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2022 is fast approaching and here at Smack Bang we’ve been thinking about the design trends that are going to characterise the year to come. After a turbulent 2020 and 2021, from the pandemic to the ongoing climate crisis, consumer perspectives have shifted and as such, so too has design.

The following are our top trend predictions for 2022.

Typographic Trends.

ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY.
Environmental concerns will be at the forefront of people’s minds. There are certain fonts that use less ink, for example; Century Gothic was designed with thin letters for maximum readability and minimal ink usage in the early days of print. Monospaced fonts are thin but not small which means you don’t have to increase the size of the font for legibility. (smaller font size = less ink = more environmentally friendly). Eg Courier has a retro typewriter style that makes it so economical – it was designed for typewriters, which means it was designed to save on ink.

Utilising environmentally happy fonts like the ones mentioned above, utilising blind emboss as a design feature. and smaller print sizes can all help you use less ink. On the other hand try to go easy on the bold type as it uses more ink!


INCLUSIVE.

A big trend in 2022 will be more inclusive typography, this simply means typography that is easier to read. A good rule of thumb is that rounded typefaces are usually both easier and quicker to read, making them more accessible to everyone. An example in typography is how a classic font such as Futura has adapted its form, making it more accessible and usable as Futura Now.


CUSTOM.

Brands are discovering that a custom font can communicate as powerfully and effectively as other visual tools. We are likely to see more brands investing in custom fonts as they become aware that they need something that is deeper into their core identity. Variable fonts are a new sensation that we will definitely be seeing more of in the new year as they allow greater flexibility and customisation than a classic font family.

Some really wild types were introduced and popular in 2020. It is likely that these will take a back seat in 2022 as the need for legible typefaces and a clean traditional aesthetic will dominate. We predict a growing emphasis on how you use the fonts, rather than just choosing an overly detailed font to do all the talking. We want to see typefaces that are legible and strong, are unique or custom to a brand, but are used equally as uniquely to communicate the brand’s personality.

 

General Design Trends.

MOTION.
2021 has seen a greater need for motion and videos, and the growth of this trend isn’t slowing down any time soon.  They say an image speaks 1000 words, BUT motion speaks even more. Motion catches our attention in a world that is impatient and oversaturated with content.

QR codes were all but dead and now since the pandemic have come back with force – and are used everywhere. There is an opportunity for packaging to have a digital element but utilising QR codes to animate something that is otherwise static.QR codes also save printed space and allow for a lot more information to be added to packaging – as well as linking through to brand’s websites.

We could see a big rise in taking the online brand to the shelves / on packaging. Will people get creative with the unboxing experience utilising digital means?


MOVING AWAY FROM MINIMALISM.

We are seeing a move away from minimalistic geometric look and towards more jagged, raw and real. This means going for Sharp contrasts, clashing colours, acid greens and terminal fonts.

We also predict a move back to the 90s style – retro style that appeals to millennial audiences. With Tiktok being the largest social media platform downloaded currently, this has and will continue to influence a lot of design elements. Aim for vibrant colours, bold backgrounds, icons and illustrations


COLLABORATION O/S.

The pandemic opened up opportunities to work remotely and with that comes an increased level of engagement with people from around the globe. Brands are working with people from around the world who are specialised in different fields eg art/illustration and pairing it with design.

 

VOICE + SOUND.
With Siri and Alexa becoming increasingly more and more part of our lives there is a move towards including voice and sound into design elements e.g. on websites.

 

 

So, what does this mean for your brand?

With all of this said we are not suggesting you leave behind all that has made your brand YOUR brand and start fresh. Like with all trends it’s best to take what you like and leave behind what you don’t.

While it doesn’t mean a total overhaul, even the smallest changes and considerations can make the world of difference. How can we introduce more environmentally friendly fonts (simple) but also appeal to a trend that is moving away from minimalistic design? Can we creatively incorporate fonts that are not only inclusive (legible) but also environmentally friendly (less ink, quicker load time) to create the end goal of unconventional typeforms and design? While we are leaving behind soft pastels and minimalistic design, how can we lean into the more jagged, raw 90s aesthetic that will ultimately appeal to our audience?

It’s your move.

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