Graphic Trends for 2018 Graphic Trends for 2018

Graphic Trends for 2018

by ,
on 3 April 2018


With the end of the year looming large, it’s the opportunity to discuss the graphic trends that are likely to guide our creative work in 2018. As you will see, many of these trends have already influenced the area of graphic creation this year but you can bet that we’ll see even more of them in the coming months. So here goes, a short list of the trends currently in vogue which we believe have a future.

Here’s to bright colors!

Spotify’s graphic universe is often mentioned to illustrate a trend already noticed in 2017. For 2018, we’ll still need bright, joyful, and energetic colors everyday. Pantone has not yet voted the color of the year but has however unveiled the 12 key colors for decoration in 2018, and they are all bold!

Pairing explosive colors whether in swatches or shading, will boost the image and draw the eye. This requires thought in order to create combinations of shades that are both impacting yet harmonious.

Spotify’s bright colors

Fashion Color Trend Report – 12 trendy colors for 2018 by Pantone

The play of shapes and motifs

This freedom in using the color palette comes with a freedom in the use of shapes and motifs. Geometric shapes, which dress up a style also make it energetic, add volume, and a singular identity.

Gowithin site homepage

Type sets are obvious…

… and sometimes even in the same image. The letters become graphic components in their own right and are sometimes self-sufficient. On the web, words and titles grow in size and catch the eye. Whether simple or more ornate, the play of type sets is interesting to use.  Texts and images can be paired to highlight one another. The text is not just next to the image. It becomes a part of the image.

Sites: Rainfall / Heartbeat / Flavinsky / Fanny Myard


This is nothing new: cliched photos from image stocks are no longer seductive. Everyone is looking for natural authenticity in an image in order to project themselves. And it’s even more important that your target identify more easily with the image shown. We’ve observed a lot of this trend in advertising for certain brands. Ikea for example, aired its “Make room for life!” commercial with moments pulled from daily life that speak to us all. We feel closer to the brand, and so more engaged.

Image from the Ikea TV ad “Make room for life”

Social networks also influence this new search for authenticity. On the Internet, some photographs appear more authentic when they are published by real people who stage their everyday life, a life we better identify with. The take away is that the choice of images is of the utmost importance in advertising so it is simultaneously close to your brand, the message you want to send, but also close to your target. Artifice distances us from reality. Using more natural images allows the targeted public to feel closer to the brand, more engaged. Also, breaking with clichés helps to stand apart.

 It has to move, graphism is alive!

Movement holds a place of honor. The advantage of digital creation is that it can “come to life” with movement. I mentioned the cinemagraphic trend in January 2016, and this trend is still current. We never tire of animated images that are almost hypnotic. We’ve also seen the Glitch trend, the destructured image that seems to bug and here again, attests to our desire for putting the image in motion.

A quick reminder of what a cinemagraph is – Pantone colors come alive by Teresa Freitas

In this same line, video also continues to grow in importance to boost a brand for instance and to immerse the user. The FedEx Sound Track site, for example, takes on life thanks to the video in the background. The movements are discreet but they make it possible to efficiently add a little energy without altering content.

Click to land on this site and see the animation.

Likewise, small elements come to life on sites for no other reason than aesthetics or fun. Take for example, the logo of the creative news site Fubiz. It’s animated in a fluid yet discreet manner to illustrate an inspirational area addressed on the site. Refresh the page, and you’ll get to see a new animation – and you may even run into Wall-e.

We’ve also observed a strong increase in virtual reality. Impossible not to notice on Snapchat and major brands are also getting into it. We’ll again cite Ikea with their Ikea Place application. Augmented reality is not only used here for play, it also has a useful purpose. Users can in fact project themselves in their interiors by visualizing Ikea furniture in their homes but by way of the telephone.

View of the Ikea Place application

There are numerous opportunities afforded us by digital to give life to graphism. They are obviously to be used in light touches as you can have too much of a good thing. You don’t want to lose the Internet users eye with too much animation: your site should not look like an overloaded Christmas tree. Use animations with parsimony. One of my favorites this year to illustrate the trend is the Kikk 2017 Festival site. Light and poetic animation and pictures that seem to float. The site plunges the Internet visitor into an immersive universe that’s animated in a delicate and sensitive manner.

Kikk 2017 Festival site

2018 promises to offer numerous opportunities to boost and distinguish our creations! And what are your favorites in terms of graphic trends?

Thanks to Justine Bayart for her precious advice.


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