Guest article

Brand design trends to watch this year: expert insight

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Brand design trends to watch this year: expert insight
From augmented reality to animation and intuitive packaging, in this guest article, we get the top brand design predictions for the coming year.

Fifteen​, a digital agency in Nottingham, UK, has put together the following insights and predictions for the year ahead.

Developing challenges

This year brands are faced with consistently developing challenges, whether that comes in the form of Facebook’s changing news feed or adaptable brand identity concerns.

Last year saw the rise of digital campaigns, interactive ads and influencer marketing, all of which showed brands now had a lot more power in their messaging than previously believed.

Animation and intuitive logos

In the digital age, logos are no longer printed and set in stone – never to change again. As designers, we do not need to come up with a brand mark which can never change. In today’s world, we can now look for ways to create a design “system” which has limits, but allows variation whilst still being recognisable.

This is not altogether new. TV brands such as MTV and Channel 4 have been using the shape of their letters in variations for years. Not only, does branding have to adapt to changing audiences but constantly evolving platforms.

In the social-sphere, timelines and newsfeeds are becoming party to a pay for play set up.

Organic content becomes harder and harder to promote and hence less and less is seen. Here is where we see the introduction of animated and intuitive logos, which focus mainly on user experience and how the brand is perceived across a social platform.

VR and Augmented Reality

Not only do brands face huge developing design changes, but they’re having to come to terms with all the emerging technological advancements.

A huge one to keep tabs on, is the VR and augmented reality trend that continues to sweep our channels.

As VR technology becomes more accessible – get set for more experiences that will give you a physical presence in a virtual environment. R is already in use and is set to take off in 2018.

With the rise of wearable technology and the use of better cameras in smartphones – combining the virtual with the real is only going to increase.

The Pokémon Go game experience which utilised AR proved very popular in 2016/2017 but we predict that we will see more meaningful uses of this technology in 2018 (not that Pokémon doesn’t have its uses!).

Custom Photography

Whilst augmented reality and video content, dominate our timelines, the humble image hasn’t lost its place. However, in order to stand out, it has to be on brand and personal.

Standard stock library images have their place. For brands looking to communicate authentic meaning custom graphics and photography is essential. We call this “visual language” of a brand.

Consideration of the type of brand story that is being communicated, the competition and the meaning of the brand in the audiences lives – all help to decide a unique style of presentation.

Having this allows a brand to stand out and be recognisable, even if their logo is covered up. In trying to present themselves as different and authentic – we predict more usages of custom illustrations, bespoke image treatments and authentic photography.

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