Graphic Design 2018

What will graphic design 2018 have in store?

Each year around this time, we look forward to new beginnings and the fresh start a new calendar year brings. As we discussed in our last blog, many graphic design trends have stood the test of decades or even millennia. In this edition, we take a look at Graphic Design 2018 and what’s new and hot now.

Playful, vibrant color

Pantone keeps a close eye on color trends. It recently issued its trend forecast for spring 2018, based on the colors showcased on the catwalks at New York Fashion Week.

According to the report, “With color on the catwalk a key indicator of the color stories we can expect to see showing up across all areas of design, the PANTONE Fashion Color Trend Report is your easily accessible guide to the season’s most important color trends.”

The company describes its top 12 color picks with words like “playful, dramatic and complex.”

As you can see in the three samples above, these colors are not wallflowers. They are bright, eye-catching and bold. In a web or print setting, these colors will draw a reader in and evoke a sense of energy and vibrancy. Pantone also highlights a selection of classic neutrals (shades of navy, tan, gray and white) that help ground these more bold colors.

You can see some of these color picks in the work we did for The Fillmore Center in San Francisco. Oh, we so love being ahead of the trend.


Unique images

From hand-drawn illustrations to professional photography (vs. stock photos), more companies will use unique imagery in 2018. These images help convey the mood of a brand. Think of your photos and graphics as depicting not just the what, but the why for your buyers. Why you? Why your brand? What is the deeper reason a buyer would choose you over another brand.

This image from some our client, West Line Flats, helps illustrate that point. The image and custom neon lettering help convey brand benefits and lifestyle:


In addition to hiring professional photographers, illustrators or designers, think about creating your own images. A snapshot on your smartphone can help tell your story on social media, for example. You can also ask your followers to share their own images on your social sites or your website. The key with any of these images is to share your brand’s personality.

Innovative typography

Designers continue to push boundaries when it comes to typography. While clean sans serif fonts and type have dominated for the past few years, examples of more expressive typography continue to pop up.

Creative type can take the form of a brand-new letter shape, as in this example:


Or it can refer to an unusual treatment of a standard font, such as this image layover example:


The latter article (see link above) addresses the importance of using web-friendly typography rules:

“Hold your horses though because there are typography rules in web design and it’s better to know them, use them for a while till you figure out a good way to break them (if you can). And while a part of typography is about how to choose the font, which one to choose and how to place it on the web page – this art calls for something more than just research and selection. It’s about being creatively innovative.”

Final thoughts

We will continue to report on graphic design trends into the new year, but we already see a common theme emerging: Individuality. From colors to images, brands are finding ways to connect with buyers on a gut level.

The design choices brands make in 2018 will reflect their personalities and differentiators. These differences will stand out and help them connect with consumers.

To learn more about the Après Creative approach to design and marketing, visit our portfolio.

Posted By

Sara Bess