Halloween of 2016

The highest trending costume of 2016

SMASHING Design Trends In 2016…

Who says smashing anymore?

By Kelsey Richman


It’s amazing that just this simple train ride over the bridge and I’ve crossed the state line. While riding the train from New Jersey to Philadelphia, I discovered this interesting article talking about current design trends. As I was scrolling through it, I became aware that I didn’t even realize that what I see everyday on my travels were some of these current or even past design trends mentioned. I would just look at these advertisements and think of ways I could have made them better or what I like and could learn by studying them.

For six years I have been riding this train for school, work and pleasure and over those six years I observed many trends come and go. A trend is almost never new. They come and go everyday, sometimes just as fast as they came; whether they were being used in advertisements on the backs of the chairs, ceilings and even on the walls of the train to the advertisements on the train’s platform to billboards, basically everywhere you look you can find these trends.

Trends aren’t just found in graphic design. There are physical trends like what people wear, what people say and even the technology they are currently using. The point is, they don’t stick around forever, but things do resurface later in life as well.

As a graphic designer, it is important that you are at least aware of what is currently trending so that you know when to and when not to use them. This can even be everyday slang and sayings. You wouldn’t want to be that person who is still saying “SMASHING” like Nigel Thornberry.

Modern vs. Retro Trending Styles

Far Out Man

Modern Retro Style

“As opposed to vintage or “old” retro—styles that draw from the early 1900s through the 60s—“modern” retro takes its stylistic influences from more recent decades, the late 1970s through the 90s. Think early PCs and video games, pixel art, and space themes: nerdy is the new cool.” (Janie Kliever)

The retro style has made many comebacks over the years. It’s a pleasuring sense of nostalgia that we crave. Many of us love to relive our childhood, whether that is retro game systems, our old toys we used to play with or the old record players our parents used to have. It all make’s a comeback. Record players are back in style! It’s crazy.

Be There or Be Square

Material Design

Google has a lot to do with this trend. It made quite a splash in the design world when it introduced its material design guidelines. This visual language is characterized by bold colors, large typography, intentional white space, and light and shadow effects for a bold, graphic look, according to Google.

“Material design is often referred to as “Flat 2.0” because, in many ways, it’s an update to the flat design trend, adding light/shadow, depth, and movement for a more tactile sense of realism.” (Janie Kliever

Even though Google created this trend for mobile and web, we see it being used in many other things as well.

Let’s look at some examples:

In some flat 2.0 illustrations like this weather app by Disky Chairiandy integrates light and shadow effects for a sense of depth.

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