If you want to see how quickly design moves, look back even just a few years ago at digital design trends that have already come and gone. Consumer needs and tastes evolve at lightspeed, and it’s the job of great design to adapt to meet them where they are.
But it isn’t always easy for the typical internet user to identify current or burgeoning trends in design. Many of us don’t think too deeply about current trends precisely because they blend into the background of what we perceive as normal, timely, and attractive. The following infographic highlights some of the emerging design trends of the coming year and can help connect the dots between design elements that are appearing all over the web.
The design team at Coastal Creative forecasts that design in 2018 will be all about combining elements of different mediums to create striking contrasts: Three-dimensional aesthetics on two-dimensional screens, photographs overlaid with vectors, flat illustrations with thoughtful movements built-in, etc.
With contrast as the overarching theme in design in 2018, many of these trends draw attention to the blurring distinction between the analog and digital worlds. We all consume a ton of content every day that pushes at this border between real and electronic: Think of Snapchat filters or CGI that looks like a photograph on steroids. And this development is far from over. Tech giants like Apple and Google are investing millions in the effort to bring augmented reality to a mass market audience. It should come as no surprise that today’s cutting-edge design seeks to play with and replicate the ever-shrinking distinction between real and digital through the aesthetics of contrast.
Perhaps because we are on the brink of a new phase in digitalization, many of the latest design trends borrow from the aesthetics of a time when the internet still felt incredibly new. In many ways, these predictions for 2018 design trends are like grown-up, suddenly chic versions of design elements that were popular during the early days of the web. Tiled backgrounds? Wallpaper is making a strong comeback, but its latest incarnations feature much subtler patterns and actually achieve harmony with the foreground of a website. Animations? Also forecasted to reappear in 2018, but without cumbersome Flash software and with content that is much more thoughtful than spammy banner ads.
But it’s not just old trends that are being refreshed in 2018. Even trends as recent as the now-tired hero image are getting a modern, contrastive makeover. Look out for split-page design, a design trend that will literally turn the concept of the hero-image on its head. The latest incarnation of the ever-persisting flat design is also beginning to appear with flat illustrations featuring softer edges and retro color palettes.
Check out Coastal Creative’s annual design trends infographic to get a glimpse into the exciting year in design that lies ahead of us. From the retro to the futuristic, here are the design elements that you are bound to see more of in 2018: