1. Simplistic Design Elements
I can't say how many times I perused Behance or Pinterest this past year and was inspired by a piece that featured any number of simple design elements. Dots, small, confetti-like polygons, triangles, organic curves or lines, all seemingly random but in fact were placed quite intentionally. I love these designs because they tend to break several big design rules, while remaining tastefully crafted and well-thought out. For a long time I thought structure was the key to successful design; now I know that organized chaos can make for a gorgeous design as well!
2. Random Shapes
Not unlike the first trend, random vector shapes have emerged and make for really eye catching designs. This trend caters to the minimal designer (me!) but can have a powerful impact when done successfully. I call them random because to the non-designer these designs may seem arbitrary, but in actuality there is most likely some hidden meaning to them. When I'm hard-up for inspiration I love playing around with the shapes tool in Illustrator to see what weird, seemingly random creation pops onto the screen!
What a weird word - this trend was huge for me this past year, though I'm fairly confident we'll see less and less of it in 2016. Because of the funky, minimal, quirky impact it had on the design world, not to mention it's ease-of-implementation, I think this style was widely over used and I am definitely one of the designers who leaned on the squiggle line when I needed to bring some funk to my work. But can you blame me?? How cute is this pattern?
4. Vector Illustrations
This is a big one, though I'm sure it has carried on year after year. People seem to love a good illustration, and not the cute hand-drawn doodle that you drew on your college notebook. These illustrations have been drafted several times until they are made just right. They are scanned, vectorized and made flawlessly for the digital-minded individual. This style of illustration is really widespread in the creative design industry, with companies like Fuzzco, Hum Creative and Orca Design Co. featuring it beautifully in their work. Cheers, we'll see you again in 2016!
5. Animated GIFs
Hold up - gifs have been around for forever right? Yes, but not like this. Designers are using simple animations to spice up logos or add a little bit of flair to a website. It's eye catching and fun, and when combined with a sweet design the result is always impressive. Some of my favorite designers have been animating their work to showcase on their portfolios and I've always really enjoyed the effect. In a world that is constantly moving and continuously growing, it's no surprise to me that static designs will soon be a thing of the past, the only question is when.