The world of design is constantly changing, and it seems like new styles become unfashionable as soon as they enter the mainstream. Staying on the cutting edge of poster design means spotting trends early and using them to create contemporary, original work. When other people start doing the same thing, you can quickly move on to the next idea.
Here are a few trends that you may have noticed in the past year:
- Smoke and Liquid
- Text/Image Interaction
- Thick brush lettering
Adding a puff of smoke is a great alternative to using straight lines. This effect can be achieved in a number of ways, but the most common one is by dripping some ink in water, capturing a photo of the ink as it diffuses, and adding special effects in Photoshop. Image software is necessary to adjust colour, depth, and abstraction to what would be an ordinary image, elevating it to the next level.
While you can use pastels and neutral colours, smoke and liquid effects look the most radiant in neon colours with a pale background. To maximise the effect, you can combine with a photograph or typeface.
This effect can be difficult to achieve, especially if you consider that blocking some letters can alter the meaning of the text, but if done properly, it pays off. Some of the objects used to layer with lettering include landscapes, flowers, and people. One limitation with this style is that it is not particularly readable, so you should use simple words and phrases, as well as plain font colour to ensure the message does not get lost in the ensemble.
As the art of handwriting fades away, typography has become more and more sophisticated. However, there is increasing preference for the flawed, varied hand type – as opposed to clean lines – among designers. The imperfections and splotches that are characteristic of handwritten letters make the lettering stand out, and give design work a friendlier vibe.
For the past year, modern-style calligraphy – characterised by a mixture of very thin and very thick lines, as well as large spacing between letters – has been used extensively in motivational posters and wedding invitations. But more recently, there has been an increase in the use of thick brush stroke type. They can be done by hand or digital typefaces created to imitate brush strokes.
One other design trend for simple and minimalistic posters involves the use of retro graphics from the 70s and 80s. Back then, design works were modest by default – owing to technical reasons – but this is what makes them rewarding and diverse enough for designers to deliver amazing work.