The graphic design scene is currently a very interesting and innovative place to be. If expressing your brand personality and embracing new styles is on your to-do list this year, here are some of the key approaches that will help you to assert your individuality.

Movement in everything from micro interactions to large animations

Tiny micro interaction animations add movement to web pages in ways that are designed to communicate directly with audiences and help them to complete tasks. Although not necessarily something users will be consciously aware of, micro-interactions are adept at helping audiences feel like they are manipulating an interface, for example, by liking an Instagram post or swiping left in an app. Microinteractions essentially provide feedback for completing an action, telling users that they are engaging in the correct way.

Large animations are immediately eye-catching and are effective tools for efficiently communicating processes, concepts and ideas. From adding interest to email marketing and intriguing audiences with cinemagraphs to enhancing icons, illustrations and logos, movement within graphic design is here to stay.

Bold typography

2018 is the year of big, bold typography, as on-screen trends start to follow in the footsteps of print-based evolutions. Many designers are throwing caution to the wind and saying the bigger the better, and audiences are responding well. You can expect more of these print trends to trickle through too, with creative layouts and alignment variations starting to make an appearance.

Sans serif fonts have essentially dominated the digital sphere for some time and although Helvetica-inspired fonts aren’t going anywhere, serif typefaces are making a definite comeback.

Custom illustrations and graphic art

As standing out from the crowd becomes increasingly difficult, personalised custom illustrations and graphics are soaring in popularity. Stock illustrations, calligraphy, paintings and drawings are available across the web, but if you are looking to get away from the homogenised aesthetic, opting for custom artwork provides the opportunity to introduce your brand personality and ethos into your imagery.

Expect more innovation and the emergence of a broader variety of art styles to sweep the web in 2018.

Authentic photography

Similar to stock artwork, stock photography has been a go-to for many brands for far too long. The issue is that authentic photography actually feels real, whereas stock imagery rarely does. This is actually another one of those 90s trends that have finally come back around because photography then was largely unfiltered and often didn’t feel at all staged.

Audiences love authenticity and they aren’t going to feel that you are being 100% genuine if your marketing contains images of models in offices smiling at their screens or shaking hands with one another in clinical looking settings. Instead, opt for interesting compositions, unexpected angles and images with personality.

Intricate vintage

Although firmly at odds with modern mainstream minimalism, many top-shelf brands are opting for intricate vintage-inspired designs, because they provide a distinctive yet sophisticated image that helps them to stand out from the crowd. Every aspect of this aesthetic must be executed seamlessly, from carefully-crafted logos to timeless illustrations and expertly-selected colour palettes.

Now, this isn’t a trend that every brand can immediately jump on, but natural, organic, and artisanal brands, and especially those within the food and beverage industry should strongly consider this aestheti, because it effortlessly conveys a wholesome and hand-crafted image.