Within the creative industry who is it that decides the latest trends for everyone else to copy, erm… I mean borrow. Is it the big creative agency in the sky? As a designer that’s the one answer I’d love to know and how do I get a job there.

Personally I feel it’s all down to your own personal opinion. What keeps your designs fresh and eye catching. What fonts, shapes and colour schemes you haven’t used to death and what’s the quickest way to solve the brief so you can move onto the next job that was required yesterday. So basically all I’m going to talk about is what at this particular moment in time floats my boat in the world of Graphic and Web design.

Fonts

The days are gone when I would have a catalogue of hundreds of fonts and would try and select a new fresh font for every job. I now basically have 6: old faithful Helvetica, Din, Barmeno, Lubalin, Dax and now my current favorite Museo. Din has taken over from Helvetica in the print world in the last few years but is now starting to move over to the web domain thanks to CSS3. In print my current favorite is Museo. I love it’s freshness with a slight retro feel and I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot more of it in the coming next 12 months or so. You read it here first.

Background and Textures

Backgrounds will stay toned down to keep uniformity with brave, thick fonts and bold colours. The dominant background colours will be different tints of washed out pastel colours, e.g. light blue or pink, combined with soft textures. Textures will be creased or slightly gritty, just to give your background more depth and an illusion of 3D and the use of light gradients for more subtle but effective result.

Colour

Bold colours all the way but only using 3 or 4 colours at most. Different tones of the same colour with the additional contrasting colour to give impact to important areas of the layout with a textured background will work every time.

Shapes

No more large rounded corners. There’s nothing that drives me mental more than seeing a new layout with large rounded corners. I understand that it might fit with the branding but still as Zammo would say, just say no. I feel that any image or layout looks a million times better with sharp edges any day. But again that’s only my personal opinion.

Layout

Minimalism. Keep it simple, clean and subtle. As long as the fundamentals of design are followed such as alignment! Even the most minimal layout can look outstanding and doesn’t distract the user from what the purpose of the layout is. Can’t see the wood for the trees springs to mind.

Conclusion

So basically it’s really all down to what you and as all designers have experienced at some point the feeling when “a plan comes together” and you get the shivers and bellyache with excitement of knowing you’ve cracked it. Job done, next!

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