Discover the growing design trends from the past year, and how these trends can be applied to your future work.
Decades ago, our very recent ancestors predicted a plethora of insights and fun activities for 2020:
The first human would set foot on Mars. Cars would run solely on hydrogen energy, and drones would deliver just about everything. But even simple predictions need room to grow and manifest or to be humbled through time and the growing needs of its surrounding culture.
And now that 2020 is right around the corner, it’s time that we ask: Where has design taken us, and where will it go?
We’ve asked a few experts to shed light on growing design trends from the past year, and we’ll see how this insight can be applied to the future.
01. Design Trends
The newest graphic design trends have designers concentrating on concerns like efficiency, relatability, and production load. The global workspace is changing, and in order to produce more content faster, it’s almost like the world is becoming a pool of creative resources.
This time, brands are really feeling the pressure to loosen up. To release restrictive mindsets that take the fun out of living with design.
As a result, we’ll see more experimentation and creative freedom. Finally, you say. Perhaps taking a note from emerging creatives, brands now realize that experimentation is essential to longevity, aiming for ways to keep things fresh for the public.
So expect bold fonts and graphics. More customization is coming into play too. Envato Designer Steven Scott notices a common occurrence with big brands like Mailchimp and Dropbox. He explains:
Hear that? There are no mistakes in art other than not giving yourself lots of creative freedom. Besides, emerging tech in 2019 is even more promising now. He notes:
It’s a challenge, but a damn exciting time to be a designer.
An exciting one that’s full of potential and creativity. Inspiration comes from life, so to avoid burnout in particular, designers can utilize pre-made digital assets to speed up their work process and get back to living.
Here are a few actions we recommend: 100 Super Awesome Adobe Photoshop Actions From Envato Elements.
02. Illustration Trends
Pantone painted 2019 with living coral, a warm, lively color that has definitely made its way into recent illustration trends.
Artists Go Retro
Illustrators on Instagram are especially drawn to this hue, often pairing it with a 70s-like retro-modern aesthetic. And since words like retro and vintage mean something different to each generation, the audience gets to relive old favorites with a completely new experience.
Want to see how to incorporate more vibrant colors into your projects? Check out these inspiring assets: 2019’s Best Selling Graphics, Designs & Templates.
03. Mixed Media & 3D Trends
Consider this. Every trend is being seen by new eyes for the first time. Today you’ll introduce your niece to a creative YouTuber, but tomorrow she’ll show you how to build a computer.
Better Tech Means More Mixed Media
More tech means that future generations will grow into inherently creative adults, who nurture both digital and analog creative methods.
Trends are often a hodgepodge of other trends and mediums. Photo art, for example, combines retouching, digital painting, and photo compositing techniques for a singular result.
A 3D Takeover
In fact, the benefits of mixed media remind me of 3D and CGI design trends too.
From a purely creative perspective, 3D evades every artist’s worst fear: not knowing how to draw. It’s a mind-boggling solution, but very time intensive.
Many artists are realizing this, using 3D to explore multiple areas from abstract 3D animations to protruding typography. Even predictions of home-based 3D printing opens doors for all creatives, since it essentially explores new methods of efficiency.
So learn what you can and adjust your workflow as you go. Need a few lessons on efficiency? Check out these articles:
04. Photos Trends
Let’s just say that cameras are exponentially better than they’ve ever been. But as more devices are made for ultra HD, creators find themselves weighing the infinite pros and cons.
Envato Tuts+ Photo and Video Editor Jackson Couse lets us in on the strongest photography trends of 2019.
Back to Basics
Excited about emerging tech? Envato’s Gaby Jalbert highlights a return to the basics of good photography.
Still, emerging photo trends come with admittedly high costs to the environment. With growing concerns towards climate change, creators like Jackson worry about the effects of our photo obsession. He writes:
So why not get involved? Learn why it’s important to get political and how you can shape evolving photo trends for the future.
05. Video Trends
As visual artist Shantell Martin would say, are you you? YouTubers, Instagrammers and video creators of all walks of life are contemplating authenticity as they tackle an unfamiliar path to success.
Everyone wants to sit in the comfort of their own skin, especially if they’re going to be in front of a camera. And daily vlogging habits leave just about no room for exhausting facades.
Envato Video Marketing Specialist Jen McKinnon confirms this trend of authenticity.
But this also marks some great news for small businesses on a budget. She adds:
Still unsure about video? Even major corporations are taking more risks.
So what’s her advice? She leaves us with a stellar prediction.
To gain a further understanding of the video trends that matter in 2019 and how to implement them in your video strategy, check out our Video Marketing Guide.
VR and 360° Video
VideoHive Reviewer Tyson Frantz is especially intrigued by the influx of Virtual Reality tech and 360° video.
“The horizon of video technology rests almost solely on VR and 360° video. As this technology continues to advance, producers will have a multitude of powerful tools at their disposal for creating rich, interactive video projects,” he explains.
But if all of this talk of virtual reality leaves you overwhelmed, remember that there are simpler ways to bring your content to the public. Tyson says, consider converting voice podcasts to video.
So what will be the next soundtracks to our lives? Audio trends for 2019 prove that there is no stopping to the creativity of talented musicians and audio engineers.
High Energy Audio
Envato Audio Content Specialist Adrien Gardner explains the latest audio trends for 2019.
“Because their energy relies solely on the rhythms and the building strength of the drums, the result is that the visuals have a lot more space to be perceived, unhindered by the need to tune into the harmonies, melodies or transitions of an otherwise “musical” track,” Adrien explains.
You can also consider the role of stock media in the production of future audio content. Adrien adds:
07. Web Design
2019 web design trends are warm and inviting, says Envato Tuts+ Editor Ian Yates.
“In terms of aesthetics, at the moment you’ll see a lot of illustration, with warm, colourful palettes and organic forms showing up on websites across all kinds of industries.
SVG has really helped designers explore what’s possible with illustration and animation, giving us static decoration like on this Foton Software and App Landing Theme.”
We’ll also see a shift to more sans-serif typefaces to go along with these clean visuals. He explains:
Pro Web Design Tools
Senior ThemeForest Reviewer Kailoon Chan also recognizes how dramatically web design trends have changed to integrate more modern tools.
So What’s Next?
As 2020 approaches, try not to rush your projects. Creative trends typically show us what we collectively like, but we aren’t limited to them.
Consider the community impact of your efforts as well, as we all work together to see where design will take us. While you’re here, be sure to check out our digital trends analysis as well.