Pushing visual and communicative design to the next level in 2013 will require a partnership between designer, marketing team and client more now than ever. Clients are seeing and experiencing just enough in the design world to be dangerous. It is up to the whole marketing team to take our clients design to new, measurable, increasing heights.

Design trends in commercial applications tend to be a result of function rather than pure aesthetics or artistry. Weighty, rich design has now given way to functional, back-end driven design in a way that hasn’t been seen in some time - if ever. Designers are no longer limited by the technology of their tools. This has led to a time of reflection, cleansing and an attitude of “just because we can do this, doesn’t mean we should”.

Where is design heading in the next year?

Simplified design: A trend that will continue to increase is simplification of design. Stripping design back to essentials is a designtrends 250response to an overstimulated market. It allows for greater versatility of brand and its application across ever increasing mediums.

Responsive Web Design: Moving from the desktop to mobile for web browsing has demanded a fluid, one-time design solution that adapts to the viewers medium. Saving time and money, and overcoming the impossible task of custom designing to the ever increasing resolutions and interfaces we deal with has become paramount in todays financial climate. The challenge with responsive web design from a designer’s perspective is concept design for something that is fluid. There is a real chance for creativity in this field to flourish in the next year.

Social Advertising: The movement of companies, as well as individuals onto a social marketing platform has increased the need for a more personal tailored approach to graphics and advertisements for these applications.

Infographics: Attention spans and time itself are in short supply within our modern society. Interesting, clear and visually appealing infographics are more important than ever to both capture the audience’s attention and allow efficient digestion of information.

Digital Print: Cost concerns, tighter, more topical driven deadlines in competition with the fast moving, “social” world has resulted in the convenience, personalisation, smaller print runs and flexibility of digital print increasing in the recent past. This will only continue in the future, although we may see a backlash in certain sectors, wherein Specialty and experimental premium print treatments offer companies, magazines etc. a chance to stand out from the crowd and offer a sensual experience lacking in the digital purely digital realm.

Hand Drawn Illustration:
A reaction to stock photo oversaturation and the attempt to cut designers out of the process is an increase in hand drawn illustration and advanced custom digital illustration. It gives quality and uniqueness to a design and consequently to it’s parent brand and/or company.

For designers to be able to push design to a more functional and visually pleasing level there must be an element of trust from the client. A departure from clients (often dated), expectations of needlessly elaborate designs with “pop”, “flashiness” and all the things that don’t reflect the core qualities of the brand is needed. Collaboration between, designers, developers, Account Managers and Clients are needed for the designer to be allowed to reach these new heights. Designers, Art Directors and Creative Directors have a challenging and therefore, (potentially), a very satisfying year or two ahead of us.