2019 Design Trends: What Happened When We Actually Incorporated Them Into Our Brand

Every year, a new list of design trends comes out. And with this, a million questions always come to mind. Learn what these questions are and how you can incorporate them into your brand. Make an impact with your brand with these 2019 design trends and stand out from the competition.

How are design trends decided?

Recycled Trends

We’ve all heard the phrase “what’s old is new again.” How else do you explain crop tops and high-waisted jeans making a comeback? Similar to fashion, the same is true in design. Just when we thought we never had to look at another gradient again, BAM, they’re everywhere. What’s next? Will Skeuomorphism resurface? Will we start clicking on 3D website buttons again?

Trends in Color

Pantone, who calls itself “the global authority on color,” has a team of researchers who is responsible for color trend forecasting and looking for recurring patterns or colors in daily life situations to determine the next year’s design trends. Sometimes they are inspired by social issues such as gender equality (“rose quartz” pink and “serenity” blue – 2016) or rebirth from turmoil caused by terrorism and natural disasters (“geenery” -2017).

Trends in Technology

Users are demanding a better and less complicated user experience, hence the minimalism trend. They are also wanting more mobile-friendly designs because they spend more time on their phones than ever before. Also, because attention spans are becoming shorter, attention-grabbing photos and designs are becoming more necessary than just paragraphs of text to win users over.

Brands

Brands like Apple, Adidas, Samsung, Nike and Adobe, who are seen as top leaders in their industries, are carving the path to test out new trends.

People

Designers are inspired by other designers. With sites like Pinterest, Reddit, Behance, and design blogs, designers are constantly sharing and selling their work, as well as pulling inspiration from other designers. In order to become a better designer in this competitive and ever-changing industry, they need to be constantly adapting and improving their own skillset.

Are design trends something all brands can incorporate?

Yes, they are not just for the “trendy” brands. Brands like Hubspot, Dropbox, MailChimp and Fast Company have been able to incorporate some of these 2019 design trends while still maintaining a level of professionalism and brand identity.

Gif of creative ways brands express their business

What would happen if my brand incorporated some of these design trends? 

Maybe you’re wondering if you would see an increase in site engagement, or maybe a recognizable increase in CTRS or leads. The possibilities are endless when your brand keeps up with the current trends in marketing and what the target audience is craving to see.

Here at IMI, we have done our research and grabbed inspiration from some of our favorite brands and blogs. After selecting some of our favorites that showed great opportunity to allow our brand to stand out, we included some of these 2019 design trends ourselves. This is what we incorporated:

Pops of Vivid Color

We’ve mostly used our “IMI blue” as a secondary color. This was the year we decided to go for it. We updated our social covers, created more eye-catching social and blog images, updated our brand book and more. We also incorporated some new and exciting secondary colors that weren’t part of our original brand.

Gif that represents the pops of vivid color design trend

Gradients

So maybe we had a little too much fun with gradients but loved how eye-catching they turned out.

Gif that represents the gradients design trend

Strong Typographic Focal Points

We don’t have a ton of custom imagery so it was actually nice to experiment with typography. It was a great way to grab the attention of the audience without using generic stock photos.

Gif that represents strong typographic focal points as a new design trend

Colorful Minimalism

This trend is more than just using black and white imagery with a pop of color. It’s about creating a focal point by playing with simplicity (white space) and color. With this one, we were able to incorporate that pop of color, but could do a better job at not being so literal with it and incorporating more minimalism.

Gif that represents the design trend of colorful minimalism

Hand-Drawn Illustrations

Our agency incorporates illustrations and graphics here and there but they are not a main component of our brand identity. Because of this, we don’t spend a lot of time creating custom, hand-drawn graphics. Luckily, there are a ton of resources to purchase, download and stylize icons.

Gif represent the design trend of hand-drawn illustrations

Overlapping/Asymmetrical Design

Who says you have to stay inside the box? We loved this trend so much we decided to incorporate it into our new website design. Stay tuned!

Gif that represents the overlapping design trend

3D

We can’t wait to take this trend even further as it will become more and more popular with each year. With programs like Adobe’s Project Felix and much more, it’ll be easier to take 2D designs to the next level.

Gif representing the 3D design trend

So what were our results after incorporating these design trends in our brand?

We wanted to see if there was any difference in engagement or click-through rates YoY, but it turned out to be a little more complicated than that. It’s hard to compare these new and improved designs to ones from the previous year because so many different factors were involved. It’s not just comparing apples to apples. You have to take into consideration changes in Facebook/Instagram’s algorithms, ad budget from last year to this year, messaging and more.

If we were to A/B test the same messaging, with the same ad spend, to the same audience, at the exact same time by just swapping out the images, we might be able to gain some more insight. Otherwise, it’s hard to say that these new designs performed any better. However, we received a ton of positive feedback from employees (current and previous) as well as an increase in Instagram likes and positive comments. Here are a few:

Gif showing the positive feedback IMI got from using 2019 design trends on social media

What Can You Do Today to Update Your Brand?

Update Your Brand Book

Update your brand colors. Maybe that means adding a brand gradient or turning that secondary color into a primary color. Make sure your fonts, images, and icons don’t come across as outdated. (That means ditching the corny stock photos.) Look to sites like Pinterest for color palette inspiration.

Refresh Your Website 

Even if you don’t have the budget for a complete overhaul, swapping out imagery, updating colors and buttons as well as adding video could easily help modernize your brand.

Update Your Social Channels

What better way to test out some of these new design trends than social media where you can be more playful and engaging?

Update Your Marketing & Sales Collateral

First impressions are everything. Update the pieces that will be seen most frequently and then work your way back. Examples may include business cards, sales decks, media kits, brochures, etc. Here are some before and after images from our brand refresh:

Gif showing before and after images of IMI’s brand refresh

Key Takeaways

  • Yeah, we feel more relevant and less outdated by incorporating some of these design trends. BUT… What it really comes down to is good content and a solid digital strategy. You can create the coolest and most trendy graphics, but if you have garbage content or your designs aren’t getting in front of the right eyes, it’s almost pointless.
  • Good design is important, but there wouldn’t be anything to design if you didn’t have a kick-ass blog article to pair it with or a solid social strategy to promote it. It’s all important.

Does your brand identity need a facelift? What about a solid strategy to get your designs in front of the right audience? Contact us today for more ideas on how to stay current in this ever-changing digital landscape.

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SOURCES:

https://venngage.com/blog/graphic-design-trends/

https://strategicfactory.com/about-us/blog/how-does-pantone-choose-its-color-of-the-year.html

https://www.hubspot.com/

https://www.behance.net/gallery/68144691/Fast-Company-100-Most-Creative-People-2018

https://www.pantone.com/color-consulting/about-pantone-color-institute#trend-section

https://graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/24757/how-do-design-trends-originate

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