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Top Visual Design Trends 2014

design trends

Visual designers have one of the most innovative and creative jobs, trends in visual design are always evolving, and visual designers have to reflect these trends in their own work in order to remain relevant in their chosen craft. Creating and churning out consistent, forward-thinking designs in an already competitive sector is not always easy, especially when the conceptual aspect of visual design is dictated by emerging digital trends as well as traditional ones.

Aspiring designers also have their work cut out for them, putting together strong portfolios that will stand-out to perspective employers. This is not an easy task either. Employers with a strong-eye for detail, style and trends always know what they are looking out for.

Shutterstock’s third annual global design trends infographic, which you can view here, predicts what will be some of the biggest design trends in 2014. The popular online image database generated this infographic using data compiled from 350 million downloads from its site to gain some insight into what designers are searching its site for, therefore, what will be some of the biggest visual design trends this year. The results are very interesting starting with images and imagery trends which are as follows:

  • Searches and downloads for people and subjects in real-life settings has soared, related searches in this category are up 347% demonstrating a pattern for emotional connections in design. The visual impact of using actual subjects in imagery is a trend that is now eclipsing some aspects of traditional imagery and iconography.
  • Filtered images, made popular by Instagram’s filter tool are also showing a strong trending pattern. This trend is being aided by the growing use of mobile photo apps for example. Searches for these types of images increased by 661% in 2013.
  • UI-inspired design has become very popular with a 200% increase in flat-design downloads.

Trends in visual design appear to be localised. In regards to what is inspiring designers all around the world the following global trends are:

  • Designers in Canada prefer to use conceptual icons and designers in America like to use business and technology icons.
  • UK designers prefer infographic elements and designers in the Netherlands are opting for vibrant textures in their designs.

Using information from the most popular search terms, the following subject matters are poised to feature predominantly in design this year based upon previously collected data:

  • Infographics +332%.
  • Images of food +401%.
  • Responsive design +477%.
  • 3D Printing +581%.

The demand for high-quality video footage is also on the rise, fostered by the use of 3D rendering technology and 4K video, these are some of the most popular content for videos that will be trending this year:

  • Cityscapes.
  • Education.
  • Transportation.
  • 3D Renderings.

Images are of course a big trend on social media platforms, representing trends in visual communication and business. Here are just some of the most popular trends in regards to images and design that are emerging on social media:

  • Typographic quotes.
  • Landscapes.
  • Vibrant colours.

Trends in Typographic styles are gaining momentum. Typography is at the heart of design, which makes some of the following trends in typography that are identified in this infographic very valuable to any designer:

  • Geometric fonts.
  • Signage-Inspired fonts.
  • Analog fonts.

All of these trending patterns chart the growing expansion that visual design is undergoing this year, and with so many emerging trends designers and aspiring designers certainly have a lot to consider when it comes to applying these trends to their own body of work. Design is a multi-dimensional sector where keeping track of its changing trends is crucial to design success.

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