Design Trends 2014

DESIGN TRENDS 2014 – By Jonny Delap – Senior Creative Designer at Far’n’Beyond

Flexible Logos & Brand Identities

It’s becoming increasingly important for brand identity design to be able to react and grow within ever-changing environments. Experimentation with adaptive and flexibility graphic systems is leading us to innovative and effective design— that’s future-ready.

We are starting to see more logo and brand identity designs with graphic systems that lose the usual static positioning—in favour of flexible or moving arrangements—resonating through various graphic elements.

When using active and responsive visual formats, as you know longer have the same familiar positions, it’s extremely important the brand remains consistent throughout. Some the most effective brand identities will adapt and change over time but remain recognisable and distinctive, transferring into a means of expression.

Function Logo by Sagmeister & Walsh

The Function Engineering Identity by Sagmeister & Walsh uses a flexible logo that is influenced by the hinge / pivot systems. The overlapping typography is used to create a visually compelling animation with elements of the logotype moving in mechanical motions.

Function Clockwork from Sagmeister & Walsh on Vimeo.

The branding for the University of the Arts Helsinki is an interesting example. Finnish Design studio Bond created a flexible logomark, that is animated with quick bursts of movement. The logo is backed-up by an energetic colour palette and a dynamic visual language—helping make the design engaging and vibrant for the young demographic.

University of the Arts Helsinki Logo designed by Bond

University of the Arts Helsinki designed by Bond

Flat Design

With Apple’s release of iOS 7 we saw one of the biggest iOS design overhauls. The traditional Skeuomorphic style was (almost) completely eradicated in favour of a more minimalistic style, often referred to as Flat Design. The Apple influence is polarizing and pretty much every App developed in 2014 is likely to have a Flat design style.

The Flat Design style is typically stripped back of all unnecessary ornamental and decorative elements and effects—with more of a focus on negative space, composition and crisp edges—the Flat style can be use to build really beautiful, functional design, that communicates with visual clarity.

We believe this trend is likely to continue a long way past 2014 but this year we may well see various sub-trends emerge from within this style.

Apple’s iOS 7 

Parallax Scrolling Websites

Paralaxing scrolling creates an illusion of depth by moving two or more objects at the same time at different velocities.

Although Parallax Scrolling has been around for some time, we are starting to see more impressive Parallax websites with complex and creative animations—which lead to engaging results. With HTML 5 and CSS3 there are more possibilities to create impressive web animation effects.

We have listed some amazing examples of great Parallax Scrolling Websites, so you can see for yourself:

Beyond Lexus website by Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon

Hand Drawn Typography

Hand drawn typography is a growing trend in print and digital media and we expect it to really flourish in 2014. Gorgeous hand drawn lettering is popping up everywhere—with personality and individuality—it presents a refreshing change from the typical and overused serif or san-serif fonts we are so used to seeing.

Although we often see hand drawn typography scanned in and then digitally polished for logos and typographic designs, designers and clients are starting to show more appreciation for raw and earthy typography.

Lettering by hand can be uniquely beautiful and it takes a lot of technical ability and precise skill to produce great type but also bear in mind that all design doesn’t have to be seamless and sometimes imperfections can add to the charm and character.

Hand Drawn typography by Sean McCabe

Large Hero Areas

The main area that you see first when you land on a webpage is often referred to as the Hero Area. In recent years we have seen many websites drop the sidebar and operate with a single horizontal navigation. The area below presents a great opportunity to deliver a lasting first impression.

Large, high-quality images are fast becoming an extremely popular focus point in web design and while large imagery can certainly improve the browsing experience and capture the attention of the audience, at its most effective when used to help tell a story.

The impact and effectiveness of Large Hero Areas means they are highly likely to carry on as a huge web trend in 2014.

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