Get Your Design Market Ready | Trends for 2017
Design can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. To “designers,” it is a body of knowledge with principles and beliefs that guide their mostly artistic endeavors, for arts sake and for (business) profit.
/verb/ The conception of a plan or convention which influences and guides the construction of an object or a system, sometimes used as a synonym for graphic design.
Design, as it pertains to business, is a channel of communication – a noun – encompassing the layout and visual representation of your brand in the marketplace.
Whether you’re online, in print, outdoor or TV, the presentation of your assets needs to be as strong as the messaging within, and that’s where design comes in. A clean, catchy design first captures a customer’s attention then compels them to notice your message, pick up the package, open the cover, walk inside and, ultimately, wanting to learn more.
With modern communications expanding in endless directions, design can take many forms. Your office, website, product, logo, print ads, sales materials—everything needs a crisp, cohesive design (thoughtful planning) that complements your brand’s promise and stays on top of current trends and technologies to stand out in the present and in the future.
According to the Market Ready Index, most business-to-consumer design (column 4) is scoring 42.0, although the 2017 target score is 75.0 – a variance of -23.0. Overall, the average B2C scores 50.9, 22.2 lower than the 73.1 target score. Based on best practices, these scores provide a metric for comparison.
Design Trends for 2017
As design strategy continues to be influenced by culture and shifts in the marketplace, look to design trends that could create more engagement in your communications.
In 2017, Brands will become less branded, and meticulously un-designed. Brands like American Apparel and Urban Outfitters pioneered this approach but it’s been embraced by many businesses across sectors.
This means haphazard layouts with clumsily overlapping elements. Coarse, honest typography mechanically set without any sensitivity to widows, alignment or proper quote characters. The use of candid photography catching more unique and diverse people (un-models looking either unprepared, emotionless or ironically posed.
Note: This may be a result of the propagation of creative technologies that allow design composition and layout, like Adobe Illustrator™ and PhotoShop™. I say “like” them because students have historically not had “professional grade” tools outside of school due to the cost. The creatively inclined and less trained are teaching themselves and doing more via these technologies – and this “un-design” is what it looks like.
Packaging Gets Real
There is a demand from the marketplace for truth to be on display. Truth in who the company is, truth in the food we eat, and now truth in the packaging that tries to sell it to consumers.
In 2017, Package Design will be more focused on what the product looks like itself, rather than the packaging that conceals it. Materials must be biodegradable, reusable and sustainable.
Transparent bottles and easily readable ingredients emerge as we become more concerned with where our food or product has come from and the process involved in production and manufacturing.
Influence of YUCCI’S
In a nutshell, a slice of Generation Y, borne of suburban comfort, indoctrinated with the transcendent power of education, and infected by the conviction that not only do we deserve to pursue our dreams, but we should profit from them. These are YUCCI’s.
Young urban creatives are influencing package design. Less is more for this 20-something city dweller, and brands are adapting to fit their style.
In a chaotic, technologically advanced world, easy-to-find packaging with clear messaging will help customers make decisions and find relief from busy shelves. Whether it’s packaging, colors, graphics, or logos, simple is simply the best.
Getting Market Ready for 2017
Understanding where your design is today is a first step in making the decisions and changes that can help you compete in the marketplace. The Market Ready Index™ Self-Assessment is a free (beta) resource that helps you understand where your design, and other channels of Communication, is today.
It also provides benchmarks for B2B, B2C and NonProfit organizations to better understand how they compare to other businesses, just like them.
The point of all of this is that if you are really trying to make a different this year, then you’ll have to do something different this year. A subjective evaluation is a start, an objective evaluation is a next step. Get real about how prepared your business is to compete and you’ll stand a much better chance in reaching your goals. – kp