The rise of User Interface (UI) patterns which now places User Experience (UX) as the most important aspect of design, means that many sites now look and work in similar ways, and brands now need to do away with stock imagery, videos and icons and be completely bespoke in order to stand out from the crowd.
Customers and users today seek authenticity from the brands they use, and stock pictures of creatives sat around a screen, or businessmen smiling just won’t cut it anymore.
In order for a brand to really strike a connection with its audience, they’ll need carefully considered and completely bespoke visuals, which are more representative of who they really are.
The following are all examples of how brands will hope to achieve this over the coming year.
Illustrations are fantastic, versatile mediums for creating visuals which are playful and friendly and add an element of fun to a site. Talented illustrators are able to create illustrations which are full of personality and tailored to match the tone of the brand, something which brands will be striving for more than an ever in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
With a unique style of illustration established, brands are then able to roll that out through their entire identity, for use in large header images, custom iconography and beautifully animated visuals.
Dropbox, is a great example of a brand that uses illustration to create beautiful, friendly and totally unique visuals which are full of character to appeal to their users.
There are trends, which are unique to illustration as a discipline within itself. We won’t linger on them too much here, but we recommend checking out Dribbble to see what kinds of illustrations the world’s best are working on. This is usually a good indicator of the styles and trends which will grow in popularity.
Big, bold, beautiful typography
Typography is also a powerful visual medium, able to create personality, evoke emotion and set tone. As device resolutions become sharper and type becomes more easy to read on-screen, brands will be looking to push the limits of typography even further to appeal to their users.
Expect to see an increase in over-sized and full screen type which breaks the grid, beautiful, unique, hand-rendered typography and lots of dynamic text and image layering working in tandem with parallax scrolling.
The big one – photography. Photography will always be a mainstay within web design and design in general, but as mentioned before, people desire authenticity from the brands they use and they know a stock photo when they see one.
Brands and designers will now be thinking more carefully about the imagery they use on site, hiring professional photographers to take their shots which frame them in the way they want to be seen.
Our prediction: We expect many sites, although increasingly similar in their structure and usability, to become more visually diverse and interesting as more unique creative, branded content is produced.
We anticipate seeing brands finding innovative ways to make their mark, using photography, video, illustration and typography to really build their own aesthetic online. Unique, carefully-considered is the name of the game here, and means that our job as designers is needed more than ever.
Business owners and brands want to move away from the boring stock feel of the past 5 years into a unique brand felt experience. With a little forethought we can bring your brand experience alive!
This post is adapted with thanks from an article by one of our associates, Ryan Blanche of design2website.