bright year full of possibilities. Then, a pandemic hit and the way we approached everything shifted. For some businesses and organizations, it has been a real struggle to find their footing in an ever-changing situation. However, as many challenges there are out there now, there are just as many opportunities to deliver incredible creative results.
“In times of adversity; we develop our sense of creativity and strength of our souls.” Lailah Gifty Akita
Despite the storm 2020 continues to throw at all of us, designers, branding experts and artists have found new and exciting ways to showcase their brand’s message. As an Art Director, I see this time as the time to push the envelope even further and to use our talents, expertise and ideas to drive change.
Let’s take a look at what’s trending in the design world:
DESIGN FOR GOOD
Now, more than ever, it’s important our voices are heard. Designers are constantly seeking to create something that will make a difference and an impact. This year, there has been a significant uptick in the number of designers creating and using their platforms to spread messages on how to slow the spread of coronavirus. They’ve gone beyond pushing their products and directly acknowledged, even encouraged, social distancing and addressed life in quarantine.
We have also seen many creatives step up to the plate to be a catalyst for positive social impact through Black Lives Matter and shedding light on racial injustice. Brands, both big and small showed their support, solidarity and commitment to be a proponent for good.
It’s no secret that the world is becoming more digital. Thankfully, that means less waste in the world on a lot of levels, especially from a marketing and communications stance. Many consumers are favoring environmentally conscious brands. When designing packaging, print material and beyond, many brands have pledged to use more recyclable and/or ethically sourced materials. They have also made a point of doing more with less and giving significantly more focus to the web and digital mediums. An added benefit is that it has allowed people to access brand information and messaging even during quarantine. It’s a smart move since the rise of device use has surged during quarantine and continues to do so. At Able&Co., we continue to take strides toward being a leader of sustainability in the Raleigh-Durham area. From reducing our in-office footprint by going as paperless as possible to using environmentally friendly paper solutions when producing print materials, we’re committed to a happier, greener world, before, during and after COVID-19.
The world is “extra” enough. Design doesn’t have to be. We’re seeing more stripping away of unnecessary flair and moving to simple and straightforward design. Our work has shifted in a way to deliver creative results more about trust and honesty while featuring simpler visual elements that are straightforward. There has also been a rise in the usage of more approachable typography, less capitalization and crisp, clean icons.
Before COVID, the design world was in the middle of a renaissance, combining 3D design elements with 2D visual elements. The good news is that the pandemic didn’t slow us down and this exciting movement is taking design by storm. It’s common to see 3D compositions used as static elements on print and animated across digital executions. These hybrid designs are just the beginning of a new wave of innovation.
MOTION & ANIMATION
Attention spans have never been shorter. So designers have a limited amount of time to catch the audience’s attention. More brands are using video and moving content to lock eyes onto their content quickly and effectively. It’s creating a more interesting and memorable experience. This is particularly exciting as a designer myself, as it’s pushing the envelope on all sides. GIFs, 3D motion, animations and multi-sensorial campaigns are now becoming permanent facets of marketing strategies.
While the world is facing an unprecedented world of change and concern, the world of design has never been more poignant. The most rewarding part of these trends to me is utilizing what works and what is relevant into our work for our clients.