The Future of Graphic Design Trends and Emerging Technologies
When we discuss logos and branding, we often talk about why you should avoid following trends. Trends come and go, and typically they even return—whether we want them to or not! Take a walk through any clothing store and you’ll relive your high school fashion mistakes all over again. However you feel about a trend, when it comes to business, it can have an impact on your industry, whether you know it or not. That’s why, when it comes to technology and the graphic design industry, we know it’s important to be aware of both the benefits and drawbacks of using emerging trends in your marketing.
Emerging Technology in Graphic Design
Just like any industry, graphic design is filled with emerging trends and technological innovations that are making our work more efficient. Technology is also providing us with new ways to get creative and fulfill the desires of our clients. With any new tool or method, there are both perks and drawbacks to be aware of. We will touch on a few of them, along with helpful knowledge that both clients and other designers should know.
Improved Features in Adobe Tools
Adobe is the leader in creating powerful design tools. They’ve also had a reputation for a steep learning curve. Your Edmonton graphic designer will have training and experience in using them. Unless you’re preparing to become a graphic designer, you’re likely better off hiring a professional than struggling to use the programs yourself.
Every year, Adobe announces new features that make the work of designers easier. These innovations help us meet the design needs of our clients more efficiently and make our workloads lighter. Whether we’re designing your logo in Adobe Illustrator or editing a photo in Photoshop, new features reduce the time we spend on edits and are well worth the investment in the software.
The Rise of Canva
You’ve likely heard about Canva—the in-browser graphic and image editing tool that’s easy to use with thousands of ready-made templates. This tool is great when you need to create a social media post in a flash. However, it’s not so great when you want to create original materials for your band, and it should never be used for something like creating a logo.
We wrote a full post on why creating logos in Canva is a mistake for businesses, with the main point being that you cannot trademark or copyright what you create. The elements in Canva are universally available, meaning anyone else can design the same as you. Logos also require a certain file type that is not available in Canva. If you intend to use your logo in a different size than what appears on the screen (and trust us, you will at some point!), you’ll want to use another program or hire a graphic designer in Edmonton.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Graphic Design
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has permeated our lives in many ways, from our home appliances (yes, please make household chores easier!) to the vehicles we drive to the software we use in our businesses. While this technology can make our daily tasks easier and quicker to complete, there are certain disclaimers to know about.
The Source of AI’s Inspiration
The AI tools that are available to us today have a major problem when it comes to sourcing inspiration and giving due credit—in other words, abiding by copyright laws. AI scans the internet for information, resources, and images to produce the most relevant answer. In terms of design, this means that no matter what AI produces, it has pulled its design from existing images online.
As graphic designers, we do get inspired by images we see in other places, but we complete our due diligence to ensure everything we create is original and helps you stand out from your competitors. With AI, unless you conduct the research yourself, you won’t know if your results are unique or original.
How Do AI Sources Affect You?
When you use AI to create a design, you may be unintentionally violating copyrights and trademarks. Using AI to design a logo for your company that uses copyrighted material can put your business in trouble and lead to potential lawsuits. Even if your design doesn’t have any intellectual property rights violations, you cannot trademark an AI-generated logo.
Why not? Most AI is open-source software—similar to Canva—which means that anyone else could use AI to create a logo identical to yours, and there is nothing you can do about it. While AI tools may be quick and impressive, they are not guaranteed to produce original or exclusive results.
The Future of Graphic Design Trends
While trends can come and go, it’s important to recognize when a trend is a passing moment and when a trend may stay for the long term. Playing with these trends in your marketing materials is easy when you have a classic, solid brand as your foundation. Your brand remains the same while your posters, ads, and supporting materials change with the season. Here are a few upcoming trends we’ve noticed in graphic design that you might want to try in your next marketing campaign.
Minimalism is not a new concept, but it is a rising trend in design spaces, especially with packaging and branding. Many companies are moving away from overly detailed, loud imagery on their products, websites, and marketing materials. Instead, they are leaning into clean and simple fonts (no bolding), simple imagery, thin lines, and muted colours. You’ll notice changes in branding in your local stores, from the shampoo aisle to the juice aisle and everything in between. This trend seems to be here to stay for a while.
Animation and Stop Motion
Browsing through Instagram, TikTok, or any social media you’re using, it’s hard to miss the flood of animation from stop-motion to seamless transitions to liquid motions. While this trend is not new (the stop motion technique originates from early film days), its use has risen in recent years.
Why is it so trendy? For starters, these animations grab your attention. You want to see what happens next, or your eye clings to a movement as it flows from one scene to the next, increasing engagement on your platform. In the case of stop-motion, there is also a timeless quality to it.
Should you embrace this trend? Animation is an investment because, as simple as the finished product appears, it takes intensive time and collaboration between designers and animators to make it happen. It all depends on your goals and marketing budget.
Grains and Gradients
Gradients are a trend that surged a few years ago and continues to dominate web design, digital materials, and social media graphics. The modern version of the gradient provides a seamless, natural blending of shades instead of the clunkier, more dramatic gradients of the nineties. Alongside gradients, grain-like textures are also on the comeback. These subtle details can add depth and interest to graphics without taking away too much attention from the full design. This trend is likely to stay for a while and is worth experimenting with in your marketing.
Using Trends to Target Your Demographic
While we always recommend creating a timeless brand over following a passing trend, it can feel tempting to use one in order to reach a particular demographic. For example, the nineties and Y2K are making a huge comeback in everything from apparel to home decor to colours and marketing. Neon colours have dominated the marketing universe in recent seasons and will draw the attention of both a younger Gen Z audience and Gen Xers who are feeling nostalgic.
While these are great elements to play around with in your marketing materials, we advise not to go all-in with a trend for your branding, as trends will come and go before you’re ready to invest in a rebrand.
How to Outlast Trends and Avoid Rebranding
Having a timeless brand created for you at the start is the best strategy to avoid having to invest in a rebrand. Hiring a graphic designer in Edmonton is a worthy investment, meant to last you many years with a timeless brand created for your unique business. At Paper Lime Creative, we design logos that reflect your unique company and are designed to stand the test of time, no matter what new trend arises. Book your consultation to start building your brand with us today!