You have a business. You’re so wrapped up in daily routines that you’re staring in awe of groundbreaking advancements in the world when you finally get a chance to breathe. It’s a hard thing to admit, but there are too many trends to keep up with in today’s world.
We want to help with keeping your business successful and as up-to-date as possible. As discussed in our previous blog, What Makes a Good Logo, your brand’s appearance has a big effect on how potential clients perceive your services. Design plays a huge part in your marketing and your brand, so we want to share some of the most important design trends to help you stand apart from your competitors.
1. Responsive Design
The most important design trend business owners should be aware of is responsive design. Responsive design refers to the size of your internet browser’s window, and a website changing its appearance to work as best as it can in any window size. Why does this matter? The majority of internet users access the web from mobile devices.
When smartphones were first introduced, the concept of responsive design was still an idea equal to that of a scientific theory. The best known method of making a website mobile-friendly was to create a separate site that had its contents designed to fit within a mobile screen. However, it meant sacrificing beautiful website designs that were only visible on a desktop.
Responsive design came to fix that, so that anything coded to work and look best in a desktop internet browser will function the same way on mobile while still looking great. This saves development time, as well as time spent managing website content. As a bonus, the middleman (tablets and iPads) get an equally great web experience.
Also, keep in mind that Google will push your business down on its search list if your website isn’t mobile-friendly. If you do not have a responsive website, we can help you! You can find more information on our SAGE website solutions and a visual example here.
2. Flat Design
When Microsoft began releasing Window 8 and their Windows 8 Phones, we got a peek into the new world that would adopt the flat design trend. Flat design is a minimalistic approach to design that focuses on the user’s experience and usability. The simple design is easy to incorporate into responsive projects. This was a huge shift from skeuomorphic design, which was the methodology that made design elements and patterns look like real-life objects or environments. For example, early iPhone buttons mocked real-life buttons by looking like you could actually push them to give a false sense of depth:
What makes flat design so appealing?
- It gives more prominence to type treatment and typography (the art of styling and arranging type/words/letters).
- It makes web design easier and cleaner when creating responsive websites.
- It compliments white space by giving affordance to important content.
- It looks cohesive with most approaches to design, ranging from skeuomorphism to minimalism.
3. Illustrations and Infographics
Illustrations are so versatile and can be used across your website, blog, and social media. They communicate your brand’s message in a way that is unique to your business.
If you’ve been with SAGE for some amount of time, you’ve probably seen our illustration of a stressed out little dude behind a desk, in the dead of night, working late to get his tasks done. It speaks to overworked graphic designers in need of some help from our ArtworkZone team in a relatable way. These digital and hand-drawn illustrations help to retain an audience’s attention and stands apart from other digitally-rendered art.
Infographics have become very popular because they retain only the most important text and let the illustrations do a lot of the talking. Keep in mind that visual representation will almost always be the main attraction. You only have a short window of time to speak to skimmers, so your copy should be chosen carefully in accordance with your design.
4. Original Photos
It’s becoming less and less popular to use purchased stock images as legitimate content. While there are still some opportunities to use stock photos in a relative context, we are progressing away from the use of stock photos to reinforce a statement.
Most companies now hire a professional photographer (or purchase and master a digital SLR camera on their own) to capture real situations that are relevant to their business so that the company appears more authentic and organic. Others may opt for an illustrative approach for their content instead of stock photos.
We are just beginning to scratch the surface on some of this year’s trends, so look for more marketing and design tips to come.
In the meantime, if you’re a current SAGE Website subscriber, you can upgrade to a responsive web design for free!