Eager to introduce some fashionable flair to your graphic designs? Let’s take a closer look at what’s trending this year.

Responsive logos

Responsive design first began to revolutionise the web more than a decade ago, but the notion of creating logos that would meet the same high expectations of users has only very recently gained attention. In recent years, brands have been simplifying and modernising their logos and so the next logical step is to utilise the power of responsive logo design.

Stepping away from rigid rules to a more contextual way of branding is radical, but scalable capabilities mean that brands can ensure their identities remain visible and recognisable in a variety of different digital environments.

Gradients

Colour gradients were once the pinnacle of excellent graphic design. Pre-2007 page headers, corporate materials and PowerPoint presentations simply weren’t up to scratch if they didn’t incorporate a colour gradient to provide an eye-catching background to images, graphics and copy. In early 2008, flat design began to overshadow gradients, quickly becoming the driving force of innovative design for almost a decade.

Flat design has continued to evolve and gradients have had an ultra-modernising makeover that has revitalised their relevance. Gradients are now being used as an enhancing feature within flat design, with brands like Instagram and Stripe cementing their comeback. Look out for gradients used in everything from backgrounds and overlays to illustrations, branding and bold UI design.

Added depth

Along with the return of gradients, it’s also time to welcome shadows back into the design sphere. Shadows fell out of favour during the rise of two-dimensional design and ultra-minimal interfaces, but designers are now being reminded of how valuable shadows can be.

While the drop-shadow once reigned supreme, designers are now opting for a markedly subtler sense of depth and are using shadows to help users understand the visual hierarchy of a site. Additionally, shadows are also being used to highlight calls to action (CTAs) and input fields. Expect to see more shadows used in illustrations and icons, as well as within apps, website interfaces and print design.

Duotones

Duotones originated as a product of the halftone printing process, but this traditional process has found a new lease of life within the modern sphere of digital media. Spotify’s duotone images across its promotional microsites and the app itself are being hailed as one of the main reasons why duotones are experiencing a resurgence in popularity.

Designers have discovered that the limited colour palettes of duotone images complement semi-flat design seamlessly, which is why you should expect to see more of this simple yet bold design element throughout 2018.

Patterns and colour palettes inspired by the 80s and 90s

What goes around always comes back around, and now it’s the turn of hues, which last saw this level of popularity in the 1980s and 90s. As design has begun to move away from the ultra-flat world and the kids of the 80s and 90s come into their own as key target audiences and brand leaders, patterns are becoming more popular and vibrant hues and pretty pastel tones are coming along for the ride.

This trend is ideal for experimenting with hints of nostalgia, but these features can also be used to inject a touch of visual excitement into designs.