Largely irrelevant.

2018 Trend Report: Things that happened in 2017 that I'm guessing will keep happening

I'm not sure how accurate these 2018 DESIGN TREND posts really are (ask me in 12 months) but they're sort of fun and a great excuse to check the pulse of the design/arts community. I even surprised myself with how trend-affected my work has been despite being a freelance hermit. Thanks internet. So with that - I will introduce this future-telling guesswork as:

"Things that happened in 2017 that I'm guessing will keep happening"

Catchy, no? I have seen many of these design trends appear in big rebrands, repeating in design circles and I've been influenced by several in my own work over the last year.

Mid-Century Illustrations & Mixed Media

I'm extra excited to see more hand-drawn mid-century-esque illustrations and mixed media; I feel like it gives a tangible warmth that fully digital-made media lacks. Akin to a sleek modern home with squishy leather couches and fuzzy rugs - it makes the clean and beautiful also inviting and alive. It also channels our inner child who loves play and thats a beautiful thing.

Folks like Naomi Elliot, Lucy Banaji & Natasha Durley  are killing it (with cuteness).


Circa 1990 Color Palettes & Gradients

Speaking of inner child, 6 year old inner Emily is DIGGIN' the vibrant return of purple and pink gradients, overlays & duotones of my Lisa Frank childhood. Warm nostalgia for unicorns, trapper keepers and recess right there. But with most very loud design movements, I predict it'll reach burn-out sooner than later, just like the large and loud bangs of the 80's (thankfully) did. But then gain, some people are doing it so well (cough* Magdiel Lopez  cough) you just hope it lasts awhile longer. Now, where is my Caboodle comeback?

Remember how HARD everyone made fun of gradients in designs just a few years ago and bam, here we are rediscovering the gradient tool (its under the paint bucket guys).

Speaking of colors, Pantone's Color of the year is Ultra-Violet. So...I guess they've got stock that the Lisa Frank movement has momentum. 

(Serif) Typography 

There probably won't be a day when beautiful typography isn't a thing, but I continue to be a big fan of exploring the artistry in a great glyph taking center stage to a layout. San serif typography still reigns in rebrands it seems but the under appreciated and timeless serif's are making serious headway. I mean, Jeff Sheldon of Ugmonk basically launched a new career & successful lifestyle brand based on a sexy ampersand, so if thats anything for the power of pretty glyphs. IDK what is. 


Duotones, Double Exposures and Double Lighting Effects

Then we've have a rise of double exposure, duotones for these retro sexy images that channel our action sci fi nerd. I had the chance to try this out with a project and it was a party (and challenge) to make two seamlessly integrated shots. Photographers are probably cringing at the the photoshop warriors trying to do what a good piece of film and some strategy should be, but here we are no less - dodge and burning our way to success.

Flora is the new Black

Florals were on everything. Thanks to the likes of Anna Rifle Bond of Rifle Paper, whom I feel like single-handedly made roses on day planners a thing again - the whole design world is itching for more flowers, palms, cacti and other cutsie friendly plants. 

Non-Visual Things that are Rad

What's hot that isn't a visual trend (but certainly effects design) that I'm also jazzed about? All-ages political engagement, civil rights, environmentally & socially conscious growth, inclusive representation, #metoo, accessible technology, gender-bending/breaking spokesmodels, leading ladies, sustainable humanitarian efforts, supporting immigration, refugees & #dreamers, private companies taking ownership on addressing climate change (cuz our gov is backpedaling), genuine & aware brand voices (and everyone that calls them out), intersectional feminism. Etc etc. 

I'll let the rest of this post be a visual mashup of what is so hot right now. Steamy hot. Hold onto your britches bitches hot. Happy 2018.



Disclosure, none of this art depicted is mine. Go check out these talented artists if you love their stuff please. I will credit/link to the original artist or at least the source (click into the piece) where I can find their information. 

Emily Bunnell