A few months ago I did a couple of community posts on the blog where designers and creatives from various fields talked about what they thought would be some of the most prominent design trends of 2010. You can review those posts here Designers Predict Design Trends for 2010 – Part I and The Biggest Design Trend Predictions For 2010. I was over-eager I guess in trying to wrangle each designer’s arm in trying to cough up their predictions so early on in the year. But those predictions managed to give some very good insight into some new trends. After all trends are born, they develop and then slowly fade away over a period of few months. They are not an overnight thing. I don’t really know what overnight hypes are called, maybe you do?
Back to the topic. I have been surfing the internet more and more and designing for more clients than ever before and I am definitely seeing a semi-finite direction that design is going to take next year. A lot of those Trends For 2010 lists are starting to do the rounds, a lot of them tout the same points that were on lists last year but with fresher websites in a bid to get into the search engine rankings for those coveted "2010 design trends" keywords [I assure you I have'nt given that a thought, SEO noob that I am, for me it is more "Can't wait to get to the 2010 predictions, now that I have seen all of 2009!"]. Here are some key things I have noticed and you will definitely see them becoming more and more popular, my 5 predictions.
SOCIAL MEDIA INTEGRATION
Twitter has been around for a while, but it will be safe to say that it went viral in 2009. Everybody and their grandma wanted not only a twitter account, but also wanted it integrated onto their websites. I predict in 2010, Social Media Integration on websites will reach new heights. It is already so much fun seeing people come up with ingenius ways to integrate the blue twitter bird and the comment bubble and the social sharing icons on their websites.
ORGANIC MIXED MEDIA DESIGNS
2009 was the year of the Hand Drawn. It is still going to be around, but emerging trends suggest designers taking hand-drawn a step further by truly experimenting with mixed media. The amalgamation of vector and raster graphics, wrapped in a sketchy hand-drawn goodness is a combination hard to beat. Now give that an organic twist! More and more designers are using leaves, flowers, birds, bees, feathers, swirls, paper, clouds, wings, trees and water in their illustrations and creations, a true tribute to everything organic, favoring Mother Earth. These are not exactly green designs but something akin to that.
Every class has a class clown, the quintissential joker who will make classes more interesting for his fellow classmates while getting into trouble himself. This is also true on the interwebs. A class clown comes and designs a tongue-in-cheek 404 page that will have you spluttering your coffee out in laughter. Then you decide to do the same and before you know it, we have list posts dedicated to really really funny 404 pages that probably took you as long as your entire website to conceptualize and design. But wasn’t it totally worth it? Everyone has a funny bone and they are now showing it off proudly. I love this trend especially, where people are finding newer ways of presenting their funny side on their portfolios, on their websites, on their About Us pages and on their twitter backgrounds. This shift from strictly professional to "Hey, Its cool to be cheeky!" is definitely trending in 2010.
Developers are striving everyday to come up with new functionalities to existing websites and applications to ensure that their product stays connected. So if Twitter gets lists, all Twitter apps scramble to include that feature. Wonder what Yahoo Meme will do to counteract? The TweetMeme button scared Facebook into coming up with their own Facebook Share button. When I started out earlier this year, it was only the blogs but now even social media websites connect to other social media websites for a single article or news. A design story on Designbump can be also tweeted, floated, mooed and blended. And this increased connectivity will just keep growing in 2010.
Grids are the lifeblood of theme and interface designers. The magazine style layouts that trended in 2008 and 2009 were very much thanks to the grids. I don’t know if this is in place yet, but I predict standard grid sizes to become bigger and the grids becoming more 3-dimensional. I haven’t yet seen anything like it, but I am sure it is already there and if it isn’t, well, all it takes is one class clown, remember?
And yes the big typography, big headers, white spaces, retro fusions, print to web crossovers will still very much be there, but I am really looking forward to an explosion of quirkiness in a multi-dimensional look and feel that literally jumps out of your screen and everybody knows about it in an instant! What do you think stands out for you in design trends for 2010? What do you reckon will become big, really big? Have you already seen instances of a new design life-form taking over the design scene? Please leave a comment, join the discussion and share.
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