Brand design is experiencing a true merging of physical and experiential reality as brands are now proactively—and provocatively—engaging their consumers on a multitude of levels.
Brands have to consider the full context of where they reside, and how their consumers live and engage with the brand.
Successful brands are considering every method of sensory interaction with their customers, including: “What do my consumers experience and feel when engaged with my brand through their purchasing and life journey?”
- Consumers—including their children—have quickly acclimated to talking to Alexa throughout their home.
- They’re comfortable when they receive notifications from Walmart, which sends a text acknowledging they know the consumer is 5 minutes away from arriving at the store for a grocery order pick-up.
We’ve researched what’s coming out from established brand design firms, along with up-and-coming young designers from all around the world, to get a sense of emerging trends. Here are The Top 5 Branding Trends for 2018:
1. No Limits
Standard rules no longer apply. Everything is up for question and consideration; including the elimination of branding altogether.
Brandless.com, an online concept store where products are described as “exempt from a brand tax,” and are sold in clean, simple, type-driven packages. All for $3 or less. They unabashedly sell products on a clean, friendly site.
Brands have to work in a myriad of spaces. Online. Social. And in the real world. They have to consider how they’ll be applied and experienced. A consumer might navigate to the brand, the brand might be served up and displayed, or a consumer might encounter the brand in someone’s home for the first time.
Google Home is designed to feel comfortable and be seamlessly integrated into your home and lifestyle. The product line is made up of well-designed, neutral, pleasant artistic components that are appealing to a wide array of audiences. They’re like objects d’art, with no discernable brand mark in sight.
anime.js, the online database of animated java script themes, has an animated logo. It’s the essence of who they are and what they provide. It makes sense for their logo to reflect this as an animated brand graphic.
Brands have often displayed intelligent solutions. Now they are exhibiting an even higher level of wit and cleverness. At times it actually takes effort for the viewer to ‘see’ it, but the payoff is worth it, and consumers appreciate being in on the exchange.
Office Heat, an app that heat maps people in office environments, is smartly designed as an abstract illustration of what they actually do, with their ‘O’ and ‘H’ incorporated into the art.
Pattern Analysis uses a logo mark that is so subtle it’s almost easy to miss the underlying method of actually involving the viewer in the nature of the service they provide, the analysis of data lakes. The viewer goes from thinking ‘am I seeing a variation?’ to recognizing it, to mentally connecting the name with the resulting ‘a ha’ moment.
Feel More is a reduction of both name and letterforms, distilling them down to a series of simple hieroglyphic lines and O’s. It takes more than one view to actually read ‘Feel Mo’ when the graphics take on a life of their own, arranged and displayed in multiple ways.
Perhaps it’s due to the serious and stressful time we live in. Brands are displaying a new-found degree of upbeat optimism. They’re fun, colorful and bold; with playful graphics, characters, and personality.
Michael Spitz is an accomplished brand designer, and his personal brand exudes the confidence, energy, and optimism reflected in many of his trend setting designs.
Rosy Bee’s logo is a visual double entendre, using visuals that tell their story in an upbeat, positive way.
Elliott & Lily, a pet boutique retailer, uses an ampersand to represent their demographic. Sometimes combined, sometimes tailored for one particular audience.
5. Straight Up
Ghost designs automotive LED technology. ‘Ghost lights’ are those lights car enthusiasts use to illuminate their car’s logo, accents, or undercarriage in the dark. Sometimes this brand uses just the ghost ‘G’ face as their mark, with its glowing eyes. The brand art and display showcases them both as a brand and what they literally are.
Strong Beer doesn’t need much explanation, it doesn’t get more direct than this, yet it’s still fun and engaging.
Moove Mountain Bikes’ logo sets the tone right up front for their high performance mountain bikes, getting to the very essence any biker would immediately recognize.
We hope you’ve enjoyed seeing these brands that caught our attention. We’re excited about the possibilities and new technologies that will allow brands to tell their stories in new and unique ways. We also look forward to seeing how technology will influence our own consumer experiences over the upcoming year.
Is there a brand design or story that has inspired you recently? We’d love to hear about it! Feel free to leave a comment below…
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