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Inspiring Design Trends

To Uplift Your Creativity This Autumn

Fall 2015 Design Trend Report

Graphic design is back to basics, going authentic, custom, handmade, and earthy. Branding has also become simpler and light-hearted, opting for script and hand-drawn type.

Web and mobile have gone in a somewhat opposite direction with dynamic images, rich animation, and interactive storytelling. So have fashion and interiors, with plaid, faux fur, bold geometric art, metallic, and pattern on pattern.

Design trends this Fall 2015 have truly spanned opposite ends of the spectrum, so there’s no reason to let the autumn foliage bog down your creativity.

graphic design

Authentic Design Aesthetics

The popularity of Etsy and an increased interest in handmade goods indicate the shift in value that consumers place on authenticity and quality. Artisan-looking goods become top sellers by pandering to people’s dislike of items that look mass-produced (even if these goods really are).

Abstract Art

Gigantic type, neons, and even extreme minimalism are just some techniques designers use to catch consumers’ attention. This trend will allegedly continue in 2016, but some believe that more elegant, art-focused designs will win over loud styles.

Custom Illustration

A pop culture blogger has stated on a LinkedIn post that stock imagery and stock illustrations—in use for several decades already—are dead, replaced by the originality of custom illustrations.

Handmade / Embroidery

The handmade look has been around for a long time, but energy-intensive embroidery always makes a lasting impression. That’s why it’s mounting a bit of a comeback these days, along with the handmade trend, in both commercial and unconventional projects.

Earthy Neutrals
with Bold Colors and Patterns

The Pantone Color Institute has declared that “this season displays an umbrella of accord that weaves earthy neutrals with a range of bold color statements and patterns to reflect a landscape of hope, fun, fantasy and all things natural. The colors are evocative of a love for nature and a timeless appreciation for warmth and security, which are conveyed through naturally inspired colors that remind us of things that are real and protective.”

branding

Humor

The person who makes us laugh always seems to have a distinct, lovable edge over the smartest or most caring person. So do brands that we remember for their sense of humor.

Simplicity

Google and Verizon are just a couple of the major brands who have redesigned and modernized not only their logos but their overall identities towards simplicity, in part in order to adapt to a multi-device society with varying screen sizes. 2015 is fast becoming, simply, the year of simplicity.

Dual Coloring

Compound brand names (like RipeConcepts) are allegedly a good fit for a dual color combination that adds a dash of color to one part of the compound name in order to make it stand out. Mono-colored logos are moving out of the way of this eye-catching alternative, which aims to refresh the look of simple white or gray typographic logos.

Low Polygon

“Low polygon is a design technique that until now has mainly been used in backgrounds and wallpapers…It will start to get really noticeable in logos, as well as icons. Its characteristic 3D quality makes logos…pop out from the page or screen, ensuring that viewers notice and remember them.”1

Negative Space

Within the aesthetic bounds of minimalism (one of the most influential design principles), negative space—contrary to complicating things—“can produce more coherent and interesting logos,” spicing up black and white logos in particular. “As we’ve all seen in recent years, adding embellishments to logos isn’t always a good idea.”1

Calligraphy and Hand Lettering

The Pantone Color Institute has declared that “this season displays an umbrella of accord that weaves earthy neutrals with a range of bold color statements and patterns to reflect a landscape of hope, fun, fantasy and all things natural. The colors are evocative of a love for nature and a timeless appreciation for warmth and security, which are conveyed through naturally inspired colors that remind us of things that are real and protective.”

web and mobile

Dynamic Header Images

“2015 has seen a surge in the use of dynamic galleries and slideshows within a large header space. These full screen images serve many purposes, including reinforcing brand image, showcasing products, services and offers, and facilitating a seamless user experience around the site. This dynamic media is seamless and intuitive, and usually created using jQuery.”2

Rich Animations

“Animations are being used more and more to enhance a site’s storytelling, making the experience more interactive and entertaining. Popular… techniques include loading animations, hover animations, galleries and slideshows, motion animation, scrolling, and background animations.”3

Subtle Color Shades

Designers of mobile apps are choosing subtle color shades over the bold, solid colors that are typical of blogs and websites. “Often bright and flashy colors create a distraction for [mobile app] users, while [a] delicate…color palette offers a sophisticated look and lets users concentrate on what they need.”4

Blur Effects in Background

Countless apps have been using blurred backgrounds lately. On one hand, the effect creates a smooth and eye-pleasing design. On the other hand, the relative blurring of the background creates more focus on specific text and elements. In addition to its visual appeal, a blurred background also draws attention to and engages users with the content.4

Storytelling and Interaction

“While having strong, captivating content for your website is crucial, being able to tell an interesting, cohesive story through your content is [a] plus. Interaction with animation…in website design, when done correctly, can bring the X factor to your site.”5

Creative Form and Input Field Design

The most common interactions of a visitor with your website are likely through the contact form, the login box, or the newsletter signup. So one way to create an amazing user experience is to create awesome forms and input fields.6

typography

Handwritten

“As “DIY” (Do-it-yourself) continues to gain popularity, so does the look of handwritten fonts. This gives your company a unique look and the appearance of customization.”7

Serifs

Consistent with the artisan wave, serif fonts seem to have been mounting a comeback because of their retro appeal.

Geometric

Speaking of retro, geometric fonts that have the appearance of letterpress are increasingly becoming prominent in a wide array of projects.

Delicate

With the simplicity of flat design comes the need for a typography that looks just as clean. Hence, delicate type.

Condensed

“This style has made a comeback since the rise of flat design from Apple's launch of iOS7 in 2013…[It pairs] well with icons and are commonly used for loud and clear headings.”8

Typo-Graphics

“This clever style has become particularly popular in logo design from the influence of flat graphics and iconography…[It] usually consist[s] of a piece of typography and a graphic asset fused together to become both the icon and the brand name.”8

Mix and Match

“In the past, simplicity and clean type were popular. With the rise of DIY and a handcrafted look, the idea of mix and match fonts are on the rise. This can be tricky because it’s easy to cross the line and make it hard for the user to read your message. Take caution when mixing and matching too many fonts.”7

fashion

Feminine Jewelry

“After seasons of oversized jewelry with minimal design, we've made a return to very feminine, sparkly jewelry, like the brooches at both Prada and Balenciaga and the big earrings that are pretty much everywhere.”9

Plaid

“Plaid is having a moment on the runways, particularly red plaid. Designers are partial to a tartan print and it's not hard to see why: The red adds an interesting dose of color to an otherwise very classic fabric. [sic]”9

Tights

“When it comes to donning a pair of tights in winter, a regular opaque finish seems rather dull. As an alternative, Tommy Hilfiger, Proenza Schouler and Rodarte opted for statement-making tights in extra-large fishnets, stripes, and lace. Consider a patterned pair next time your outfit is looking a little simple.”10

Faux Fur

Furs hitting the Autumn runway is commonplace, bu t faux fur—best known as the favorite topper of well-heeled Upper East Side ladies—is wielding a special kind of power this Fall. “The message at Michael Kors, Altuzarra and Dennis Basso was not fuzzy—the bigger the better.”10

Moody Blooms

“The melancholy friend of spring’s perky florals, moody bloom prints are more sophisticated than their bright, cheery counterpart. These blooms are popping up in the brooding color palette of fall, giving florals a different, darker twist.”11

Geometric Patterns

“This sharped-lined, bold-colored trend slips into the mix every few years, and with Versace leading this ‘Optical Vision Fashion’ as Valentino phrased it, the style has strong support for the 2015 fall season. Embrace this confident fall trend by incorporating sharp silhouettes…to your everyday wear-to-work styles.”12

interior design

Bold Art

“Bold art pieces are sure to add a new level of artistic interest to your home, whether you want to expand your gallery wall or make a statement with a single piece of art.”13

Functional
and Decorative

“A major change in the look of…houses is the presence of functional decorative objects. Soon there will be no room for useless items. It will become increasingly important to acquire objects that can be processed according to the time and space of the person’s life.”14

Interesting Mirrors

“Dress up your space with funky, sparkly, or uniquely shaped mirrors to both open up a space and add a chic touch of character.”15

Warm metallics

“All that glitters is still gold in home decor, with warm metallics adding a bit of glam to any room. Incorporating metallics in your home decor is easy: add copper knobs to your bedroom dresser, hang a copper pendant lamp, or spray paint a succulent planter gold.”15

Pastels

“As lively as bright colors can be, softer shades of color are becoming more popular. Pale pink, cool blue, and gentle yellow can add vibrance to a room without being too bold. Try mixing sophisticated pastels into your pillows, chairs, side tables, and any other decor item.”15

Pattern on Pattern

“Don’t just stick to one pattern in your interior design, layer pattern on pattern to mix and match your favorite florals and prints for a stylish setting that makes a statement.”15

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