The landscape of design and branding is changing faster than ever. Mobile-friendliness has become an absolute must-have, rather than afterthought. The creative presentation of text is making content leap off the page. More down-to-earth logos and iconography are emerging in response to an ever-greater demand for simplicity and authenticity. This same demand is driving the preference for original over generic photography. We’re also seeing more illustrations, animations and artful infographics. Finally, video is taking center stage, while AR and VR are waiting in the wings.

Let’s take a good look at each of these six design and branding trends in greater detail:

The Mobile-First Approach

Designers and marketers in 2017 are creating their sites and brands first and foremost with mobile in mind. Responsive design principles are driving key decisions to ensure that websites, including logos, look perfect and load fast on any device. Now that mobile-friendliness is a key component of SEO, not only users but Google is demanding a mobile-first approach to design and branding. Naturally, designing with mobile in mind is now as important for marketers trying to attract search traffic as it is for designers trying to provide the ideal user experience.

Creative Presentation of Text

When it comes to presenting text, designers and marketers in 2017 are choosing typography that is original, artful and bold to get their message across. In ever-increasing numbers, the primary content on sites and apps is leaping off the page in new ways. We’re seeing custom fonts, hand-written text, creative use of size and angle, and a whole host of other creative presentations of text.

Down-to-Earth Logos and Iconography

Rather than creating logos and icons designed to impress or dazzle the user, designers and marketers in 2017 are creating logos that meet people where they are. Logos and icons are becoming simpler, more down-to-earth, even folksy and old-fashioned. Here the trend toward simplicity and authenticity works together with the trend toward mobile-friendliness. The flashy, large-file logos of yesteryear are getting pushed aside by the simple, fast-loading logos of today.

The Rise of Original Photography

Nowhere is the current preference for authenticity clearer than in the trend toward original photography. Generic photos of staged situations that look like they were bought on a high-volume stock-imagery site are just not emotionally compelling anymore. People want to see authentic photos that capture genuine, rough-at-the-edges situations with everyday people who just happen to have a camera or camera-phone handy as they catalogue their lives.

Creative Illustrations, Animations and Infographics

Illustrations, animations and infographics are on the rapid rise. Following along with the authentic turn that design as a whole has taken in recent years, illustrations, animations and infographics in 2017 often look hand-drawn rather than computer-generated. This change conveys the idea that creativity matters more than polish, an idea that resonates with millenials and their parents alike.

Video, AR and VR

For more than a decade now, video has been gaining prominence in the design and branding world without ever stealing the headlines. Today, in 2017, video has finally found its way into the center of nearly every design-oriented marketing strategy. Looking ahead, there are two extensions of video that no designer or marketer can ignore: augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). As more people begin to experiment with these emerging technologies and spaces, forward-looking brands will want to be right there with them.

Year after year, new design and marketing trends pop up that challenge the old way of doing things. At Mindshape, we keep up-to-date on the latest marketing opportunites and develop inventive and creative ways to capitalize on them. Interested in learning more? Contact us today!