In today’s highly digitalized world, brands are in constant competition with one another. It seems to be an ongoing fight for attention and a battle to see who’s marketing efforts reel in the best ROI. In the past, the most effective (and most popular) marketing mantra was to “sell, sell, sell” as quickly and as aggressively as possible. Now, effective marketing requires an entirely new way of thinking. How do we compel, attract new consumers, retain current consumers, and also accurately represent our brand?

While not always considered a priority, clever marketers realize that innovative design should be ingrained in any brand’s marketing. Whether or not you realize it, the design of your marketing tactics, from print collateral to web and digital promotions, should communicate who you are, what you believe in and what you sell. Smart design strengthens your message and brand, while also sparking curiosity and inspiring action from your target audience.

So, what makes for an effective design when it comes to marketing? We sat down with WJ’s Creative Team to discuss our Top 5 Marketing Design Trends for 2017.

  1. Bold Photography, with Minimal, Impactful Content

Embracing minimalism, and being purposeful in the content you use, is a current trend. This doesn’t necessarily mean using a neutral colour palette. Rather, this style is often based on a simple yet consistent colour palette combined with interesting font styles that personify a brand or company. All words are used intentionally and are compelling, meaning minimal copy is most effective to tell a clear story. Based on the small amount of copy used, websites which feature this design are very easy to navigate, while ads featuring this design are easy to read and have power behind them.



  1. Louder, Brighter Colours

The trend of using louder, brighter colours is a result of the recent popularity from the 1980s, and is a popular trend within the music industry as well as with experiential marketing. This trend uses saturated images with bold typography and minimal content. While this trend has been growing since 2016, it has really picked up traction, especially when brands demonstrate support for charitable causes. It’s important to note that too much colour, unless representative of your brand, is overkill. However, using a bright palette with neutral backgrounds can prove to be effective in giving your company a fresh look.



  1. Cinemagraphs

Animation has become a major design trend in 2017. While a cinemagraph is not an animation, it certainly looks like one. You may or may not have heard the term “Cinemagraph.” They are still photographs where a small portion of the photo moves such that it looks like its moving. Often times, the part of the photo that moves is quite minor, such as a person under an umbrella will not move but the rain around them continues to fall. Essentially, a cinemagraph creates a dynamic design through the use of small movement, creating a video clip or GIF, to give your photo life. They can either be visually captivating, or visually annoying, so finding the right balance between simplicity and complexity is vital to the success of using them.


  1. Gradients

Ahh, gradients. The trend that you never thought would come back in style. In using the perfect blend of complex and simple design, gradients are a great way to use contrast against a basic design. Take for example the Apple IPhone X ads, where the gradient phone backgrounds surround the simplistic design of the phone. Even the social networking app Instagram recently updated its logo to include a gradient reminiscent of a Microsoft Powerpoint slide. By using gradients, basic designs become more complex, allowing brands to communicate a clear message without being boring or lacking ingenuity.

  1. Modular Design

Modular design, or building with style as we call it here at WJ, is a visually appealing design that does not overwhelm consumers. In other words, modular design makes for a tactic that is easy to navigate and easy to understand. These designs will often center around usability. Consider social networking sites such as Facebook or Instagram, and how their simplified design allows for information to be presented in such a way that users get information easily and quickly. Similarly, the design of apps, and websites that act like apps, are very important to consumers. While mobiles are a prevalent way for consumers to access the web or get information, the demand for people to do so on their phone and be able to get the information right away is extremely high. Modular design, or simple design, helps that happen, and is a major trend for 2017.




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