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The Top Design Trends of 2017, and Envato’s 2018 Predictions

Top trends in web design, audio, video, graphics design, and more – all picked by the Envato team.

It’s been a big year.
To recap, we’ve put together this list – curated by the team at Envato – of our top ten trends of the year, and predictions for what will be popular in 2018. Of course, there’s a lot more that happened in 2017 than what’s in this top ten.

A few honorable mentions for trends this year:

  • On WordPress and web development, we saw a focus on accessible design, simpler and more functional landing pages, an obsession with cryptocurrency, and the growth of ecommerce websites.
  • In the business world, we saw the rise of more video on platforms like LinkedIn, the continued dominance of subscription services, and more remote-friendly career paths.
  • In video & audio, trends included cinema-style logo reveals, Taylor Swift-inspired lyric videos, all things Cyberpunk, made-for-Youtube music, flashy Eurovision inspiration, and stock audio genres like boom-bap, tropical house, and electro swing.
  • Meanwhile, designers made custom illustrations, debated the pros and cons of Figma, designed for the growing ebook market, switched to iPads, snuck 3D renders into their 2D design work, made everything into marble, and avoided Helvetica this year.
  • On the Envato Blog, we analyzed the history of video game design, asked whether or not Gutenberg would change WordPress, and developed a love/hate relationship with trendy flat lay photography. Envato staff shared their expertise on everything from SEO tips for keyword research, authentic photography, and the potential legal consequences of ‘borrowing’ content.
  • We also highlighted our favorite and most creative items created by Envato’s community, including music-inspired fonts, stunning landscape photography, motion graphic collaborations, and a turtle-centric design challenge.

Here’s the list of our top ten trends of 2017:

#1: Geometric shapes
“Geometric and polygon art was big in 2017. Backgrounds, textures, and more, all with regular lines and repeating patterns.”

From zig-zig geo patterns to retro triangles and designs, we saw geometric patterns everywhere this year. It’s also a simple style to try some DIY design – you can learn about it in 60 seconds, or try your hand at creating your own simple geometric pattern.

Pop 3D Geo Patterns

 

        

            Geometric Patterns                     Winter Geometric Seamless Patterns             Color Blocking Patterns

 

#2: All tropical everything
“2017 had us dreaming of luxurious holidays, complete with lush palm trees, exotic fruit and beautiful wildlife. It was a real feast for the eyes.”

                   

               Tropics                      Tropical Night Flyer      Tropical Summer Party Flyer   Seamless Tropical Pattern

 

#3: Fast typography in video
“One of the biggest trends of this year is fast typography. In an era where we’re constantly overwhelmed by the amount of information being thrown at us, the popularity of templates that help deliver messages in fast, visually engaging ways has risen.

Stomp – Typographic Intro by Mnemonick

 

#4: Color fonts
“Color fonts are poised to take over the graphic design world in 2018… this unashamedly in-your-face trend promises to put the fun back into typography.”

The Fiesta Color font (pictured below – available to download on Envato Elements or DIY with this tutorial) highlights a new trend of colorful, custom fonts. We think this trend will continue into 2018.

            

               Confetti Type                                    RibOne font                              Circle Dot Alphabet

 

      

                   Oilvare Font                                                           Abstract ABC

 

#5: Future bass
“THE dominant 2017 audio trend on AudioJungle was Future Bass. While there’ve been a few noteworthy emergences, such as the SynthWave renaissance we’re seeing, it’s the contagious sub-lines, the slick sidechaining, and the catchy chopped vocals that have made Future Bass the big consistent winner this year, which is still non-stop exploding.

What’s next in audio trends for 2018? The reviewers said that “we may expect to see a continued and rising interest in ’80s Synthwave (à la Blade Runner, Stranger Things), Hybrid HipHop tracks (sporty stuff!) and we also have the more subtle Chill-Step showing strong signs of proliferation.”

 

#6: Simplicity in email design
“I think email will become sharper, smarter and more simplified… there will still be GIF’s, but they’ll be subtle and interactive at times. Text and content will be more concise, and I think emails will be created based on that premise. I imagine we’ll actually see more text-dominant emails with text links, and less overwhelming imagery.”

           

                   Email: Airbnb                                   Email: School of Life

 

#7: Return of the 90’s (and 80’s)
“2017 was big on bringing back loads of 90’s design, especially early 90’s American pop influenced design. We’re seeing more nods to the 80’s creeping in. 2018 could see us rehashing more 80’s & 90’s pop designs, as well as grunge, earthy tones being used in creative ways.”

            

How to Create a 90s Style Event Flyer in Adobe InDesign      How to Create a 90s Graphical Photo Effect in Adobe

 

#8: 2D + 3D design
“We’re going to see a lot more of 3D and faux 3d effects, abstract & geometrical elements flowing into the designs to help enhance the visual impact of landing pages, hero sections and newsletters. This will naturally also expand into print and out-of-home advertising platforms. With the evolution of screen technology in recent years, motion graphics will be taking advantage of this design language and have a particularly strong presence in 2018.”

Can you tell the difference between stock photos and 3D designs?

 

#9: More microinteractions
“These small “product-related moments” add magic to sites, delighting and surprising users, while at the same time engaging users and enhancing user experience.”

A microinteraction is a small moment that accomplishes a single task. We’ve seen them everywhere from social media sites to our WordPress themes on Themeforest, and it’s a design detail that will only grow in popularity.

 

Surprise and Delight: How Microinteractions Can Bring a Boring Website to Life

 

#10: Print isn’t dead
“Designers feel strongly and positively about print, and print remains crucial to how professional graphic designers make a living. Print lends itself to certain audiences and offerings where communication needs to be retained, contemplated, touched or trusted.”

According to a study done by Graphic Design USA (GDUSA), 97% of graphic designers work on print design projects, compared to 36% who work on TV, film, or video projects. The top print project types include brochures, marketing materials, cards, and direct mail.

                                      Clean Proposal               Movember Event Flyer          Business card template          Vengeance Poster/Flyer

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