2011 Design Trends & Discoveries

Last year I did a round up of 2010 Predictions of Design. This year I am going to write about design trends that I have been seeing and recent discoveries that I found worthy to share. \n\n\n1. Fonts for Websites: Probably the #1 complaint of web designers is being forced to use web-safe fonts in an HTML environment, selection of which is extremely limited (14 to be exact). Much to my joy Typekit and Fontdeck were introduced as solutions to this limited number of web-safe fonts problem. These handy websites make it possible to use non-web safe fonts with a simple line of code. They way they work is that sign up and basically subscribe to their font library which are pretty expansive.  I have had the opportunity to use Typekit and was extremely satisfied with the results. It is a great way to enhance websites and a fantastic step forward for the future of web design.\n\n2. Letterpress: Letterpress is like the little engine that could. As much as people tout that print is dead, letterpress manages to keep paper looking elegant and worthy of simple and beautiful design. Letterpress is a type of printing that involves pressing an inked letter or pattern block into a piece of paper leaving behind an impression in the paper. The effect is subtle but this unique aesthetic continues to be showcased on business cards, packaging and invitations as the go-to method for making the “best impression.” \n\n3. Apple continues to pave the way: The iPad is the biggest selling gadget of last year, selling over 8 million of them. These touch screen tablets have been an overwhelming success for Apple. The minimal and sleek design seems to really resonate with consumers and has raised the bar as far as product design goes (it doesn’t hurt that the technology encased inside is incredible too). Along with this surge of tablets, designers and developers are continually coming together to create smart and intuitive interfaces and apps. The increased use of mobile devices (cell phones and tablets) is a growing trend and products will only continue to get smaller and faster.\n\n\n4. Great design in product packaging: Packaging continues to be in my opinion, some of the most innovative and best design out there. As competition on the shelf heats up and consumers gravitate more towards the picking products based on design and packaging. Studies have shown that if two items are similarly priced, the consumer will purchase the one that has a better design. Brands such as Mrs. Meyers, Bausch + Lomb, Archer Farms continue to breakaway from conventional types of packaging and design. Check out the Dieline for a fantastic showcase and resource for packaging design. \n\n5. Typography for Lawyers: This is a great website that does an excellent job of explaining typography in a thoughtful and practical way. It also gives a great overview on how to make documentation look better. It’s refreshing to see recognition of typography by the professional set and not just designers. \n\n6. 30 Conversations on Design: This website is a great resource that is both inspiring and intriguing to watch. It centers around what 30 of the top designers answer is to a themed question.

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