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Design Trends for 2016

Ahh, the New Year: new Best Of reports, new bold predictions and a seasonal time for both reflection and looking ahead. In our world of marketing, there are clear trends that come and go, with a first-mover and Johnny-come-lately. In 2016, the design and creative trends are falling in line with fashion, where old styles are re-invented in new ways, and technology drives innovative design decisions.

  1. Goin’ old-timey
    Like hipsters sporting suspenders, sideburns and mustachios, old-time graphics are making a comeback in fresh new ways. One of my favorite cocktail lounges, Polite Provisions, is part of a restaurant group that sports this entire aesthetic:
    Soda and Swine

    Image source:

    Even the bartenders are hipsters…
    Hipster Bartender

    Heck, there’s even a new typeface called…wait for it…Hipsteria.
    Hipsteria Font

    See more about hipster design from

  2. Design for small spaces
    The smartphone will now create new style guides and limitations for how designers convey information. Economy of space, clarity of font type, and a compelling transformation of logos and imagery will be needed to fit onto that inky-dink device (or, if you have an Apple Watch, inkier and dinkier).
    Image source:
  3. Color like you mean it
    Ahh, we wait with baited breath to learn about this year’s Color of The Year. Right? Bueller? Anyway, Pantone releases color trends that actually inform New York fashion designers, fabric makers and an entire industry. Given the global anxiety of terrorism and public efforts to transcend different cultures toward world-wide peace, the new 2016 Pantone Fashion Color Report can be seen at
  4. Customizable fonts
    Heck, if Apple can make a font, can I make one too? Like Isaac Newton needed to create calculus to fulfill his physics equations, Apple launched its new typeface, San Francisco, in part to better accommodate its smaller devices, including the Apple Watch. If you know how to translate a branding strategy into evocative fonts, there are new tools out there to design your next typeface. Some of my favorites are and
  5. Tell stories quickly
    The studies have clearly shown that a video length of 90 seconds is tops for any kind of quick educational message. 30 seconds max for promotions. Longer videos are okay for a deep dive of information, but the general gist is that your message has less time than ever to sink in. Pre-roll video, banner ads and mobile ads need to get your attention and communicate a single message more quickly. That means you need to focus more intently on the clarity and focus of your message.

By Christopher Foster, VP Business Development, Modern Postcard

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