25 Jan

Design Trends for 2017

What does 2017 have in store for us? Design-wise the smart money is on greenery, video and colour pops. We delve through this mixed bag…

Seattle-based stock photo agency Getty Images publishes its list of directional predictions each year and this year is highlighting six themes: virtuality (or the player perspective), colour surge, unfiltered, gritty woman, global neighbourhood and new naivety.

The colour surge theme is an interesting diversion from the currently popular hipster hand-drawn aesthetic, taking us back to a ‘90s-style bold text and bold manipulation of colour. Getty says: “in our hyper-kinetic world, audiences are fatigued with the ordinary. Unusual colour combinations can immediately ignite interest and excitement in a campaign. Whether they are overwhelmingly beautiful or exquisitely ugly, the powerful manipulation of colour stops us in our tracks.”


The colour of 2017 is greenery


But what colours are we going to be surging? Colour authority Pantone has announced that the colour of 2017 is greenery ; “a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew.”

Meanwhile, amongst the predictions from rival photo agency Shutterstock is a return to the “authenticity” trend. This isn’t so much a trend as a continuum – we’ve been moving this way for at least a decade. Indeed, Getty’s other five themes are part of this search for authenticity.


AR and VR are probably going to have the biggest impact on marketing design

AR and VR

I’m not sure whether augmented reality offers more or less authenticity but, of the seven technology trends Forbes magazine has predicted will take off this year, AR and VR are probably going to have the biggest impact on marketing design. Adding value to products and showcasing products through apps with Augmented Reality features opens up a whole new exciting world for marketers. And designers will be a key part of driving this forward and bringing AR to life.


Wearables demand intuitive minimalist interfaces

Mobile First

Another continuing theme in expert predictions for 2017 is the “mobile first” mantra. This isn’t new, but since Google started introducing a “mobile first” approach to indexing at the end of last year there is now a huge impetus on marketers to actually do “mobile first” rather than just talk about it.

Inevitably, “mobile first” is going to demand a greater focus on clear visual communication in UI design. This is something Adobe highlighted on its blog; one key design prediction for 2017 is “the evolution of minimalist design”. Wearables, of course, are another important driver towards intuitive minimalist interfaces. It’s a big challenge for designers, but when it is done well it can be nothing short of brilliant.



Finally, all the smart money is on video continuing to increase in importance for digital marketers. Getty’s new naivety theme is at work here too; with live unscripted video being an increasingly powerful force. Making video a major part of web design, rather than just an add-on or an afterthought requires some creative thinking on the part of website designers and might even lead to some novel, really creative and innovative UIs and UXs.


Now there’s a challenge for 2017!