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2018 Design Trend Predictions

In the last few years we’ve seen fresh approaches such as flat design and parallax storming the creative design world.

Now the New Year is here, one question we’ve been asking ourselves is, “What design trends will define 2018?”

Luckily our Design Director, Darren Wilson, is on hand to shed some light on the year ahead!

1. Bolder Typefaces

2016 brought pencil thin fonts and 2017 saw semi bold/bold typography, but 2018 will see the revival of heavy font-weights. Harking back to the days of when printed news was the norm, a bold font is the way forward if you want to get a short and snappy headline statement in front of your audience.

bold typefaces example

2. Original images

There’s been a massive rise in the number of websites using original imagery over the last two to three years. Gone are the days when stock imagery was the norm. Companies are now seeing the importance of leaving a strong, personal impression. Images that reflect and connect with your audience are hard to find in stock image libraries, and you run the risk of using imagery that has been used many times before. Commissioning photography for your marketing material and website is a much better approach, and worth the investment. We incorporated this trend into our work with the The Daffodil Hotel; beautiful, unique imagery helped sell the hotel to potential customers.

Daffodil Hote website design

3. Negative Space

In a world where attention is becoming harder to grab, and time is precious, we are seeing the trend for more white space continue. By creating precisely spaced elements and giving web pages more ‘breathing space’, negative space helps to illustrate specific details by allowing a user to concentrate on one thing at a time. We used this technique when designing the FIVE Hotels and Resorts website, where negative space allowed us to highlight the hotel’s USPs.

Five Hotels website designWe’ve watched the use of bold colours and gradients grow over the past six months, and this trend is showing no signs of slowing down. Designers (and clients!) are becoming braver and less shy of experimenting with colour, and we think this approach will continue to pick up pace. Expect to see more bright, bold websites popping up in 2018!

Bold colours example

5. Triggered animations

Triggered animations are a bit like parallax (a technique where background images move slower than the foreground images, giving the illusions of depth) but instead they are only triggered at a certain point during a user’s viewport. These animations are prompted by the user’s mouse movements, or when they hit certain parts of a page. This makes triggered animations great for taking a user through a story and showing off a product’s features.

6. Animated GIFs

Animated GIFs have been around for years, and have often been associated with annoying banner ads in the past. But thanks to social media, they have seen a revival recently in a slightly more creative, acceptable form. Used thoughtfully, the good ol’ animated GIF can be a great way to grab attention, and bring elements of your site to life. For instance, you could use one to show off different aspects of your product, like Outline London has done. Animated GIFs are also great for email campaigns, highlighting a call-to-action or offer.

GIF example

7. Semi-flat design

Flat design completely changed the web design industry, it shifted the emphasis from skeuomorphic design to a cleaner style, that focused on content and usability. The ever-increasing level of behavioural insight now at our fingertips means we can continue to push the flat design envelope further by using features such as drop shadows.  Drop shadows, when used in a subtle way, add emphasis to an area or a subject, ultimately helping conversions.

Semi flat design example

2018 looks to be a brilliant year for design and digital marketing so look out for these trends appearing across the web. Tweet us your design predictions for this year over on our Twitter.

If you’re looking for a new website or would like to learn more about what Fat Media can do for you, drop us an email at [email protected].