Author: Nate Wojtach, Graphic Designer II

Every year, we see new trends start to develop throughout the design industry. These trends are influenced by media, technology, the fashion industry, and more recently usability. 2017 is no different. Already we are starting to see the formation of a few new trends, as well as some advancements to trends that have already developed in years past. Below is a look into the emerging trends we think will break out and lead design in 2017


As technology and the internet continue to expand, consumers are seeing an increase of information constantly flooding into their daily lives. This constant influx starts to become noise to the consumer where nothing stands alone. As a result, companies and individuals alike are starting to opt for a minimalist approach. Brand’s such as Apple and Google, as well as countless others, have started to implement this “less is more” approach to try and become an escape from the noise of everyday advertising and provide their customers with a break from the over-stimulation that has become the norm.


In the past few years the flat graphic motif has ruled the web and app design world, but of recent these flat graphics have started to transform. This transition begins with light shadowing and dimensional color to give a semi-flat look. This semi-flat look goes hand in hand with the minimalist style while staying up with advancements in technology and pushing the design to more interesting and intriguing styles. Flat design is still in, but it is starting to receive a face lift. 


With an increase in content being created each year, the demand for quality imagery has increased as well. Now that everyone can be a ‘photographer’ simply by pulling out their phone, we are seeing an increase in the desire to see more authentic images in advertising. Brands can no longer simply pump out staged photographs from a set and have a lasting impact on consumers. Instead, there has been a movement to not only create authentic representations of products being used and consumed, but to show what the brand believes in as well. With photography-apps such as Instagram becoming more useful marketing tools, don’t expect this trend to fade anytime soon! 

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Modular design is becoming more of a staple than a trend in web design. The function of modular design and modular layouts is to break up text and imagery into interchangeable chunks. As the sizes of our screens continue to fluctuate, modular design allows for designers to create one look that can translate over multiple devices. A website that utilizes modular elements to present it’s content can easily be manipulated to fit a computer, tablet, and phone screen without any major issues arising from the change in size or layout in which the design is viewed. 


Cinemagraphs are still photographs in which a minor and repeated movement occurs, forming a video clip. They are published as an animated GIF or in other video formats, and can give the illusion that the viewer is watching an animation. This new medium has provided creatives with a magical new tool for storytelling. In our hustle and bustle world where everything and everyone seems to constantly be moving, cinemagraphs are a simple way for brands to bring to life a 'living photo' with emotion in a short, authentic, and innovative way. Companies such as Flixel have designed software to help designers execute cinemagraphs.  Expect to see more and more cinemagraphs in 2017.

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