A few weeks ago a bunch of designers shared their insights and thoughts on Design Trends for 2010. What was clearly evident at the end of that community post was that 2010 would see more personalization of websites, grids would become even more popular with the standard grid size possibly shifting to a higher resolution, the lines between web and print designs would blur with designers bringing more realistic and organic print styles into the world wide web and retro would continue to rule.
I have been browsing a lot of websites and have been observing emerging and growing trends in most of the varied disciplines of design. One of the biggest trends that I predict will be fully explored and exploited in 2010 is Big Typography. Starting back in 2007, the big type trend has been gaining a lot of momentum in 2009. In 2010 with more portfolio websites and blogging themes becoming premium and minimalistic, big typography will sky rocket. Fonts will be used in design in a way they have never been used before. With more and more new foundries emerging and giving away some weights of their premium fonts for free, designers have more access to beautiful fonts than they did earlier. I also see icon design becoming extremely intricate with studios spending hours to perfect a single icon, rendering it in 3D and releasing it in all kinds of resolution. Gone are the days of pixelated, teeny tiny icons. The new icon touted in high resolutions is here to replace stock imagery and ricochet between print and web with ease. This has been largely fueled by social media and the necessity to have social media icons on websites for easy sharing and bookmarking. Carousels are fun and they are trending well this year. I predict more advanced and smart carousels with more dynamic data being accessed and displayed next year. The magazine style of websites and blogs is here to stay. There has been an explosion of this style on the internet in the recent months because it is eye-catching and manages to give exposure to a lot of data in little snippets. Websites with a lot of content benefit well from such a style.
Green, organic designs have just started catching on and will peak in 2010. With more and more people becoming eco-conscious and brands/organizations revolving around reducing our carbon imprint become more prevalent, the need to develop identities and create designs that are green and organic will increase magnanimously. Moving away from the glossy Web 2.0 look; raw textures, things that make you reach out and touch will gain popularity facilitating an even richer user interface. The clutter of everyday, personable things will continue making an appearance on individual social/portfolio websites making the web a more interesting place to be.
Khayyam Wakil | @iamkhayyam
You can count on one thing for the upcoming year in design and that is to expect the unexpected. I’ve been seeing the growth in awareness of grids within design. Primarily a print technique, it seems to be tumbling over into the interwebs. And just as in the print realms, typeface rules the day. You’re going to see so much more type rich imagery online with the ease of font replacement now, especially with CSS3 around the corner. It’s going to be all about spacing, type and uniqueness.
I’ve been noticing a lot of people using the WordPress framework to house their sites while completely breaking out of the rectangular or box-like structures of the traditional site and bringing back the experience. UI and UX standards have been raised and thus accordingly, sites will be magical to maneuver through and you’ll be reeled into a fantastical world of content. Then you’ll have the good old stand by, boxes within boxes, they seem to work too.
If you have read the the first part of this post you’ll see that my statements parallel that which the other designers are saying. Why would that possibly be? Let’s see… maybe it’s a convergence on making a better design?! Yup… that’s what I think it is. Using the tools like Twitter allows a viral means to spread content, allows for the knowledge to aid you in skill sets and gives you access to a fountain of wisdom. I see a trend in collaborations with designers on the incline. You’re going to see mashups upon mashups of designs from some wickedly talented freelance designers. That’s the hot ticket in 2010 in my opinion. Watch for the freelancer!
If you want to get a leg up on what’s going on with styles, trends and just plain #awesomesauce, I highly suggest diving into the BehanceNetwork™. That’s my first choice to see what’s the newest/latest.
Thanks so much for asking me to do this.
Misty Belardo | @mistygirlph
The trend would be hard to predict for 2010, but with the emergence of new media and the flock of consumers looking at the web as the source of entertainment and real time information, I see some sites gearing towards the magazine type of look with short concise articles, easy to read and absorb, clean simple design with splash of bold colors to catch the eye. I also see more and more personalized images created to set the sites apart. This year you see hand crafted, unique creations and will continue to see them in the near future.
Antonea Nabors | @antonea
In 2010 I don’t see many new design trends, but I do predict an extreme growth in current design trends. I am sure we will be seeing a lot more retro and vintage colors in design and in packaging design. Many consumer goods have been releasing limited edition products with their retro packaging, and since it is a successful way of marketing it won’t be too long before other consumer goods start doing so as well. I also see the transition between print to web becoming a huge trend. As we slowly transition into a 2.0 generation a lot of traditional print design elements will be incorporated into web. I also think web typography will become huge. Web designers will start seeing text from a design stand point instead of designing around it. We will start seeing a lot more retro typefaces being used and less of the ‘big text in plain font’ trend.
Thanks for including me Sneh.
Syed Balkhi | @syedbalkhi
Design Trends tend to have been shifting from the technological perspective to more of a realistic perspective. The trend suggest designers that we need to present something that people can relate to. With that said, I think 2010 trend will follow this and take it a step forward. We will be seeing more designs with little paper clips, notepads, and other items that make the design a bit more realistic. Another growing trend which I think will become really popular is use of nature in design. Our audience is aiming for the green world, so the corporates are following. Therefore expect to see more nature in the design.
We will also be seeing the use of typography in another level. More websites will be using solutions like sIFR to make their fonts look great. I expect the designs will also be using alot of jquery elements which we have seen in the year of 2008, and 2009 growing. Web Designs in 2010 will be more elaborate and colorful. We can already see a trend growing. A lot of people are following webdesignerwall, and webdesignerdepot style in their design.
The trend in 2010 would be to keep it simple, organized, while bringing out the little details in the design like Print Design.
Thanks for asking my opinion in your research post.
Nathan Sarlow |@cobaltcow
The next step I see is probably what is now being nicknamed Web3.0. It’s all about automation. Web 2.0 is about customized, personalised content, but the next step is about automated and integrated content. I see our cars talking to our fridges, talking to our phones, to televisions, to the grocery store. Practically our whole lives will rely on the internet (not that it doesnt already for a few of us) and computers will begin to start making decisions for us. Maybe this isnt really a 2010 prediction, but I think you will begin to see more and more technology cross-linked and updating each other.
Overall I’m going with minimalism as a major, intricate detail as a minor theme, et al.
James Fridley | @fridley
Thinner, lighter, longer lasting, interactive, functional, multitasking, wireless and all together good design which would more likely be delayed, overpriced,over-hyped, un-costed, not compatible, not available, and possible vaporware
Brian Sexton | @bdsexton
I think most designers and developers will finally give up on Internet Explorer 6 and try to better educate clients about standards. Also, many people will come to realize that Gecko is holding Firefox back as a good application with an outdated rendering engine. Then, like Internet Explorer before it, Firefox will have to scramble to catch up to the better standards support in other browsers.
Now mid-way through 2009, with websites posting and predicting trends for 2009 based on the year that has gone by, it might seem too early to tease the topic of 2010 again. After all most trends from 2009 will spill into 2010 and continue to grow, while some silently sulk away into the deepest recesses of abandoned trend hell. A lot of the designers I spoke to firmly believed that following trends was a trend in itself and should be given up, in order to pursue greater heights in design and bring your own, unique flavor to it. Although I agree with that aspect strongly, I think that particular exercise should be restricted to your own portfolio and hobby designs. Just like a 5 year old is used to routine and although throwing a new time table at him every morning when he wakes up could be exciting, it could also exhaust and completely befuddle him. In the same way, the average user on the internet becomes used to a trending style and grows comfortable in the knowledge that most websites he visits will be familiar to him based on that trend. This is the very reason why clients demand designs based on what is "in" at the moment. They usually don’t want to risk sticking their neck out too much, in case they strain it. They like to wade in the familiar waters of their competitors. Sticking their necks out is a task best left to the designer in his spare time. So yes, you should do your own thing, but trends are not to be ignored.
What do you think will be the hottest emerging trends in 2010? Share your thoughts, leave us a comment!
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