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My Favourite 2018 Design Trends

Every Graphic Designer makes it one of their key priorities to stay on top of current trends. As we progress through the year, we start to notice new and upcoming trends beginning to surface and make their way to the top - some of which we thought would never peak in their design life. 

Serif Typefaces

People might not like what I am about to say, but until this year, I rarely ever used a serif typeface. I always felt that they were dated, old fashioned and some not even legible. However, after seeing bold serif typefaces such as 'Playfair' come into the limelight, I started to discover my underlying admiration for the type form. I realised that, if executed correctly, serif typefaces can appear insanely cool, modern and slick. Last years trend of the rounded, fluent, organic san serif typeface, was knocked back a peg and in has rolled the serif typeface, in all its glory, at the top.

Intersecting elements

Alongside many other designers, I too am in awe of this design trend. The idea of intertwining typography with objects, shapes and photographs to bring a piece of design to life is truly mesmerising. Whenever I see this trend I always find myself fascinated by the emphasis it creates and how it plays on perspective.

A selection of Nike posters which display examples of intertwining text with an image.

A selection of Nike posters which display examples of intertwining text with an image.

Duo Tone

I have recently discovered how to use gradient maps on Photoshop and since then I haven't looked back. They are the perfect way to transform an image into a two tone masterpiece - perfect if you are working on some branding work and want to emulate the colour palette throughout the imagery. Currently, my favourite colours to use are orange and purple. I love how dramatic the purple is alongside the warmer orange tones. 

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Retro-Modern Illustrations

I have always found 3d illustrations extremely impressive but there is just something about the smooth, flat 2d shapes used in retro, modern illustrations. They are so easy on the eye and effortless to look at. Magnum have recently released some illustrations in this style and have set a brilliant example of how to utalise illustration within a classy brand.

A series of outdoor artworks for a seasonal advertising campaign for Magnum by French illustrator Thomas Danthony.

A series of outdoor artworks for a seasonal advertising campaign for Magnum by French illustrator Thomas Danthony.

Bright Gradients

OK so this is something which became a trend last year, but I am still obsessed with it. I love how this trend has established itself and is still going strong after it's somewhat controversial comeback in 2017. The new Instagram logo sparked so much opinion, some loved it, some questioned why it looked similar to a Powerpoint gradient preset but since then, bright gradients have become more and more popular. I think it's great that designers are experimenting with colour and the different types of impact you can create with a single gradient.

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I hope you have enjoyed reading through my opinions of my favourite design trends of 2018. I would love to create a piece which features a combination of each one of these trends... keep an eye on my Instagram, something exciting might be happening! 

Charlotte Parker