Design trends tend to go viral quickly – so it’s essential for your brand to stay ahead of the curve. Beyond simple visual preferences, overarching trends are certainly impacting the styles you’ll be seeing in the new year. Let’s take a closer look.

Purpose

Brands are facing pressure to demonstrate social conscience. After all, modern consumers care about a lot more than just the product or service. They want to know what companies stand for. Designs are one way to express this. 

One of the most significant rebrands of 2019 was for the Paris 2024 Olympics. Beyond its visual appeal, the new logo is rooted in sustainable efforts. It was created by Royalties Eco-Branding, an agency focused on environmentally friendly designs — from fonts to digital dark mode.

Skoda’s #ThisIsOurTime campaign was created to raise awareness about the lack of gender equality in cycling — in the UK and beyond. Ultimately, the campaign drew attention to and open discussions about the achievements and obstacles associated with women’s cycling. This ad visually embodies the spirit of female strength that fuels the campaign.

3D Depth

In the past, 3D graphics were reserved for animation and video games. Now, ads are finding an edge through incorporating such renderings into their artwork. As seen in this Lāčplēsis beer ad, the enhancement of 2D real imagery creates a fascinating, almost surreal look.

3D visuals take on another style in this Avengers Endgame promotion. In this publicized graphic, Disney established a sense of depth and mobile interactivity that could match the epic quality of the film. It brings viewers deeper into this universe, generating even more excitement about the movie.

Muted Colors

Say goodbye to the vibrant, bold hues of the past decade. 2020 reigns in a more natural and harmonious feel. By definition, muted colors are created by desaturating bright shades with black, white, or another complementary color. In the graph, you can see how this shade looks in some of the most popular colors.

Here are examples of striking ads created using a muted palette. This supports the idea behind this trend that less can be more. Interestingly, the OkCupid and Recess ads combine hues together to complete the eye-catching effect.

In Spotify’s 2019 video campaign, they created a series of 11 videos with 25 illustrations depicting the wide range of moods apparent in music. In each of these vignettes, the animated characters are seen against a different colored background. Significantly, the colors themes were  all comprised of muted tones. Even though the colors are more understated than what we’re use to seeing, this ad proves they still have the same versatility and poignancy as their vibrant counterparts.

Recently, Pantone announced the color of the year, “Classic Blue.” This shade certainly embodies the calm spirit of 2020’s muted palette. The color is intended to resemble the sky at dusk. “It’s a color that anticipates what’s going to happen next,” said Laurie Pressman, the vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, which selects the Color of the Year.

Read more about 2020 trends here.