“AI is our (new-ish) friend, less is more and more is more, and how I accidentally became a video and animation designer.”
by Darlene Veenhuizen
Staying in the loop with graphic design trends isn’t just a good idea; it’s the cornerstone to maintaining relevance, leaving your competition in the dust, captivating your audience, shaping your brand’s identity, and giving users a top-notch experience. It’s the cornerstone of a successful design strategy and branding in today’s ever-evolving visual landscape.
Top 2024 Design Trends
Imagery more focused on personality rather than gender
Instead of generic looking people, emojis, or even models, brands are looking to include diversity, as well as personality and non-gender specific elements/styles and people.
Rather than creating odd amalgam blobs that are meant to be people, the trend for 2024 in design and brand illustrations will be to show more diversity in the people portrayed, and have less of a focus on genders. There will be a shift to interest and personality in design elements like photography, icons, and illustrations. Finally!
AI Assisted Design
AI is now being used as the in-house design assistant, giving us tools that cut down on design time and get concepts in front of clients at a rate that we have never seen before. This time last year, we were all a little worried AI was coming for the role of Designer. While there is still plenty of controversy and law suits, AI has wormed it’s way into the hearts of designers. Adobe has been adding AI to it’s suite of software, and no one can resist how fast and efficient it is. The designer is no longer bound to an office chair crouching over a photoshop file, or beholden to our skills at creating clipping masks. We (and pretty much anyone) can now transfer what we see in our minds to appear on the screen with the click of some buttons or a well worded prompt. The next challenge: dream bigger.
Anyone can remove backgrounds with a click, recolor art with ease, and save hours by asking for a fresh block of code snippets. While the code (in my experience) is not always correct, the rest is still pretty amazing.
Ultimately, I started 2024 no longer nervous about AI, but happy to have it alongside as my co-pilot. AI has also given many artists and designers a new form of expression through AI prompting. Heather Crank is still my personal favorite example of a designer and artist finding a new way of expression with Midjourney.
Include AI in your brand guidelines
Here’s an unpopular opinion: Marketing and brand managers, 2024 will be the year you need to update your brand guidelines to include new customer avatars and guidelines on AI usage and policy.
If you haven’t updated your brand guidelines to include a policy on how and when to use AI, it’s time to sit down and articulate those guidelines. Can your brand designers or employees use AI for design and content writing? What inputs should the AI model be given in order to work well for your brand?
Minimalist vs. Maximalist
We saw this in 2023 trends, and it’s continuing, but I predict it in a slightly different way. Logo and packaging design are going more minimalist. Think clean lines, bold color, or just 1-2 colors, and lots of white space.
Minimalism is colliding into maximalism (which makes sense, one was born out of a response to the other) and this year I’m seeing it using a minimalist logo with maximum brand elements to support it. Think super simple logos, while the rest of the design piece is covered in fun colors, textures, patterns, and vibrant photography.
Collage or Scrapbook Style
Collage is a sort of tangent of this, and it’s one of my longtime favorites. Collage style is BACK in 2024, though I have to say I saw it coming in 2023. A few of my favorite examples of brands using collage design in their branding include Spotify and Chani. Both of these brands also use animation, which is especially trending for social media in 2024.
Social media design trends:
Video and Animation
While video has been trending for quite some time in social media, animation is big in social video and will continue to be. Animating text and graphics with a voice-over narrative on top of them, something we call graphic videos, is a trend that started in 2023 and has taken off in 2024. I’ve seen an uptick in animations of graphics, icons, other media, or people on a greenscreen, all interacting and keeping the viewer hooked.
Adding captions to your video is an easy way to increase your social media SEO while dipping your toe into adding a form of animation. Captions that have motion in them, such as one word popping up at a time, or have color added to highlight each word or phrase, are especially hot right now.
If you want to use this trend, try adding animated titles to break up parts of your video, stickers, sound effects, or playing around with a green screen. If your brand doesn’t have a caption style defined in your brand guidelines, stop reading this and go add one. Look “in app” meaning go to Instagram and play around with what caption styles they have, colors, and placement, then make some screenshots and come up with basic guidelines on using captions and animations.
Adobe Express, Canva, and CapCut all have video and animation options that make it easier than ever. The video is also rendered fast and has a small file size compared to Premier or After Effects, making it easy to post to social media platforms without breaking the internet. In 2023, I accidentally became a video editor and graphics animator, and I love it. I can’t wait to see what 2024 will bring in the area of video and animation as DASH continues to explore and create this kind of content for our clients.
Really fun type is continuing to have a moment. Expressive type is all about conveying a feeling, referencing a historical art or design movement, or just looking crazy! I’m talking about psychedelic, stretched, pixelated, or distorted. It takes us out of the norm and tells us something before our brains have even deciphered the words.
This is along the same lines as using an illustration, but it’s more fast and loose. It’s a casual way to add personality to your design or graphic post and still allows for white space to use. The same trend applies in terms of using personality and diversity as it does when using these types of illustrations. Arrows and shapes that look like they were quickly drawn with pencils also fit into this trend.
Stay consistent as much as possible, even when you are playing with trends. Sacrificing brand trust and recognition because you want to try out a cool new font every time you post to social media is not the way to do it. Experiment with a trendy look for a one-off campaign or even more fun, some really cool-looking SWAG.
Other trends that are especially popular for social media graphics and posts continue to be minimalism, using serif type, and the scrapbooking style.
If your brand is struggling to navigate an ever-changing design and social media landscape in 2024, DASH can help. Book a call with us, and let’s talk about how to bring your brand into the future.
DASH Content Co.
Marketing, Strategy, Design, UGC and Content
115 NW Oregon Ave, #7, Bend OR 97703
Monday - Thursday 9am - 4pm
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