Design is constantly changing to reflect the ever-changing technology around us. It tends to go through cycles of being simple, to being complex, to being simple again – and right now, graphic design is shifting away from a simple, clean Swiss style, to a rather more complex and creative vintage style, embracing handwritten fonts and vintage tones and textures. Perhaps one of the most surprising shifts is in terms of principles – graphic design is now becoming more about true, traditional graphic design in that the design accurately conveys the message, but in a much more creative way than ever before.
Morten Iveland, a Norwegian graphic designer, explains that the recreation of vintage media, such as movie posters, artwork and book covers has been a general theme in the entire visual industry. Typeface is a media that is wholeheartedly embracing the vintage trend, with a shift from traditional fonts like Helvetica to handwritten fonts, along with fonts created from scratch. Appetite creative director, Jason Butler, believes that clients appreciate fonts and lettering that has real character and that conveys the spirit of the message. Handwritten fonts have a little more heart than easily recognisable fonts, and they are almost more approachable. This style is very strong and engaging, and a strong, easily recognisable font, conveying an easily recognisable brand message, will be much more successful than a simple but boring font.
Seemingly “random” designs using geometric, interesting shapes, and great imagery are also becoming more and more popular. Iveland also states that designers are moving away from the traditional Swiss “grid” system of design, and towards more creative arrangements that still convey a very clear brand message.
There may also be a shift from the term “graphic designer” – some of the most well-known graphic designers, such as Helen Pak and Justin Rieder say that they no longer describe themselves as graphic designers. Pak describes herself as a problem-solver, explaining that “any term before designer in a business title is a career-limiting move”, while Rieder says that he would best describe himself as a coach. Graphic designers no longer only do graphic design – they might also be branding specialists, logo designers, customer service representatives, salespeople – so perhaps “graphic designer” is a term that we will hear less and less of in the future.
Overall, graphic design is moving toward a traditional set of principles. Design should easily convey the brand message in a clearcut way – but with a touch of added creativity with the use of a handwritten font, geometric shape or unexpected arrangement of data. Make your designs easily recognisable yet creative and you’ll be on the right track – and perhaps you’ll even create the design of the future. For more information on design and branding visit www.noesis-design.com