Like many aspects of the marketing world, design styles evolve as culture shifts. While scrolling through our social media feeds or flipping through a waiting room magazine, you’ll notice similarities in graphical elements across brands. Brand design is strategical. By understanding your brand strategy and impactful trends, brands can push features to reflect growth and remain relevant and credible among consumers.

Get ahead of the trends with GROWL’s top 10 design trends for 2020.

Top 10 Design Trends of 2020

In 2020, many emerging trends have sparked across social media. Considering consumer behavior and perception (in a recent report by Later & Over) combined with the expertise of the GROWL design team, these trends will keep your brand strategically looking fresh.

1 Muted Color Palettes

Although there are still plenty of vibrant colors used across marketing, muted and neutral color palettes are on the rise – pastel is in. This trend has primarily been seen among tech companies and brands seeking to reach a younger audience. Try adding black or white to vibrant colors, like red, for example, to tone down for a lighter pink or soft maroon; these are shades that resonate with a younger, tech-savvy audience.

2 Abstract Illustrations

Recently, illustrations have grown in popularity and usage frequency. Such designs can be intricate twists of colors and shapes fueled by imagination, or they can be simple abstract representations of familiar objects or faces. The key to using conceptual illustrations is to tell a unified story and make sure your brand is recognizable in the art.

3 Lines and Shapes

Adding flowing lines and simple shapes within the color palette is a great way to enhance your graphics. These elements fit best with heavy fonts styles. With this design style, simplicity is vital; consider these elements as textures that don’t distract from the primary messaging. Let the words tell the story and then use the negative space for lines and shapes.

4 Simple Heavy Fonts

Bold, heavy fonts make a statement. This style is great for headlines or short taglines, as they’ll help capture viewers’ attention. Heavy dark fonts pair well with muted colors, lines, and shapes. Utilizing typography in this way is an easy way to incorporate a popular design trend without derailing your brand evolution.

5 Mixed Typography 

Typography can have an immense impact on a brand’s look and feel; however, it’s essential to incorporate easy-to-read type into marketing material. One design trend of 2020 is the balance of vintage and modern elements. By using a simple serif combined with a strong san serif, it creates a strong, yet elegant feel. If this fits your brand, try using a serif font for headlines.

6 Vintage Influence

Taking inspiration from vintage design can make your brand evoke a sense of nostalgia, which has become increasingly more popular. While this style is a nice contrast to the modern minimalist style, brands are finding ways to combine them. If retro fits your brand strategy, try implementing vintage style typefaces, photo treatments, and other nostalgic elements.

7 Image & Text Masking 

Image and text masking aren’t new to the design world. In 2020, masking will modernize and focus on manipulating a photo within a shape to demonstrate a teaser of the picture. The shape could be brand/product related or textual. This is a captivating way to transform images and entice viewers to learn more.

8 Genuine Photography

Across digital and traditional media, consumers are believing brands less and trusting their peers more. This shift is accentuated in the authenticity of design, as showing the real, raw brand establishes deeper trust and credibility. Rather than always producing, or over-producing, images, brands are integrating genuine photos and branded stock photography into their marketing. If it fits your brand, soft color tones can help to create a dreamy brand-specific feel to the image.

9 Subtle Motion

Sometimes a “cinemagraph” effect on photos is a powerful way to capture the attention of your followers digitally. These simple animations add movement to a static image and can leverage your social platforms and email campaigns.

10 Simple Landing Pages

Any marketing, mainly digital, should drive prospects to your website. Thus, having a uniform brand look across all marketing materials is vital. The design of the website should match the feel that your social platform and ads evoke. Keeping your landing page user-friendly and straightforward will help build trust in your brand. Check out GROWL’s guide to developing a savvy homepage for more tips.

The graphics you use for your brand tell YOUR story, so while it is crucial to remain up to date on industry trends, never incorporate elements that are off-brand.

Need help evolving your brand strategy and design tactics? Contact the GROWL team today!

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