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The icons, custom photos and bold colours of 2016

January 11, 2016 by Klaus Uhlig
In my last post of 2015, I talked about the graphic design trends to expect as we march through 2016. But upon reflection, I realize that all five points are related to the web and the online side of graphic design. And although the web is an important aspect of graphic design and of our daily lives – traditional ink and paper design is still alive and well.

So, here are four more things to watch for this year – all of which are applicable in online and in paper design.

 1) Iconography becomes king. When done right, icons are easy to understand and an easy way for graphic designers to communicate information to the consumer. This year will see the rise of the icon as a way to use as few words as possible.

2) Stock imagery is on the outs. Overused and misused, the use of stock photos in all kinds of marketing material is on its way out. In its place will be the continued re-emergence of custom illustrations and custom photography as a way to focus on individuality and uniqueness.

3) Colour goes bold. In the 1970s, the colours and styles in trendy showrooms were reflected in the graphic designs of the time. That trend mostly disappeared for many years, but it’s making a comeback. Bold colours are popping up in graphic design – just as the same bold colour choices are appearing in places such as Queen Street West condo showrooms. There are some daring colours out there right now – colours that will simply make a design pop.

4) Personal branding is the way to go. Just as graphic designers are shifting strategies and techniques to evolve with the times, so are entrepreneurs. Personal branding is the way to go to cut through the clutter and differentiate oneself from everyone else. The question is no longer “do you have a personal brand?” but “what are you doing to cultivate your personal brand?” And graphic designers are the ones being called upon to help businesses develop that brand.