Graphic design trend predictions for 2016


A graphic design agency needs to think ahead. Here, our designer Simon predicts some trends that will develop during 2016.

The ‘flatter’, the better

As predicted in our 2014 blog, flat design has become a big hit since Apple’s launch of iOS7 in 2013. There is a lot to be said for honest, simple design and nothing says it more than the use of clean, raw shape and colour. I think there is still room for an even flatter approach with more impact and solid shapes to come throughout all things design. Less really is more, which leads nicely into our next trend prediction…

Get in shape!

Shape is beginning to come to life in the form of icons, logos, backgrounds and repeated patterns in both web and print. From subtle elements such as bullet points and sliced corners to the more impactful die-cut brochures and background patterns, it looks as though things really are shaping up.


Custom illustration & interactive animation

We are currently submerged in large, crisp, photographic backgrounds and banners. It seems that bigger is better, especially when it comes to web design. Volvo’s website is a prime example of this with a large background image and overlaying menu and text, which as a designer, I think has become a bit of a cop-out. However, the biggest problem with this large, photographic image trend is that it has become so widely adopted making it very hard to be original. No matter what colour and contrast tweaks are made, it is still the main ingredient of the design and no more original than the last. It is because of this that we predict an increase in custom illustrations and interactive animation in the hunt for originality.



The infamous designers’ default font, Helvetica, has become something of the past! Typography has become quite a skill, particularly in logo design as we see more and more customised fonts being introduced in order to represent a company’s brand as accurately and uniquely as possible. The majority of logo design today consists of just one piece of typography, which often serves as both the icon and the brand name. From hand-drawn decorative pieces of art to the subtle modifications of an existing font, typography has become a much bigger influence in branding than ever, and we love it.

One of the greatest improvements in typography has been with the wide range of web fonts that are now available, largely thanks to Google Fonts. Designers are no longer constrained to the likes of Arial for compatibility with the web, which can only mean one thing… more scope for creativity!



The Pantone ‘Colour of the year 2015’ has been announced as Marsala. Pantone have said: “The impactful, full-bodied qualities of Marsala make for an elegant, grounded statement color when used on its own or as a strong accent to many other colors”. This fits perfectly with the trend that is currently unfolding; rich, bold, intoxicating colours. A good example of this can be seen in current interior design trends which illustrates where we might be heading… back to the 80s!

graphic-design-tiverton   graphic-design-devon

Retro is not a thing of the past

Retro influences continue to evolve. The only difference is that we may be shifting decades and leaving the more vintage 50s, 60s and 70s to progress to the more colourful 80s and 90s. Notable influences include early computer games, pixilation, vibrant colour and shape and a more common use of intergalactic background images such as stars, galaxies and colourful waves of light. Watch this space!…