Futures Feed

Design Themes 2021

In the space of just one short (and sometimes long) year, our world looks and operates very differently to the way it did before. Whether designers or not, we have all viewed our world through a different lens and this has brought about a collective change in perspective; driving us to challenge previous norms and creating opportunities for new types of creativity that can course-correct our vision of tomorrow.

In this latest Futures Feed – Design Themes 2021 – we explore five emerging creative themes and visual codes – from typography to technique, to colour - which brands can now embrace to design our different – and better – futures. These are brought to life with new insights, topical and innovative examples and opportunity areas for brands.

Five key themes of Change

1. Movement in time

Drawing inspiration from times of change, nostalgia and distinctive graphic styles of the past, with a surrealism that reimagines them and a perspective of new, inclusive and sustainable ideals.

2. Empathetic education

Exploring creative methods to maintain the current societal momentum - and being active and accountable to achieve better cultural change - with clear, directive, engaging and human messaging.

3. Cultural renaissance

Reinventing heritage and transforming out-dated perceptions otherwise reinforced and caricatured by cultural tropes and stereotypes.

4. Embellished minimalism

Giving defining features to minimal design - in a bid to remain distinctive amongst the mass of start-up ‘blanding’ - with an enriched and thoughtful approach to reduction and how less can communicate more.

5. Novel engagement

Creating playful brand worlds to engage the designer and audience in a myriad of new directions, tying them into everyday experiences and locations where consumers want to be engaging with them or may be pleasantly surprised by them.

What is the opportunity in this space?

– Breaking from modern homogenised expectations – and even deliberately rejecting advanced digital illustration and subverting traditional references - to celebrate abundance and reimagine different creative styles throughout time.

– Creating brave and eye-opening literal and illustrative languages that create forceful visual impact and help inform and share knowledge in intuitive and unmistakable ways.

– Celebrating everyday living and new cultural inspiration, not appropriation and perpetuated aesthetics, by favouring abstract, unusual and fresh graphics.

– Respecting minimalism as a means of tactile and sensory engagement and adding impact, purpose and energy to sustainable products through abstract but simple graphics.

– Seeking collaborations that push brands into new spaces and innovating new touchpoints that can be adapted with agility and imagination.

This is just a taste of what the full Futures feed – Design Themes 2021 – has to offer. If you would like to access the full report or find out more, please get in touch below:

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