Welcome to 2014!
Hopefully you all had a safe and refreshing festive period and are ready for a positive and productive year ahead. Argon has just finished our first week back in the saddle and we are already looking forward to Adelaides Mad March with the tail-end of the Tour Down Under, Fringe, Adelaide Festival, Clipsal 500 Adelaide and WOMADelaide all to look forward to.
Every year brings new challenges, goals, expectations plus (something we love following) trends! Our designers cast their eye over the coming year and penned their thoughts on what it may bring in both Graphic and Web design.
Simplistic and Flat Design
You may have already noticed a shift from several of the larger global companies (Apple, Google etc.) for design simplicity and flat design. With a greater push for reliable statistics and appropriate infographics, rather than paragraphs of unsupported fluff, the need to be able to communicate succinctly and clearly without imagery, often clichéd or overused stock photos, is essential to reaching your target market. A demographic that has an exponentially diminishing attention span who are more likely to respond to large images and key statistics.
Having said ‘simplicity is the way to go’ it is even more important that your logo and branding has personality and depth. This wave of simplistic re-designing can lead to a lack of brand sovereignty where the previous elements lose their familiarity and recognition. It’s important to lose the clutter, but even more important not to lose the heart – both boxes need to be ticked.
Typography. It’s one of the design elements that keeps our Design Coordinator Josh ticking. It’s a lot of fun to play with, align, modify, but it’s extra important that care is taken when using typefaces with logos and branding. It’s particularly obvious when someone without graphic design experience designs a document, often in Publisher, as they tend to complicate the look with a calamitous arrangement of fonts, colours and effects. We are expecting (Josh is praying) for a more thoughtful and well-informed approach to typography in 2014.
A trend that we expect to hit it’s heights in 2014, large imagery has already started to hit its mark online, you can see we’ve jumped on the bandwagon on our cover image! When large, high-quality images are the primary focus point, there’s less need for embellishments, text, colour and other various items that can sometimes detour the site visitor. This trend, accompanied by carefully considered content and typography, can make sure it reaches the user via the best experience possible.
With the need to be able to view a solitary website on a desktop computer as well as a small iPhone screen responsive websites have never been more popular. Adaptive Content, Mobile First, Device Agnostic, Resolution Independent; all these terms are evolving towards a common destination which is the unification of desktop and mobile into a single version. Expect this to be all the rage this year and in the years to come.
Since the explosion of Apple-led mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, in the mid 2000’s flash animation has been on the way out as it’s slow, clunky, poor for SEO and most importantly chews through all your downloads! As a result web developers have needed to to explore alternative ways of bringing interactivity to their projects. HTML5, CSS and the careful use of video have all been used with success recently but it’s the resurgence of the humble animated GIF that we expect to continue to be utilised (not just in social media memes) in 2014. GIFs are simple and create interaction, grabbing the attention of the viewer and keeping them engaged for longer periods.