I think we can all agree that 2016 was a buzzworthy year that had its highs and lows with design trends. From less than applaudable rebrands to the emergence of virtual reality technology, 2016 benchmarks where creative is heading for 2017. Looking back on the past year, our team is setting the pace for where we predict the design world is heading in the future.

Word is in. Here is what our team has to say:

BRANDING

As iconic brands continue to update, particularly for digital assets, I think we’ll be seeing more and more simplified marks (think MasterCard). Logo rebrands have become such a hit or miss endeavor that the easiest way to adhere to a brand and contemporize it is to simplify its existing mark. –Emily Biondo, Senior Designer

From bright colors, bold images, and funky patterns, I anticipate the use of pop art elements with a modern twist will set the pace for 2017. –Kristine Garcia, Designer

I think there will be more work seen that will reflect a designer’s stance in various issues and changes within society. Designing with a louder voice moves into the space of visual activist work. –Kristine Garcia, Designer

As far as branding goes this year I think we’ll continue to see big brands continue their process of “un-branding” and by that I mean simplify their identity. –Joey Vivacqua, Designer

PRINT

Mixed metallics, specifically gold and silver, have become a staple of home interior redesigns. And colorful metallics have made their way into the fashion world. I think we will see a rise in metallic inks and foils for print pieces along with gradient effects in digital design to replicate the metallic shine. –Cecile Jordan, Senior Designer

Taking cues from HGTV, I predict that we will see a shift from minimalistic, white, and clean lines to design with a little more personality. Interior design has started to incorporate art deco inspired patterns and furniture along with warmer tones pulled from a retro color palette. I predict we will see complex geometric lines mixed with warmer tones and retro typography in our digital and print design this year. –Cecile Jordan, Senior Designer

Custom-drawn type is becoming more and more accessible to designers through tablets, Sketch, and other digital means of drawing. Owing to this, I imagine custom type—so often seen in the last 5 years as scripts and handwritten styles—will grow to more innovative approaches of depicting language. –Emily Biondo, Senior Designer

More than anything, I predict (and hope for) a rise in mindful, responsible design. AIGA has been taking further and further steps to enable diversity and inclusion with the help of inspiring taskforce leaders and visionaries. In addition, the design industry has more and more called into question cultural appropriation within design, showing the need for and (hopefully eventual) rise in understanding for cultural contexts. I predict that 2017 will be a year of education for designers to design more respectfully, not appropriating design elements that have greater significance to other cultures. –Emily Biondo, Senior Designer

I believe we’ll be seeing a lot more of this modern-retro style of illustration. Often paired with fun typefaces and saturated pastel colors, these simple and clean illustrations easily breathe youth into anything. –Joey Vivacqua, Designer

DIGITAL

I predict an area of design exploration will occur within the realm of Virtual Reality (VR) applications. VR-capable devices are on the rise and interest will also grow as applications and games are able to simulate more realistic, virtual environments. –Ernie Achenbach, VP of Creative

I expect web design to continue to trend toward minimalism and simplicity, while also focusing on rich functionality. I think bold colors will be big. I think we’ll see a continued move away from flat design to incorporate subtle elements of depth, and I think we’ll see more in the way of micro-interactions and animated feedback. Also—responsive all the things! The days of being able to forego responsiveness are over. –Ashe Abbott, Web Designer/Developer

2017 will be the year of breaking grids on the web. Web design layout has been limited by CSS, but with new tools, designers will be able to design complex and unique layouts more rooted in graphic design principles. –SuA Kang, Web Designer/Front-End Developer

SVGs are a not as well-trodden as .pngs, .jpgs, and .gifs for web, but they are incredibly useful for vector graphics and are resolution independent, making them great for responsive design. Little birds tell me that SVGs are increasing in prominence in the digital design industries. –Emily Biondo, Senior Designer 

Similar to custom type, animations are also becoming more and more accessible, particularly in more widespread use online for backgrounds and standalone graphics. I already see the rise in this trend and look forward to more in 2017. –Emily Biondo, Senior Designer

Overlapping graphic elements (think a color block interacting with text or an image) seem to be growing in popularity, giving a postmodern feel to layouts that go a teensy bit beyond the standard current trend of flat design in digital scopes. –Emily Biondo, Senior Designer

The craving to explore virtual spaces has become ever apparent with commercials for Samsung Gear VR flooding holiday television and Facebook 360 popping up more and more on our newsfeed. Due to this developing technology, I predict that we will be seeing a rise of VR integrated into our web and app space. –Cecile Jordan, Senior Designer

Although the use of gifs and videos have been around throughout the years, I think 2017 will be a year where designers will heavily incorporate movement especially in ads, social media channels, and websites. People are becoming more fascinated with motion and it gives an extra layer of icing on the cake. –Kristine Garcia, Designer

After a polarizing election across all fronts, I believe this will be a year of creating art that incites social change or awareness. I don’t think it matters what the design looks like as long as there is a distinct call to action. –Sam Rahman, Designer


What design trends do you think will emerge to define 2017 as “The Year Of…”? Tweet us your thoughts @batescreates.