Top Creative Trends for 2018

Insights / 01.11.2018

Red Door

Staying up to date with emerging trends is an important part of the job for our creative team. Not only do we want to deliver the high-quality creative work that our clients expect of us, but we want to ensure that we’re utilizing current and relevant design principles and practices. Last year, bold typography, geometric shapes, color transitions, as well as short videos and GIFs for social content were all in style. So, what’s going to be big this year? To gain some insight, we asked our creative team what they foresee. Here are their top four predictions for creative trends in the marketing world in 2018: 

1. Instagrammable Brand Experiences 

2017 filled our Instagram feeds with Unicorn Frappuccinos, photo walls, and pop-up experiences, and we do not see that going away. We believe that this trend will continue to grow and expand to all kinds of brands, not just restaurants and retail. These ’grammable experiences are a great way for brands to share with their audience online, then entice them to connect offline at their physical location. Beyond that, these experiences immerse people in a brand’s ethos and help explain their values and product offerings in a way that leads people through an interactive story.

(Photo Credit: Monique Pouget. Location: Color Factory, San Francisco)

2. Making Still Images More Interesting 

a.    Movement
With video continuing to have a strong hold on the social world, designers are looking for ways to upgrade still images to make them more intriguing and engaging. From subtle patterned images with movement that appear to look like GIFs, to cinemagraph photography with select elements moving, our team believes that brands will be looking to add a variety of different types of motion to their still images this year.  

b.    Illustrations over photos
Over the past few years, brands have been incorporating hand-drawn and graphic overlays in their static and video advertisements. Thanks to Snapchat and Instagram Stories making filters and photo overlays extremely popular among consumers, we believe that this trend will only continue to grow in the graphic design and advertising world this year. In fact, we have already seen this trend starting to appear in the tail-end of last year, such as Spotify’s “2018 Goals.” These elements not only make photos more visually interesting, but designers are able to add artistic elements and better showcase a brand’s personality in one simple image. Because of that, we believe that this trend will continue to gain traction in both still images as well as in video advertisements. 


c.    More Depth and 3D
Minimalism and two-dimensional design have been a trend for a while, but recently we have seen designers and brands shifting away from this flat style and adding more depth into images instead. Images that have depth and shadows are more visually interesting and can enhance the message that the image is trying to convey. 

These images are created by layering and adding shadows to different elements, creating a visual hierarchy to help cue consumers on where to look first. The shadows that designers use to create these 3D objects are not the traditional drop shadows that make it seem like an object is floating on paper. Instead, designers are utilizing large shadows with soft edges that add subtle depth and dimension, making objects appear as though they are coming off the paper. 
3D images not only are more visually interesting, they allow brands to highlight product advantages in different ways, and they tend to have a higher—almost 5 times higher—retention rate compared to 2D advertisements. Over the next year, we see brands using these images in advertisements, as well as on websites and social media, to make consumers stop, think, and engage more with their content.


3. Increased Use of Augmented Reality 

Augmented and Virtual Reality are starting to take over the digital world (and just like the “age of mobile,” we’ve been hearing about it for years). We believe that AR is going to become more and more popular as technologies become more intuitive, affordable, and wide spread.  Facebook has an AR studio that they’re launching to make these types of things easier for brands to experiment with. Many brands, such as 19 Crimes Wine, have begun to integrate AR into their marketing initiatives, and we see many more following in their footsteps over the next year. 

4. Design and Content Becoming More Intertwined

Design and content have always depended on each other, but with so many new mediums and outlets popping up for users to consume and experience content, we see that planning for the entire customer journey from both a messaging and visual standpoint will be more important than ever. Whether it’s a visually focused piece that just needs a headline to drive the action, or a subtle image that requires the copy to do the heavy lifting, together design and content have to tell one seamless story, that translates into one seamless experience for the consumer.

What are some of the other trends you see being popular in 2018? Comment below and let us know what you think!

Creative Strategy & Production,Insights,Social Media

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