We contacted some very famous graphic designers (and also a few who aren’t quite famous yet) and we asked all of them one question:
What will be the biggest trend in graphic design in 2017?
You can read all their replies and predictions below. The answers are varied, from serious answers to jokes, but we love the diversity of opinion.
A huge thank you to all of you who made this article possible by sending us your answers! You are the best!
Designer & illustrator, Grownup
“I’m not really very good at predicting trends, as my work always looks to the past more than the future, but I’m definitely starting to see a lot more 3D work around. I think people are starting to see 3D in a far more creative light than it used to be, as more and more people learn cinema 4D and integrate it into their general design practice. As far as where that trend is heading, I’m not really sure. As the technology is still fairly new, there aways seem to be mini trends ( at the moment it seems to be that everyone on my instagram feed is making colourful, hairy people dance, using mo-cap data) which means a lot of people’s work all looks pretty similar. That said, I think there’ll be more and more, really good abstract 3D work about. I think we’ll be seeing a lot more work from people like David Macleod, Velvet Spectrum, Six n Five etc popping up as stuff like that can work so well from fashion to ad campaigns.”
Designer, illustrator, Carpenter Collective
“I wouldn’t say it’s brand new, but it is most definitely a trend gaining traction. The practice of building brand identities with a strong library illustrations as a major part of the identity. Allowing the illustrations be a vehicle to tell the brand’s story is a very ownable way to develop an identity system. Our studio believes in building brand identity systems that are more than just a logo that you plop and drop on a bunch of stuff. By adding conceptually strong, and an easy to evolve library of illustrated assets, it’s a great way to further expand on your brand’s message and overall core attributes.”
Art director, illustrator, animator
“Swiss, without a doubt. (including Kanye)”
Graphic designer, writer
“I’d be disappointed if each year brought a new trend in graphic design, because a brief should be addressed according to the problem it brings rather than a style that dates when a trend has passed.”
Art director, designer, SDDS Studio
“Each year, production quality and standards, especially in packaging are higher each year. Pushing boundaries with paper and printing techniques are something that sets apart design output.
Aesthetically wise, texture, rough approach to form will be even more present in 2017 as we see those tendencies coming from “underground culture(s)” as a contrast to relatively minimalistic last 5 or 6 years when looking back at the production of major design studios. Design without design.
Animation will bring depth and liveliness to static posters once translated to digital medium, which we can see in use in various gifs/video/cinemagraph formats.”
Graphic designer, Logo Geek
“Gradients & going ‘old-school’.”
“In all of the ads you will see that everyone is wearing a giant cardboard ashtray hat in either pink or green and it will light up when you touch it and play music, likely ‘Baubles, Bangles and Beads’ at top volume with trombones and accordions. I think this a very positive trend to heal our nation.”
Designer, Artist, Author
“Designers need to be polymaths now; in addition to being able to design, they need to be able to write, draw, code, and market, position, brand and sell themselves. It is so much more competitive than ever, and employers and clients want to work with designers that can do way more than design. In many ways I think being a good designer is now table stakes for a career as a designer.”
Keetra Dean Dixon
Graphic Designer, Director, Artist
“I’m hoping for something a little enigmatic: I expect collaborative, open ended processes and determined voices to rule 2017. I love to see bold and opinionated conversations to effect both our design methods and outcomes.”
Graphic Designer, Marketer
“I expect more designs to simplify so they can appear on small mobile screens. More use of RGB colors that aren’t in CMYK ranges.”
Lead UI Designer, Bannersnack
“2017. The year of movement and dynamics
I think animations and micro interactions will play a major role in design, in the year to come. Designs should be entertaining, funky and dynamic no matter what. A web site, a facebook post, an article or an ad. Animations will make a huge comeback in 2017 thanks to fully developed HTML5 structure, all the mobile platforms and the whole kind of advanced prototyping platforms that help designers push their creative ideas even further and making them more involved in the development of the apps and websites.”
Digital Product Designer, Cognetik
“I think that 2017 will be a great year for design, but because I’m an UI/UX designer, I will concentrate mainly on this area.
Usability will become the main focus of every UI/UX designer. Besides a good looking interface you must be sure that your user can solve his problem. Micro-interactions also will be huge next year, helping the user to know what it’s happening while they interact with the UI.
There are also a couple of fields that might have a big boost next year: chatbots and design for VR.
In the next couple of years, I think, there will be an even bigger focus on the user and how they solve their problems. This need will create a connected ecosystem where the user can interact and get things done with minimum interactions.”
UI/UX Designer, Smartketer
” ‘Less is more’ tends to increase its value more and more! Talking about UX design, this feature brings not only a fresh good overall aspect, but also a plus of efficiency, defining more user friendly experiences.”
“Personally, I think that it’s the right time for a triage process from what we already have. A kind of mix-and-refine movement. I don’t consider that it’s the appropriate time to stop and think about something new, bold and out of this earth. It is simply the right moment to start re-experimenting, for example: type and animation or a retro-minimalist fusion. And, yes, all bursting with color up to the point in which you do not dilute the problem solving process. Design should be a science, not a new kind of miscommunicated art. Thus, in conclusion, I’d like 2017 to be the year in which design experiments Hawking’s 4th dimension: time!”
Web Designer & User Advocate
“Big type. Strong colours. Bold photography. Improved prototyping and real-time collaboration tools. Interesting and really unique layouts with simple, direct interactions.
That’s what I am hoping for 2017 to bring on the table.
Keep an eye on the conversational bots. Most interfaces are (more or less) a conversation now, so we should expect more and more bots capable of natural language understanding that can easily handle the subtleties of human speech.
VR gets more and more traction lately, so that it will have a great impact on the web quite soon, even though the some browser might not be ready for it.
But, as a passionate user advocate, I am hoping that 2017 will bring a higher focus on designing for content delivery, personalization and conversion. As designers, we need to create layouts that will allow the content to be king as it once was.”
“I believe 2017 will bring an increase in extravagant print designs. Since digital design is so ubiquitous, print designs have to be more innovative than ever to engage audiences’ imaginations. We’re going to see businesses increase their spending budgets for print materials and invest in more creative products with custom die-cut shapes, a mixture of imprint methods, and specialty paper stocks. This will create a strong market for print designs and boutique print shops during the course of the year.”
and a funny one:
graphic designer, author and founder of Draplin Design Co.
“Hopefully aiding the process of impeaching Donald Trump.”
Who do you agree with? What design trends do you predict for 2017?