Friday, 31 May 2013

Get Your Print and Marketing Communications on Trend for Summer 2013

After the high of national events in 2012, which saw some huge graphic design projects including the Olympics and Golden Jubilee Celebrations take place.  2013 is shaping up to be a year of budget sensitive, smaller design and marketing projects for many businesses.  This is influencing the way printing jobs are approached and designed, which in turn is affected by technological advancements in printing techniques.

Executing smaller print and marketing projects means it’s even more important to get your creative design and marketing messages right so you reap maximum benefits from your campaigns.  

Read on to find out what’s hot and what’s not for print and design in Summer 2013. 

1. Less is more: flat design
Many major international brands rebranded and/or changed their logos in 2012, with a common theme: minimalism.  Like Windows 8, flat colours with a clear lack of gradients was a popular change.  Microsoft’s 25 year old logo is no longer in italics, eBay has a definite flatter design with no overlapping font; even Twitter’s iconic bird was simplified further and lost some of its feathers.  These brands know that flat design works better when viewed on phones and tablets.  See the before and after logos.

Most recently ITV changed its logo drastically; the logo colour palette changes to pick colours that suit the programming backdrop.  Although detailed, its lack of background lends itself to imagery overlay and a change of mood depending on the programme it accompanies.

2. Imagery: simplified for the digital age
The digital age continues to influence all areas of design such as the need for websites to be viewed on tablets and smartphones.  Whilst many graphic design trends are influenced by fashion, practical use within these digital applications can be another key factor.

Increased use of smartphones and tablets means that iconography, rather than clipart, has become more and more popular.  However, for printed material, large photographs with text overlay look professional and make a great statement.

Instagram is a big influence with its retro imagery; its users are used to the easy application of filters to create weathered, Polaroid-style images.  Hand drawn illustrations are also making a comeback and add a more personal feel to graphic design.

3. Colours: bright and bold
Emerald is Pantone’s colour of the year - a bright, vivid traditional green.  Their fashion colours for Spring 2013 include Grayed Jade, Dusk Blue, African Violet and Poppy Red; all very fresh, clean colours. These lend themselves well to flat design, a lack of gradients and clean lines suited to digital viewing.

4. Typography: easier to read 
Large type in bold fonts - Slab Serif typefaces for example - are popular not just for their looks but also for easier viewing on portable devices.  Like illustrations having a more intimate feel, a hand-written font adds personality and individuality to a design, making it a friendlier typeface to read.  Another key trend is the use of multiple fonts in one design; as long as they complement each other they work well to produce a very modern design.

Web designers are aware of the importance of white space and this has influenced the lack of crowding around text - again, less is more and legibility is key. 

5. Smaller projects, higher quality
2012 was the year of huge events with their associated design projects.  By contrast 2013 is proving to be a year when businesses are revisiting their budgets and turning to high quality, smaller print runs.  The recession still continues to have an effect, but technological advances mean new print techniques and finishes are being employed.  Digital printing continues to become more popular than traditional print techniques.


Are there any key trends in design that you’ve seen this year?  Have you found the trend for flat design to be a welcome change from all the gradients and drop shadows that have dominated design over the last several years?  Let us know what you think. 

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