2010 Predictions in Design

Design trend come and go. And part of my job as a designer is to continually look at other designers/design firms work to see what other people are doing, while still staying true to my point of view and aesthetic.  My prediction for the design trends for 2010:\n\n1. Illustrations: Illustration use will remain a constant, as the DIY trend remains strong in book, t-shirt, website, and poster design. I think part of the reason why illustration use has increased is because there is something unique and one of a kind about it. Illustration adds a burst of creative energy to a design and adds a friendliness that stock photography sorely lacks. There is personality and in alot of instances, fun! When was the last time a stock photo made you smile? Perhaps the trend of illustration may be a reaction to the over-use of stock photography. I have seen multiple campaigns where I have seen and/or used the same photo that was featured.\n\n2. Bolder Colors: Muted colors are being slowly replaced with a richer more vibrant color palette. There are more logos that feature 4-6 colors eschewing from the usual 2-color logo rule of thumb. It’s a  great way to add more dimension and energy to an identity.\n\n 3. Vintage Design: The resurgence of vintage design continues to grow, from the trend of returning to original packaging to seeing simpler designs with a kitchy twist. Perhaps this can be traced to the rise of Mad Men or maybe because there is something very simple and reassuring about vintage design. Maybe it is partly due to the backlash from the overuse of bevel and embossing, drop shadowing and 3-d rendering; vintage design is a welcome change, it is fun, colorful and uncomplicated.\n\n4. Web Fonts: There will surely be a more mainstream way to embed fonts in a site or an increased number of fonts that are “web-safe.” A designer can only work with Arial and Georgia for so long.\n\n5. Mobile Devices/Smart Phones: The technology is still changing and innovating, phones are getting faster and more robust. Application graphics and integration of graphics, user interfaces, and interactivity is ever growing as is the need for them to be well designed and user friendly. Will all businesses have a proper mobile site? Will iPhones be able to see Flash sites? Will major cities get city-wide wifi? Will the new Google phone be a major contender against the iPhone? Will people be able to use only touchscreens and the physical keyboard will go by the wayside?\n\n6. Larger fonts: I see it more and more, exaggerated and BIG fonts. When in the right hands they can add to the balance, composition and interest or it could also turn into a big hot mess. Either way, I think this trend is here to stay for awhile.\n\n7. Colored and Textured Backgrounds: Color is the new white. For the past decade, website design has equated whiteness with clean design. There are more and more sites that are experimenting with color, texture and gradients. For the most part they are smaller personal sites, but there is always a trickle up effect that will spread to more businesses as they see the landscape change. There has also been a sea change in the way people are designing sites. I am seeing more designers and creative minded people producing fun and intresting personal/portfolio site designs that will hopefully make people re-think how they see web design.\n\n8. Refreshing Change: Companies are recognizing that a refresh and rebrand is necessary to keep market share in adverse economic climates. Many big companies such as Walmart, Aol, MSN, Pfizer and Hertz took the leap. Some with positive outcomes and others where the jury is still out. Either way, people are talking and conversation is a good thing.\n\n9. The Attack of the Footer: Footers seem to be increasing their real estate on websites. You can take a look here and here. I think it makes sense to be able to see the entire site map of a site so easily. And as a bonus, it gives designers another element to think about. A win win for all.

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