It’s now half way through 2018 (how did that happen?!) and I thought it might be worthwhile doing some research on popular branding and design trends for 2018 so far.

So, why do we follow trends? Whether you’re obsessed with fashion or love cooking, trends show us what’s new and interesting in the field. And people love to experience novel and exciting things. If you want to delight your current customers and attract new clients, trends are a surefire way to succeed.

Trends allow us to be more professional and creative. When you see what everyone is doing, you can apply these observations to your own work and improve. Also when you’re lacking inspiration, trends can fill your brain with new creative ideas. If you run a business, following trends is a must, since trends inform our future. You can’t make plans and execute your strategy without following the trends.

So let’s take a look at the top 7 branding and design trends for 2018 so far:

Branding and Design Trends for 2018


1.     Brand humanisation

We’re all quite tired of faceless brands that look exactly the same. Instead, we want to talk to real people. So what can brands do to meet changing customer expectations? In 2018 you have to listen, share, and involve customers in the conversation. For example, asking questions in social media and conducting polls is a great way to make the audience feel valued. You can also remove the barriers by providing clear contact details on your website.


2.     Brand activism

The next trend in the branding industry is brand activism. The truth is no one needs products to be happy. Happiness comes from helping others. So in 2018 brands will have to show their dedication to a larger purpose. You can support the environment, take a stand in politics or immigration issues, and donate a part of the profit to a developing country – no matter which path you choose, in 2018 customers need to see that you’re not simply selling products, but contribute to society.


3.     Moving visuals

The design landscape is changing rapidly from being static to being interactive. If you want people to stop and stare, moving content is your best bet. Moving images are called cinemagraphs (also known as GIFS). They are static images with some elements of minor or repeated movements. When you scroll your social media feed, cinemagraphs are easily noticeable, they truly pop among thousands of identical images. You can also use video marketing to enhance your social media feed.

Canva has recently introduced animated GIF’s to their awesome collection of DIY design tools. Click here to take a look.


4.     360-degree branding experiences

We’re now living in the experience economy. We no longer buy things, we buy experiences. No one knows what the future looks like, but it seems that we’ll be bombarded by experiences non-stop. Why do 360-experiences work? You immerse yourself in a different world and truly feel the essence of the brand. Think Instagram, SnapChat, even smart phone cameras can take 360-degree images now. So take the time to explore what’s new in the VR and AR fields and be prepared to surround your customers with amazing immersive experiences!


5.     Getting back to basics

Experience economy also means that we’ll be trying to do things away from our computer screens. In 2018 we’ll value physical experiences over digital.  Print, vintage DVDs, paper books are already regaining popularity. The digital world is developing very fast, but technological retreats are on the rise too. Sometimes you need to disconnect to reconnect!


6. Design based on neuroscience

What if you could create brands based on a hard science? Neuroscience is a great way to understand the subconscious mind and then create an irresistible brand. Unfortunately, neuroscientists themselves don’t know all the secrets of our brains so it’s not possible yet to create a brand that will trump all competitors. But companies like Kraft and Procter & Gamble already have departments, that analyze customer data from a neuroscience perspective.


7. Focus on creativity

Design has become very standard. Every website looks the same. Every graphic created with online software follows the same layout. Brands are really struggling to differentiate themselves. In such a situation creativity is extremely important. In 2018 we’ll see more custom design solutions. There will be a lot more variety in website layouts, social media graphics, and logos. Creativity has no limits.



In conclusion, following branding and design trends isn’t that different from following fashion trends. Don’t blindly accept what everyone is doing but use trends to improve your business strategy.

2018 is being marked by branding and design that has become more visual. Also, the return of traditional media is expected to take many marketers by surprise. If you want to implement these trends into your business, contact us now for a branding and design consultation or view our services page.

Do you have any branding and design trends for 2018 to add to this list? Comment below, I’d love to hear ideas and future forward thinking!