2018 design trends

What design trends and visuals will your eyes be feasting upon in 2018?

The world of design is forever in flux, this season’s stunning will be next season’s standard and soon to become stale. With competition for turning the heads of an increasingly fickle consumer being forever fierce, it pays to keep an eye on the future of design to avoid being beaten into irrelevance by your faster moving competitors.

At Ikon, design is in our very bloodstream, we eat it, drink it and breathe it. We’re so excited by the trends which are sure to be a big feature of the forthcoming year that we’ve put together a handful of our favourite design trend predictions which we’re sure have the potential to be huge this year.


Colour gels and photography

We’ve described photographers as ‘Lightsmiths’ and we’re increasingly seeing the use of coloured gels or similar multi-hued light filters in commercial photography. A trend we expect to see continue.

Traditionally, product photography, especially for online shops and catalogues, uses pure white light and pure white backgrounds to accurately show the subject and present a pristine, clean impression. The use of colour gels turns all that on its head. The use of complementary or even clashing colours attracts the eye by simply being different to everything else. If used for products, such adverts will immediately stand out in a sea of white backgrounds. This should continue well into the year until everyone catches on to the use of colour. For the time being though, coloured lighting provides unusual, eye-catching and thought provoking imagery, so we’d encourage you to get in touch with us before it becomes too mainstream.


The Pantone colour of the year

The Pantone Institute has declared that Ultra Violet (unpoetically known as Pantone 18-3838)  is the 2018 colour of the year and they’re not usually wrong with their forecasts, so expect to see lots of purple for the next 12 months or so.


Edgy, bright and handmade

In a battle for the attention of the consumer, brands are likely to be deliberately amping up their visual ‘pop’ with bright colours and using edgier ideas to make sure their messages stick in the mind of the audience. Visual perfection is likely to be eschewed in favour of a more handcrafted style in backdrops and set design as advertisers embrace the ‘Etsy’ look rather than the carefully curated catalogue imagery popular at present.

A little controversy can attract attention and increase social shares, so we predict that advertisers are likely to be chancing their arm with riskier, more edgy content. Expect design trends to include a little subtle sauciness, challenging of social norms and less regard for traditional taboos.


Design trends in three dimensions

For those who thought virtual reality is a trend that never took off, expect to see this medium increase in popularity as the technology becomes more easily accessible via the use of smartphone powered headsets at the low end and Occulus Rift, Playstation VR or similar providing a higher end experience. Filming in 3D and in 360 degrees is becoming increasingly accessible and while the technology is still a bit niche, we suspect that this is already well on its way to changing, with artists already using 3D and VR technology to make the visual experience more immersive.

While electronic screens have become ultra high definition, capable of displaying imagery and graphics in infinitesimal detail, design is likely to head off in an entirely different direction. Expect brand logo’s to simplify in shape, but amplify with the use of subtle shading to give the impression of depth.

Another way to represent 3D in two dimensions is the via the use of isometric angles which we’re likely to be seeing more of this year across all visual mediums.



Have you made any predictions of your own about what’s going to be hot or not in 2018? We’d love to hear your predictions and how we can help make your brand stand out from an increasingly imaginative crowd.