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Hopping Mad Designs Reviews Graphic Design Trends for 2016

November 13 2015

Hopping Mad Designs reviews whats in store for 2016 when it comes to graphic design trends.

There is so much going on and happening that we thought we would give you a preview of our insights as to the next ‘big thing’ in the graphics world.

Dramatic Typography.

Typography is an element of graphic design that will never cease to exist and always take precedence. Thanks to Google fonts, web designers aren’t constricted to the somewhat dated web-compatible.

Dramatic type covers a range of different objects and elements- big letters, small letter, characters and strokes, bespoke handwritten pieces, images overlaid with characters. Generally designers are aiming for simple, dramatic typography that is easy to read as well as being visually appealing.

Minimalism as emerged as a popular style in web and print design, centred around negative space and highly relying on effective typography, especially on sites that don’t use a lot of imagery.

Words are essentially the foundation for all interactions on a website, so how you use those words is particularly important.

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Hero images/videos

High definition images are a sure fire way of grabbing someone’s attention. With continual advancements in bandwidth, data compression as well as an increasing pixel density per screen, large high definition images are something we no longer need to fear.

Generally layouts have a key hero image above the fold, but its becoming more common to find them littered throughout the page, to not only give a stronger sense of the brand, product or lifestyle that’s being represented, but to engage and steer the user.

Showing objects in their natural environment or being used (lifestyle photography) is also becoming an increasing popular context for hero images as it has proven to boost conversion rates.

The idea also applies to full width video backgrounds. Having a video as your hero images is an easy way to project a convincing message about your company.

These ideas translate into print as well, with high-quality photography and illustrations taking precedence over layout and typography. Images tend to bleed right to the edge of the page, with simple brand and a call to action overlayed.

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Print will be influenced by digital

If the previous examples of typography and hero images are anything to go by, we anticipate that digital will continue to inspire print. Print design has almost become secondary to digital, with more and more business, promotion and networking being done online, it makes sense that what is depicted on your website, is translated seamlessly into any printed collateral.

 

Flat design – it’s not leaving us yet

Flat design is definitely here to stay, with its inherent simplicity, its not hard to see why. It works to enhance user experience, making a website instinctual even with a responsive design.

Although popular, flat design has begun to evolve. Originally, flat design was completely two dimensions, it now plays with an idea of “almost flat” to create eye-catching engaging elements. The use of long shadows is particularly prominent to add depth, while keeping elements simple.

Ghost buttons are also very popular elements, especially in conjunction with hero images – often to create a conversion friendly site.

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Material Design

As Google continues to dominate the world of web, it only makes sense to embrace it. Google describes material design as “A visual language for our users that synthesizes the classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science”. For designers, this involves looking at the material environment as a 3D space, meaning all objects have an x, y and z dimension, and the z-axis is perpendicularly aligned to the plane of the display. Each element holds a position on the x, y and z-axis. The concept of material design is a progression from flat designs that makes boarder use of grid-based layouts, depth and responsive animations. Material design can be thought of as the creation of physical surfaces and edges within a webpage. It has started to pop-up on a few new websites, and we believe it will play a big part in design in 2016.

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Micro Interactions

The difference between good design and great design is in the details. A conversion focus site might have 3-4 call out areas that are geared towards interaction. But instead of being driven to another page or pop-up, the area will simply expand for the interaction to take place. This allows for the simplification of initial navigation paths and allows the designer to present a variety of choices without overwhelming the user, or diverting traffic to separate pages.

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Being Original!

This is a bit of a contradiction considering we’re talking about trends, being original is a trend that will never die. With flat design, hero images and dramatic typography dominating the Internet, its easy to see why all website are beginning to look a little bit the same. Even if you’ve only recently adopted these elements, your website might be feeling a bit stale.

Custom or stock photography is a ongoing debate, although stock photography is cheaper, custom photography always prevails as you have control over your content and it is tailored to your needs.

Websites and logo designs that stand out are going to be those that use genuine photos, their own words and bespoke elements and animations.