... and trends we are looking forward to!
Yes, we are a little late with this post, BUT we have been working on some really interesting projects and because we are constantly looking for inspiration (putting moodboards together and creating new brands), we thought it was necessary for us to write about some of the trends we have really struggled accepting this past decade. We also thought it would be a fun game to get the team to think about what the future holds in terms of new trends and creative expression.
Here is a short list of styles, trends and generally creative movements we really want to leave behind:
OK, this is the classic ‘let’s look at history’ and bring this back. NO! We have to stop this, let’s stop this historical appropriation, please. Why are we imitating the 1950’s when it’s the 21st century? Can we put things into context, please?
Brutalism was born as an austere solution to the Liberty movement and founded fundaments in the Bauhaus school and the Modernist movement. Its style is characterized by massive, blocky, austere architecture; modest elements like cement and iron were widely used to express its simplicity and practicality, function over form, remember? Béton brut in French actually means “raw concrete” so we are looking at something that is naturally defined, not worked on and it’s purely simple.
But why has it become so popular in the past few years?
With trends moving fast and creativity exploring infinite possibilities, there has been a need for simpler stripped back visuals, looking in-depth at materials and meanings, concentrating on core messages, instead of distracting with over-the-top decorations and unrelated content.
As designers and developers we understand the need for being concise and clear about a brand’s purpose, BUT, it feels like this movement has definitely lost its meaningful message and it’s now become a visual language that has been commercially overused and it depicts temporality and superficiality.
Which leads us to our next one...
Repetitive Text Repetitive Text Repetitive Text
Epimone aka persistent repetition of the same phrase was cool back in 2016, but we have enough of this now. To give it a little bit of context, this was something that came out specifically within the music industry, one of the first examples were ‘Life of Pablo’ by Kayne West in 2016 and also ‘Endless’ by Frank Ocean, in the same year. Part of the success of this ‘style’ (should I be calling this a style?) has to be given to its young audience, who responded well to its clear graphics and associated it with up and coming artists.
It seems like designers have been having some fun with copy/pasting the same text all over again.
But what made this trend so hype? It definitely takes inspiration from old school propaganda and posters and exploring typographic elements juxtaposing strong colors to bring attention to the text, rather than the images. It automatically creates visual interest and attracts people’s eyes, but we think it is time now to stop using it, it’s dated and no longer efficient.
In essence, it feels like this has completely lost its plot – typography has always been a really clean and direct medium to get words (usually a message) across in a very personal and distinctive way. Now, we hear you but please stop writing the same thing 15 times!
Websites Scrolling to Infinity and Beyond
Writing this one for the team, as in the past years we have worked on so many websites, some of them from scratch, some of them as part of a refresh, and we have always had to face the aversion of infinite scrolling online.
While this feature works incredibly well for social media (i.e. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook - basically everything feed-related, that updates constantly), we always strongly recommended against it for multiple reasons. The first one being, it slows everything down. Literally. And frustrates the life out of the user. Practically speaking, it makes it really hard to frame content and to structure information, meaning that it makes it hard to find what you are looking for and works against readability.
From a user perspective, it really complicates things: infinite scroll overwhelms you with an infinite amount of information and often plays horrible tricks that are hard to avoid (ever got stuck or waited minutes before getting to the bottom of the page)? It also shows viewable content that most often doesn’t even open, causing inaction and much lower conversion rates (remember the goal is to interact and keep the user as long as possible).
Are you convinced now? If you, like many of the others, want to get rid of the infinite scrolling on your site, GET IN TOUCH. NOW! We promise we won’t judge.
Well done if you made it thus far, we are going to stop being so judgemental now, so here is a list of good things that have left a positive impact and provide constant inspiration for our work and approach, stuff we’d like to praise and highlight.
We have mentioned Jessica Walsh before, not only because her work is incredibly beautiful and deserves to be praised, but also because of how we -just like her- are part of the 0.1% of creative companies that are founded by a woman (thank you Elle for the honour)!. YES, it’s crazy but this is a topic for a completely different time; this time we wanted to focus on how Jessica and her team have been creating 3D visuals that are avant-garde and so fluid. Not only her newest project, Andwalsh focuses on inclusivity and praises the weird in our world, but has also created a new abstract aesthetic that mixes original 3D motion and animation to deliver impactful visual languages.
In fact, we strongly believe 3D motion is going to be a big thing in this new decade; from liquid motion to bright bold colors, the return of the gradients (the cool ones!) and abstract morphing. We are excited to experiment more with it and offer it as a service. Call Out: if you are an experienced 3D Motion designer reach out, it would be great to connect and get to know each other.
Design for Action
2019 was the last year of the decade, and we are proud to say we have noticed a huge difference in agencies and professionals, designing for action and wanting to take a stand on many of the problems humanity and the world are facing in our modern age.
From more gender-equality discussions to Fridays for Future, from Extinction Rebellion to the incredible support given to Australia recently, the creative industries are taking a strong position and have used their powers to highlight problems and causes that need real attention.
Younger generations are really making an effort to approach problems in a more mature and responsible way. Creativity is no longer just an ephemeral way to illustrate a feeling or translate a message on a campaign but has become a necessary medium for the public voice. A new wave of young informed media is growing thanks to social media. Younger adults are becoming more informed, taking more informed positions and really caring about the future.
And for us, a business that strongly believes in purpose, this means that we use our skills and knowledge to support such great projects!
VR / AR
Lastly, we feel like we couldn’t leave this one out. Mixed Reality (the marriage of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality) is rapidly becoming part of everyone’s lives, providing a platform for everyone’s imagination to become tangible and experienceable. Both VR and AR have now integrated into retail, entertainment, education, health and so much more, allowing creativity to bring even the hardest of projects into life.
Because technology is a fast-growing industry, VR on its own is expected to grow into a £4.4billion business by 2023, it is hard to predict what the next ten years are going to surprise us with. We think it will definitely become more accessible and a tool that will improve infrastructures and simplify processes, and we hope it’s an instrument that can be used to educate and change people’s perspectives for the better, whether it is for a cultural project or for the public sector; we are incredibly excited to experiment with it and look forward to seeing how it will evolve.
[Credits: Thanks to Mbryonic for their knowledge and research on the field]
We hope you have enjoyed our list and we’d love to know if you have any trends that you either love or hate? If so, please let us know!
Drew London are excited to be part of the future, and cannot wait to see how creativity and curiosity will continue to add value and meaning to our industry!