There is a paradox when it comes to brand design. Trends change all the time, but the brand must stay the same, retaining its essence, its values, and its image.
On the one hand, a brand must remain recognizable. On the other hand, it cannot afford to be outdated. To broadcast its message to the world, a brand must speak the language and meet the expectations of its audience. If it fails to do so, the audience will be gone. A brand has to remain exciting, comprehensible, emotionally close, and up-to-date. That’s why even the oldest and most respectable brands follow the trends and change with the times.
Trends are not the goal but a means to an end.
A designer who understands this will always be able to find the right means, whether it’s creating a new visual identity or rebranding.
Let’s take a look at the web design trends that have proven their worth in 2021 and will confidently keep in 2022. All of them are simply features of the visual language that brands communicate in. New words and expressions appear all the time, speech and pronunciation change, but the core of the language remains the same. The same rule applies to design. Promising trends combine the old and the new. By absorbing the best the past can offer, they carry it onward into the future.
So what will brands carry with them to 2022?
Minimalist design has become much more than a simple trend. In a world overwhelmed by information and visuals, it’s a necessity. Creating order in the midst of chaos, removing all distractions, emphasizing the essentials — all this is paramount in branding. Simple shapes guarantee easier perception, better memorization, and faster recognition. Simplicity and concision focus energy and power.
Conventional minimalism with a limited color palette is gradually being replaced by new, colorful variations. It retains clear and concise shapes and meanings but is visually enriched by vivid colors. In essence, it’s an amalgamation of two designs, wherein traditional combinations are augmented by bright colors and elements.
Apps, websites, social media platforms, and operational systems are increasingly offering a dark scheme. It’s very popular with users.
Be aware that brand design looks very different in dark mode. A familiar color palette may not work against a black background. To achieve the same effect as in the light scheme, the colors will need to be adjusted. Some brands are ideologically opposed to the dark scheme. But the rest can make use of its eye-catching effects: the contrast, the vivid and vibrant highlights, the impression of depth, the elegance and prestige.
The geometric style has shown real promise in creating visual identities. It speaks in a language of precise lines and simple shapes.
Geometric design works equally well for the main elements (such as a logo) and the background (ornaments, patterns, etc.). Elements can be endlessly combined and recombined to achieve cool effects and a common visual rhythm. Geometric design makes it easier to adhere to the signature style.
Muted colors are as trendy as ever. They are easy on the eye, relaxing, and create the impression of tranquility and peace. Mint hues make the design look fresh and clean. A soft palette signals comfort and security. This is exactly what some businesses need.
Purple hues were especially popular in 2021. They go well with pastel colors, creating a tranquil atmosphere, so they aren’t going anywhere.
The classic style is eternally relevant for companies that position themselves as the keepers of tradition, stability, status, and prestige. These brands prefer designs with strict proportions, precise shapes, and elegant simplicity.
A classic logo is an impressive combination of geometric shapes, monograms, and ornaments. Sometimes it represents the company’s name.
Classic serif fonts are back and are often combined with non-classic styles. These fonts evoke feelings of nostalgia and “good old reliability,” which explains their resurgence.
This trend isn’t just about nature, the environment, and health; it’s about naturalness in all things: natural colors, non-staged photos, candid real-life stories of brands and people.
Gradients are also popular, as they make the imagery more spectacular and effective.
Illustrations are increasingly finding their way into branding design. They attract attention, invoke positive emotions, help communicate with the audience, and create a more informal atmosphere. It’s a simple, efficient, and memorable way to tell a brand’s story. Illustrations make the brand unique, fun, and more human.
Illustrative icons and symbols add authenticity and increase recognition. It’s a time-honored trend. Nike, Apple, and Starbucks have been following it for decades and aren’t stopping anytime soon.
Having an animated logo is increasingly becoming a necessity rather than a trend. A logo like that immediately grabs the viewer’s attention and retains it for some time, which is crucial for remembering.
Animated logos look good on mobile devices. Pages featuring animated graphics attract the audience quicker.
Animation can be used to tell a brand’s story by expanding on the idea contained in the static logo. In just a few seconds, you can showcase the brand’s activities, work principles, and even values. Successful examples include LinkedIn and FedEx.
Brand design is not merely a blind pursuit of trends. Just as no two brands are identical, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula of success. It’s up to you to create it.
The most important thing is maintaining a relationship with the audience, speaking the same language, moving in one direction. Then any choice you make will be the right one, and new brand identity will bring tangible success.
Use the trends but don’t let them use you!