Trends for graphic and web design are always changing, that what makes this industry so great, never a dull moment… There are always new things to learn, improve or integrate in order to increase usability or just simply makes things prettier. With some new technologies getting more popular and widely spread it gives just the perfect set of tools what we need to move forward.
Design for multiple devices – Responsive designs
Smart phones and tablets are more and more popular. Slowly there will be more touch screen devices in use than desktops or laptops. This somehow triggers the need to optimise the websites for multiple devices. Mobile/ tablet websites or applications can take advantage of a full set of new interactivity. In 2012, launch your mobile website to increase conversion rates from users on the go.
Minimalist designs with something extra
The new websites are moving away from cluttered designs, focusing on main messages and leading the user directly to some sort of conversion forms. Minimalist designs are still a strong trend, but I believe adding something extra could be a great challenge for this year. Custom, hand-made illustrations, full screen backgrounds would be the way to go.
As I look around I can see more and more original art integrated into multimedia projects. It makes the website / presentation / brochure / poster somehow more unique and personal. Moving away from stock graphics it’s a great idea to include hand-drawn unique sketches into the designs this year.
Attention grabbing bold colours are great to emphasise the main parts of the site (e.g. your product). Of course it doesn’t have to be flat, it could contain shading, overlay patterns but overall it should be simple, brave and of course BOLD!
Compress and visualise the details of your project or services with an info-graphic and make it the main part of the design. If it’s a multimedia project, it can be even enhanced with animation and interactivity. Informative illustrations will grab attention and engage customers longer than a simple stock image and also provide a memorable experience.
Transparency, Animations, Layers
With HTML5 and CSS3 it’s possible to create stunning websites with animating different layers of the designs. This trend will grow further as soon as more tags/elements are supported cross-browser. Until then you can just take advantage of the new techniques and have a fall back design for the old browsers. Take advantage of CSS3 animations, transitions or include parallax animation to make your website more visually engaging.