2018 Design Trends: Predictions from Top Creatives

DECEMBER 22 2017

Pulling these prediction pieces together every year gets more and more dizzying each time. In 2015, creatives were predicting the rise of animation and motion graphics. In 2016, we expected greater digital experiences and the solidifying of mobile-first technology. And now, in 2017, our focus turns greatly to augmented and virtual reality. Those little handheld computers we carry with us at all times are about to become even more important to designers everywhere.

Here are just some of the possible 2018 design trends we’ll be seeing after we ring in the New Year! 

“The biggest trend I see is bridging the gap between physical (analog/disconnected) and digital (connected).

“Of course, this is all driven by the internet, software and the next tech revolution, AI/AR. Making the inanimate – animated and the dumb – smart.

“But I actually see it as a two-way street. The physical experience is getting more digital and connected. But the digital experience is actually taking on more physical qualities. What I mean by that is we are creating more immersive, human-centric and life-like experiences in digital world. One of the best examples of that this year was what Google did to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hip-Hop. The Google Doodle takeovers have been around for a while but this was on another level. They brought in innovative tech and created an immersive, lifelike experience that brought some “pixels” to life and and had them take on a whole new meaning. The experience transcended the Google brand and medium (Doodle) as evidenced by the sheer joy (and buzz) this created for people worldwide.”

—Ivan Entchevitch, Executive Creative Director, SET


“As consumers become ever more accustomed to comparing prices, exploring options and ultimately making purchases online, real world retail environments will continue to be rethought and redesigned. Rather than simply facilitating transactions, brands will need to design their brick and mortar locations to let customers experience not only their products and services, but the essence of what makes their brand differentiated from the competition. Today, this often manifests into hands-on, digitally-led experiences that guide the consumer into the purchase funnel."

“But another trend we hope to see in 2018 is as old as retail itself: remembering that well-designed brand experiences means having well trained, motivated and engaging employees. These people remain the best and most important part of any brand engagement: a good experience will dramatically raise the likelihood of a sale, whereas a rude or negative interaction will likely turn the consumer off your brand for good. Brands like Nike really understand this balance, keeping staff engaged, motivated and invested in making the consumer experience as exciting as possible, augmented by excellently designed (and regularly updated) digital and physical touch points that facilitate positive interactions and ultimately drive sales.”

—Dan Carter, Creative Director of North America, SET Live


By: Callie Budrick with HowDesign.com

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