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Predicting the Impossible! Our Top Design Trend Guesses for 2014

Design is a fickle business that is ever-evolving and changing. Almost impossible to predict, the graphic design trends and fashions of one year are usually radically different the next. Although graphic design is very responsive to new tech and new ideas, it’s hard to pin down exactly what’s next. As design bloggers, we tend to subjectively clutch at what we think will be the next graphical trend.

So here are our best guesses for the coming design year as we subjectively clutch at what we perceive to be noticeable changes in design fashion. The examples below showcase some fantastic design and a look at possible design trend 2014.

Café Evoke and Geox Amphibiox are perfect examples of Responsive Design with fluid UI that reacts to its environment

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Responsive Web Design (RWD)

For those that are unsure of this relatively new revolution in web design, RWD is the term given to creating websites that look good and function across all mobile, tablet, laptop, and CPU devices, making it easy for the user to navigate, read, and interact with the site. The resulting websites have big images/backgrounds, simple functionality, and fluid design and copy that reshape to fit the user environment.

If web developers and designers thought that RWD was an essential design approach in 2013, then they’ll consider it “design 101” in 2014, in which the need for smart optimization will be the focus for new site building and redevelopment.


The amazing 3D print effect in action

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3D Print Effects

In the world of print we’ve seen a lot of new developments with special effects like metallic inks and foil stamping becoming more affordable and more widely used in design projects. What could be the next development for print in 2014 is the 3D print effect, in which a flat surface is transformed into a simple 3D effect.

The effect utilizes a print process that allows for three images to be seen from different angles. It creates a visual in a perpetual state of transition between one portrait and the next. It is such a cool effect and something that could be a game changer for the world of print design and advertising.


Oak and Combadi are sites that use the flat graphical style to create a crisp, clean, and attractive UI

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Flat UI

With the introduction of Windows 8, Microsoft overhauled its whole look and added a clean UI design with flat icons and simplified grid-like navigation. This style has had a massive impact on the design community as a whole and both web and print design has taken on a simplified approach that better suits new device environments.

The flat design approach will continue to grow in 2014 because clean always beats fancy, and the uncluttered design approach to both web and print is a progressive move for designers who want to make an easier design connection with people.


Examples of the ways in which monochrome color choices will be used to add sophistication to design

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Monochromatic Design

This is a trend that stems from the flat UI evolution of web design that will impact both print and web in 2014. We’ll see a lot more stylish monochrome design choices this year. Why use three colors when shades of one color will do?


The idea of mixing very different fonts in this “retro advertising” style will continue to grow in 2014

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Varied Typography

The idea of “mix and match” typography has been growing in design popularity over the last few years, but I think in 2014 we will start to see this trend being more noticeable for both web and print design. This design fashion has a lot to do with the backlash from a more Spartan and minimalist typographical approach we’ve seen in print and web since 2010. This does not mean that we will be seeing lots of fancy fonts and design clutter! On the contrary, the current trend for font mixing is to keep simple environments and spaces to house different, yet harmonious, font choices that are dynamic and exciting.



Radical shapes and patterns may be a big deal in 2014

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Radical Geometry                               

I predict that the radical and almost “psychedelic” geometrical designs will be a major trend in 2014. Last year we saw a lot of simple geometric design choices that harkened back to the Swiss school of design thought. This year, these geometric shapes will start to evolve into brilliantly colored, complex geometric patterns.


Two examples of vector illustrations that use a distinctly “hand drawn” style with bags more character than generic vector imagery and

Hand-Crafted Vector Design

I think that even people outside of the graphic design universe are getting bored with the atypical, super-gradient vector designs. Everything was starting to look like stock imagery, and people are just getting tired of Illustrator designs that have more to do with shape-building skill than actual illustration skill.

In 2014 I think we’re going to see a rise in the popularity of sketch-based vector design in which the hand of the creator can be seen in the icon, illustration, or infographic that’s created. I think this is good news for skillful illustrators and designers.


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