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In 2018, brands will continue to get simpler, yet richer

Next year we’ll see brand design seeking to pack more meaning into fewer, simpler elements.

By Max Ottignon, Co-founder, Ragged Edge.

2018 Design Trends
2018 Design Trends
Design is getting simpler, yet richer. 

In a world where user experience is king, complex brand systems get in the way of the content. Function overrides superfluous design details, and every brand asset needs to earn its place.  So brands are striving to streamline their core assets, but looking to pack more meaning and distinctiveness into each element.

2018 Design Trends
2018 Design Trends
More meaning, fewer letters

Often this starts with the name. Naming briefs are increasingly becoming ‘how can we distill as much meaning into as few letters as possible’. Bulb remains a great example of this, communicating product, purpose and tone in a mere four letters. Or nested, a proptech startup whose name delivers on both a functional and emotional level.

2018 Design Trends
2018 Design Trends
Symbols that pack a punch

Naturally, it also means means scalable, digital first symbols packed with meaning – think YouTube or F1 – where an entire brand can be distilled into an app tile or a profile picture. 

2018 Design Trends
2018 Design Trends
Truly ownable type

There’s a noticeable trend towards bespoke typefaces, such as IBM’s Plex and BBC’s Reith – not to mention Camden Market and Giraffe. This allows a brand to show up distinctively wherever it appears, without introducing anything that isn’t strictly functional. Luke, our Creative Director, wrote a great piece on this here

2018 Design Trends
2018 Design Trends
Confident colour

And it means bold, communicative use of colour. We’ve noticed our clients getting braver here. Fluro colours and clashing tones have moved away from edgy startups into the mainstream. Ebay’s new identity has colour right at its heart, using it as a way to communicate both its breadth and inclusive personality.

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