Watercolor is big this year

It can be seen everywhere from personal blogs and big brand publications to home decor and high fashion designs. From the whimsical and feminine to the bold and abstract, watercolor adds a more personalized, textured touch to your designs and branding.


A Tale of Two Design Trends…Will You Choose Pattern?

2017 is going to be a year of individualism in graphic design. Flat design was a very welcome addition to graphics last year, helping to simplify layouts and improve user experience, but it became so popular that it now feels saturated. This year we’ll see more arts and crafts inspired trends, and pattern and print will return in a big way.


Semi Flat Design

In the past few years flat design ruled the web design market but now, influenced by Material Design, it is becoming more dimensional. This transition begins with some light shadows, making it a semi flat design. The evolution of flat design from a minimalist style suits the new developing technologies. Flat design is still in, but it has undergone some improvements.



Cinemagraphs aren’t the regular gifs we see all around the web. Cinemagraphs are still images with minor elements moving in them. This technique makes a simple photo more realistic by bringing it to life.



Consumers are constantly facing unwanted distractions throughout their everyday interactions (fake news anyone?). Whether it’s in person, online, on social, or in our brick and mortar shopping. With that comes a sense of polarization that’s attached to brands. So much so that it can sometimes draw an “approval” line as to who can—or should—shop where, or what cereal we can put in our cart without people side-eyeing our choices. Brand messages need to dig deeper, prove their worth and credibility, and really do their homework when it comes to who they’re targeting. In 2017 brands will aim to become a refreshing unifier, verses staking stances. In all forms of communication, brands should integrate authentic messaging and reach consumers in more relatable and organic ways. To brand, without branding. To connect, without selling. To invite consumers to embrace ethos, over labels.
—Paul Davis, Creative Director, Ologie


Does your brand need to appeal to this rising trend? Does your packaging guidelines need upgrading too?


Multiple exposures

In photography, a multiple exposure is created when two or more exposures are superimposed to create a final image. Use of multiple exposures has been a big trend for a couple of years, and it’s now influencing the world of illustration too. For illustrators, there’s no need for technical knowhow, just a good eye and a little creativity to replicate the effect.


Depth and Drama

Jon Cockley is a co-founder of Handsome Frank, a London-based illustration agency. “Over the past two to three years, there was a real hunger for a kind of clean vector artwork,” says Cockley. “Now we are seeing a move away from those clean lines and more interest in texture, depth, and use of light and shadow. Clients often use ‘vector’ as a byword for an illustration style, not a file format.”

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Motion and Animation

Educators have to understand which skills will make their graduates successful when they leave school. Rick Lovell, illustration chair at SCAD, didn’t hesitate when asked what’s most important now: “Motion is number one. If today’s young illustrators don’t know how to make their work move, they are doomed,” he says. “Not necessarily full-featured animation, but a solid understanding of what an animation studio needs regarding an asset for animation. SCAD redesigned its illustration curriculum to address this need.”

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How far do we want to push this trend? Are you ready for the next wave of quirkiness?


Vibrant, Fluid Color

Color can express an instant, direct visual message. Perhaps no one understands the power of color better than Danish designer Maria Grønlund, whose keen eye and tremendous passion for color are so evident in her art and her brand as a designer. Grønlund is particularly intrigued with a recent color trend she sees in the art of “young illustrators who are working at an advanced level with colors and gradients that are neon bright but also soft, almost opalescent. The colors are part of the motif and play such a significant role in the art.”

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Shocking pink

At the top of our list for the trends of the season is pink, as candy pink, baby pink, deep cherry and raspberry provide a sweet new way to see fashion through rose-tinted glasses.


Ready to take a color upgrade? We can help you start with our Style Guides.