We asked our Art Director, Kris, to outline his top design trend predictions for 2020, and what flavor of designs you can expect to see coming through in the template selection for the Easil catalog.
With over 15 years of design and Art Direction experience, Kris has his finger on the pulse of what works and what doesn’t – but better still, he also knows how to improve designs with a drag and drop here, and a color change there!
Let’s get stuck into Kris’s design trend predictions, and what he’s already seeing emerging!
2020 DESIGN TREND #1 ORGANIC HAND CUT ELEMENTS
This style is super hot at the moment, and doesn’t seem to be cooling down anytime soon! I saw it start to take shape around mid-2017, and thought “Oh that’s kind of fun….random organic cut out shapes …very Picasso revival”. And it’s just grown from there.
Now we’re seeing these random organic ‘blobs’ everywhere. From fashion and linen fabrics, packaging, social media posts and even on website landing pages. Maybe it’s because we have a connection to the organic? Or perhaps it could be because this style often utilizes muted color tones and pastels, that are still trending.
I’m feeling however that it’s because we have this magnetic connection to the hand made. A total swing away from anything polished, to a design style, is less manufactured and more artisan.
This style may form the perception that ‘anyone could do it’, but it’s all about how those cut-out shapes are used together. I love this style, and it’s really fun to design, but it is not as simple as it seems. As you can see in our design examples, there are many shapes that overlay each other and it’s very important that the color palettes are sophisticated, and well thought out. The colors must work in harmony with each other, and the shapes used throughout the design.
The use of fonts is usually kept pretty simple, although I do see some brush fonts being used occasionally as highlights. Gone with the muted tones, and in 2020 I feel we will see much brighter colors being used, and more textures being introduced. As the hand-cut style becomes even more popular, I’m positive that the corporate world will see its positives, and utilize it into their branding and marketing collateral.
2020 DESIGN TREND #2 NEW WAVE
A re-imagination of the Euro-Punk movement from the late ’70s and ’80s, the fashion industry has been at the forefront of this style forever. But what’s interesting now is its progression onto everything digital and social. I’m seeing it consistently across club night flyers, sales promotions, and even church events… A natural progression as those industries try to tap into a younger, edgy demographic.
As you can see by the example below it’s so different from the “organic hand-cut style”, New wave is extremely polished and well thought out. It’s an industrial style, almost manufactured like a warning label. It kind of promotes a sense of urgency… Flash Sale! Flash Sale! Flash Sale! like a ‘do not cross’ police tape…It uses high contrasting color palettes and even colors that you would never think to go together work so well here.
Just like color, typography is big, bold and dramatic, and is one of the key characteristics of the style. Words can repeat to emphasize dates, times or CTAs and even flipped on their side, or layered over or behind images. It’s not that important for typography to be legible, as it’s used more as a design element.
The reason why this style looks so structured and ‘designed’ is that everything is formatted to a grid. That is the golden rule of this style. Images are usually in frames, either cropped to an edge or centered within a layout. Monoline elements and fonts contrast with grungy textures, repeating patterns and elements like torn paper or tape.
When this new “New wave’ style began getting visibility, I only observed simple slab and san serif fonts being used. As the style grows, I’m now seeing the use of heavy serif and display fonts in new designs.
It’s going to be really exciting to see how the style develops throughout the next year. Could we see the style go more grungy? Or could we see the color palettes used go more neon? My prediction is we’re going to see a whole lot more of this style in 2020 and I can not wait.
DESIGN TREND #3 METALLIC AND FOIL FINISHES
Yaaas to the foil. As my teammates know…I can’t get enough of the shiny stuff and thank goodness that we can now get its effects a little easier. Gold, Rose gold, Silver, Holographic, Bring on the bling… We’re going to see more designs in 2020 using images of foil textures dropped into shapes and text masks.
Historically, foils were used to give a sense of elegance they were always used sparingly due to the cost to print, but now we have no limitations in digital artwork I think we’re going to see more creative uses of them. Not just as highlights, but more as the focus of the design or even spanning the entire design.
That’s exciting because they are so effective, especially in digital graphics! They still look great when used in print collateral but where they ‘shine’ most are viewed on a digital space.
Just like we saw the trend of subtle pastel colors emerge a few years ago, I see these palettes will venture into the foil form. The lighter color tones and gradients are perfect to achieve that glossy holographic effect…and who doesn’t love a rainbow?!
I’m already starting to see these holographic textures used everywhere from social posts to event flyers, so I have no doubt the use of these shiny textures will just get more prolific in the coming year.
DESIGN TREND #4 COLLAGE STYLE ARTWORK
“Collage is back!”, screamed every designer who was around 10 years ago. It was fun then, and it’s going to be super fun in 2020.
But this new take on collage will have a slightly less refined feel than it did the last time around. The designs will be much less geometrically balanced, and more loosely put together [kind of like a family scrapbook]. We’ll see a mix up of elements used in previous styles discussed but in two very different interpretations:
In one direction we’ll see a steer towards a more feminine look and feel (and is probably going to be the most popular); using strong fashion style images layered with vintage touches and everything floral.
The use of handwritten words and paper textures gives me the feeling of a diary entry or hazy memory.
I’m predicting the other take on collage will utilize more characteristics of the ‘new wave style’. Edgier and industrial, using fewer pastels and more contrasting color palettes and grungy textures. And to achieve these awesome super layered designs, we’ll see a slight cross over with the type of elements used. This will include more of the hand-drawn elements including brushes, shapes, and squiggles, mixed with organic shapes and abstract image masks.
Paint, paper and foil textures will be all over both these approaches, giving this style of creative a sense that each design is an artwork, like a bespoke “one-off piece” unable to be replicated or manufactured. Our connection to the authentic makes this such a strong creative direction for consumer engagement, and why it’s going to be so popular throughout the year.
Hot tip: Achieve that collage look with our Background remove feature!
OVER TO YOU
What do you think of Kris’s design trend predictions for 2020? Will you be trying out any of his suggested techniques in your social media or marketing materials? Let us know in the comments below, or tag your designs with #madeineasil so we can check them out!