Emerging Graphic Design Trends for 2014 and Beyond

The landscape of visual graphic design is in constant flux. As tastes change and new technology makes sophisticated effects more available to consumers, these consumers are developing more refined tastes and expectations from graphic design. What was in vogue only a few years ago now seems out of date and passé now. As a visual graphic designer you need to have your finger on the pulse of the industry and know what trends are popular and what upcoming trends are just over the horizon.

What’s Cool and What is Old School?

Shutterstock has a wealth of information in its latest infographic. It covers the trends in graphic design from all over the world and lets you see what is hot in different parts of the world. If you are engaged in international website design this is information you need to know. Here are some of the most prevalent design trends Shutterstock has tracked for 2014.

  • Flat design is very popular for websites design. Flat design strips a page of shading, bevels, and other design elements and presents clean and simple graphics and colors. Many of these designs incorporate a monotone or limited color palette. A flat design may use one color and many different shades of the same color, or only use two or three colors in their graphic design.
  • Filtered images are still hot. Shutterstock reports a whopping increase of 661 percent in Instagram-like images in 2013 with no signs of slowing down. This type of image is very popular with millennials (a huge target audience with disposable income).
  • Shutterstock reports searches for authentic images of people in real-life settings are up 347 percent. Real-life images help consumers develop an emotional connection with the design. Graphic designers can use this connection to increase conversion for clients.
  • The top three typographic trends included analog, geometric, and hand lettered signage inspired type fonts.

International Tastes

Each region and area of the world has its own cultural tastes. What might strike a chord with a consumer in the US may fall flat in Asia or Europe. In website design this translates to a need for separate pages for countries and regions tailored to their tastes and cultural norms. Here are some examples Shutterstock reports in their infographic.

  • In the United States Business and Technology images are popular searches, while in Canada conceptual icons are popular. And in Mexico people searched for images of family more often than in the US and Canada.
  • In Europe searchers in the UK looked for infographic elements, people in Germany searched for international connections, and French tastes ran toward black and white images. In the Netherlands searches for vibrant textures were popular, and searches in Sweden centered on health. Turkish users searched for banners and badges frequently.
  • Russian searchers gravitated toward bright colors, but in China pastels were more popular. Users in Korea searched for handmade designs while searches in Japan centered on more traditional floral patterns. Culture and tradition images were popular in India. In South Africa and Australia natural settings and wildlife images were both popular searches.

It will be interesting to see where these trends lead. As society changes and the economy becomes more global you may see a blending of tastes and trends in the near future. Until then it is important to know the latest regional and local trends so that you can meet your clients’ needs.

Author: Kathryn McDowell