Design Trends 2018

26 leading designers, creative directors and illustrators tell us what’s inspiring them for the year ahead.

Digital Arts
1 February 2018

Ollie Rone-Clarke, Senior designer, Conran Design Group

In your area of creativity and business, what changes would you like to see happen in 2018?

‘This year, I'd like to see a better appreciation for design and the important role it can play in influencing beliefs and behaviour. We mustn't forget that design has a functional as well as an aesthetic purpose; it's a way of creating meaningful connections between an individual and a brand, not a practice in creating something beautiful for beauty's sake.’

How will it be different in form and function?

‘In the last few years, brands have been using a lot of contrasting colour (take the Spotify or Premier League logos, for example) in their visuals, and it will be interesting to see if this continues in 2018. My expectation is that this trend will continue to pervade, but it will undergo a slight shift - I anticipate that vibrant, bold colours will be replaced with punchy pastels.’

‘I've also seen the beginnings of what I suspect to be the revival of the 1950s/1960s deconstructive style, resonant of a time before computers. I look forward to seeing if this continues throughout the year.’

What will be the biggest external influences on your work/practice in 2018?

‘As March 2019 creeps closer, Brexit will be a big external influence on the design industry. We are in a period of uncertainty about what Brexit will mean for clients and budgets, so we need to start thinking about how, as an industry, we can negotiate tighter budgets whilst still producing high quality work if the time comes.’

What will be the key skills or knowledge that you'd like to learn in 2018?

‘The way that content is going at the moment, it looks as though animation is set to become an essential skill for designers. Animation helps break content down into digestible segments that an audience can take in more effectively than they can with still image. It's interactive, engaging, and from my perspective, is only set to grow in popularity.’

‘Coding is also a skill that I would like to keep developing this year, and it's great to see that it's becoming more accessible as we move further into the digital age. Lots of schools are now offering coding as a subject in schools, which is really exciting when looking towards the next generation of talent.’