Design trends in 2018


New year again! It’s a good time to take a look at the design field and what new it might bring to us this year. During 2017 we saw an increasing amount of broken grids, clean and bold typography and for example duotone photography. These trends will continue to live strong but also other some trends will gain visibility. We collected some trends that you’ll probably see more of this year in graphic design.


1. Responsive logos

Everybody dealing with websites on different sized devices understands the value of responsiveness. A website for example has to work well and look good both on a wide iMac as well as narrow phone screen. No zooming or horizontal scrolling should be needed. This is fairly obvious and an internet standard by now, thankfully.

However, what you may have not noticed is that logos can vary according to available space too. When you think about it, it makes total sense. If a logo is seen on a bigger poster and has plenty of space around it, it can look different than when it has to be fitted into a tiny space like a favicon. Many big brands have created a family of logotypes that are meant for different use cases.

If you want to try it out for yourself, see how responsive logos work in action.


2. Logo animations

For almost the past decade, the trend on logo and icon design has been “less is more”. Brands have renewed their logos and gone from detailed, 3D-feeling or gradient logos to simple and flat designs as you probably remember if you compare older logos of Google or Microsoft, for example. Now, however, brands will start bringing back some twist to the minimalism which can be done with logo animations. Company logos are more and more seen on digital platforms, which encourages to take advantage of the digital possibilities like adding movement.


3. Custom illustrations

As the understanding and appreciation towards good design (and thus willingness to invest in it) keeps growing, along comes the increase in custom illustrations. One good example is Uber who renewed their visual identity and made illustrations an important part of it.

Photo: Uber


Furthermore, brands are able to present these campaigns as artist collaborations, highlighting also artist and not purely being a pretty image for their adds. Nice examples of this kind of approach are for example Dropbox and WeTransfer. 


Photo: Dropbox


Photo: WeTransfer


The illustration style doesn’t always have to be the same but it can vary depending on the artist and campaign. It’s like Marty Neumeier wrote on his book The Brand Gap:

Brands are like people. If people can change their clothes without changing their character, why can’t brands?”

4. Custom typography

During the past years bold and clean typography has been used a lot. For example, a popular typeface has been Circular, which you may have seen for example on the website of Airbnb, represents this minimalistic style well.

Photo: Airbnb


Now, however, more playful custom fonts are being used by brands when creating visual identities as well. It’s all in the details: your brand can still maintain a credible and professional look but with a tiny twist. Simply by adding detail to the angels of the letter parts, you can have a recognisable font that brings your visual identity to life.


Photos: Typewolf


As a conclusion, a lot of interesting trends will be seen more and more this year. What they all have in common seems to be adding a hint of playfulness to visual identities: whether it’s animations, illustrations or frisky custom typography, the message is that you can experiment a bit with your brand and still maintain high quality and a credible brand image. So this year, let’s have some fun!