Apr 7, 2019 in Informative

New Challenges in Graphic Design


Recent research in the field of graphic design reveals a set of changing elements. Logo design and illustration play a significant role in creating a company’s image. A logo is part of business perception of and presentation. The company brand image is one of the fundamental factors in graphic design field. The issues have been discussed Through with professional in the graphic design field through interviews. 

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The current report evaluates the recent trends in the Graphic design field in logo design, illustration, and typography areas. It further states how they are affecting the field, and why they are necessary for students, who are expecting to be working in the field in the future. The paper aims to help the students and professionals in the graphic design field to improve their knowledge in the industry. The project will provide detailed information about the trends in the graphic design field, and suggest the possible development methods for designer, and address imagination and perception in design.

Purpose and Scope

The central purpose of the report is to analyze the three major trends impacting the field of graphic design and recommend a strategy for the career services to implement so that prospective graduates are prepared to meet the new demands of the marketplace.

In order to meet the purpose, the paper will examine the following trends. The first one is the hottest trends in logo design, which include small logos without extra details, a smartphone screen, and the phenomenon of pushing back and evolving the meaning of 'simple'.

The second current illustration trends consist of character-based narrative illustration, the Zeitgeist is the influence of the 1980s postmodern style, as well as movies, video games, and comic books style.

Finally, the third factor is the most effective typography of the year that includes the 350 winning Regional Design Annual entries. In the modern world, the long-held production paradigm may be changing.

The Hottest Trends in Logo Design

Small logos without extra details are the most common today. Following the evolution of graphic designs, industry trends, and emergence of technology for generating logos, companies have moved from the traditional designs. Business firms are adopting more simplistic and representational designs of logos that do not have many details on them. Initially, it was common to see a business logo that includes the company name and some details of the slogan or motto. The aforementioned types of logos used to be crowded and showed the company details instead of creating a wider picture of relationship between business and graphics. A business logo is an imagery representation of the beliefs and factors behind the intended success rather than a short presentation of business ideas and strategies.  

Designing a fancy and congested logo is a waste of resources, since the primary use of an organization logo is to stand out and create the brand image rather than explain the details about the organization. The other elements, such as a mission statement, slogan and vision statements are meant for explanation purposes. A logo is what a person sees the first time they look at a document or web page associated with an organization. Thus, the more complex it is, the more expensive it appears. The factor may be discouraging to people, since they may think the firm is more interested in design rather than the quality of products; and hence, it is a mistaken venture. A picture speaks more than a statement; thus, the first image has to be simple and friendly. Logos carry hidden symbolism that is the inner doctrines driving the organizational ideas.

Smartphone screen is one of the major interests of modern graphic designers. Traditionally, organization logos were designed and crafted in printable dimensions with a lot of focus being put on the way the image will appear on paper. The development of technology introduced personal computers. Eventually, the revolution of selling the business and organizational ideas took place. The latest thing in the minds of the graphic designers is the smartphones. The gadgets replace many traditional aspects of communication and almost render computers useless due to the smartphones’ unique features and applications. Graphic designers have to make sure that interest is directed to how a logo will look when displayed on the screen of a smartphone with varied dimensions, colors, and backgrounds. The gadgets come with different screen sizes and operating systems that require a consistent design that can be viewed on all of them. Today, people spend more time browsing websites using smartphones and tablets than computers due to portability and comfort. Thus, graphic designers must ensure that their work is compatible with the mobile gadgets and is as presentable as in any other devices. 

Designers continue to push back and evolve the meaning of 'simple'. Since modern people look at the world through small dimensions of screens and business cards, the people responsible for designing icons have to keep things simple and clear by eliminating unnecessary details from the logos. However, the word seems to have become ambiguous, and designers are pushing to define it afresh to show the real intentions. Reducing details to have simple logos has made the designs tiny and precise, almost empty. However, loss of meaning is what designers are trying to avoid. The meaning of simple is evolving; instead of reducing details, replacement with a more compact item is preferable. A logo is supposed to be a symbol representing vital details. At the same time, it should not be congested with information and drawings. Thus, the graphic designers need for a clear definition of the word ‘simple.’ 

The Current Illustration Trends

Character-based narrative illustration is the type of illustration, where comic strips are incorporated into the graphic designs. The approach is more adaptable to the youth brands than products targeting the old generation.  However, following the evolution of branding, marketing, and use of arts in telling stories about brands, character-based illustration is crossing the borders to almost all brands in the market, regardless of the targeted age group. Designers use comic stories, humor, wit, and charm among other artistic approaches in catching the attention of the target group. Entities are now contracting the services of the veteran artists, who have brought significant influence in the field of graphic designs through the creation of black and white visuals that tell a story. The artists include McBess, Rami Niemi, and Andy Rementer among others. Character-based illustration is a simple way of using artistic works to tell a story about the product brand and create a unique brand picture in the minds of the consumers. 

The Zeitgeist is the influence of the 1980s postmodern style. The Memphis Group impacts the zeitgeist is the biggest illustration trending in the world of graphic design. The phenomenon involves proliferation of dots, geometric shapes, zigzags, wobbly lines, bright colors, fuzzy gradients as well as the occasional pot plan. Several of the illustrative styles come with a none-messing bold weight from the sans serif font and bring out the most in-vogue graphic style in the market. They have become the most copied elements by designers, emerging as the trending styles in the last two years. The style has managed to penetrate the market and influence branding, including the covers of books, magazines, and editorial works. However, the style has been labelled by scholars as non-academic. Thus, it should only be used during competitions and not in everyday learning. The design has acquired its space in the clothing line designs, where companies release their brands with inspiration from the design. For instance, Adidas has its first sneaker ZX 9000 inspired by the Memphis Group. 

Movies, comic books, and video games have recently become a reference point for graphic designers, because they are designed to relate to the things that people love most. American horror movies have been used by designers on several occasions to bring out special effects in design. On the other hand, the artworks used in children comic books are being utilized in product branding by designers. Video games are popular in young generation. Thus, the games are becoming more popularly used by designers in creating effects in artistic works. The titles of the movies that trend in a period determine that popularity of other things that people relate understand. A movie that is released in the market is usually accompanied by a graphic video game or a comic book that tends to continue the story and create a relationship between the movie and the society. The strategy is where graphic designers create effects that are available in other works of creativity to enhance the industry output and make the world more interesting and lively. 

The Most Effective Typography of the Year

The Regional Design Annual in artistic works is the industry’s most respected and prestigious American design competition. The competition is the only survey designed to embrace and appreciate works of graphic designers and award them with an intention of motivation. Tens of thousands of works are submitted annually to the platform with numerous directors and judges gathering to determine the ones that deserve recognition. The following list shows the types of works accepted in RDA competition: Advertising (print), Annual Reports, Book Covers/Jackets, Brochures/Catalogs, Editorial (newspaper covers/spreads and magazine), and entire books (interior/covers content). Others include Environmental Graphics, Illustration/Photography, Information Graphics, Invitations/Announcements, Letterhead/Logos, Multi-Media Campaign, Packaging (consumer goods, CDs, etc.). Lastly, the list includes Posters/Flyers, Self-Promotions, Wearable (t-shirts, bags, hats, etc.), and Web Design. 

The regions are divided into Far West, MidWest, East, Southwest, New York City and South. Different judges come to represent each of the regions in the panel of decision-makers. The competition is where the best artwork is crowned, and the winner and given the industrial recognition within the design sector. In the last few years, RDA competition has been able to award thousands of works in different categories and nurtured the designers for the next competitions in the market. The achievement is a prestigious award that every designer must take interest in, since it can change the career in a day. Currently, designers are registering their works for the 2016 competition. The award committee accepts a fee paid for registration through the website. 

The long-held production paradigm may be changing. For years now, the fonts used in web texts have been disregarded by the authors of print works, terming them as extras or afterthoughts compared to the print fonts. The phenomenon has been ongoing since 1996 when the Cascading Style was created. However, the upcoming trends in the design industry reveal that the paradigm might be changing again. Traditionally, the hinting has been added during the rendering of texts on screens manually. The element has been a matter to be determined by the type and the size of the screen being targeted for the text. In the font bureau, some experts have been working around the clock, ensuring that the fonts are equally utilized and can be a satisfying read on any type or size of the screen. A famous professional in the area is a font designer David Jonathan Ross, who believes that fonts are fonts and can be used in any print or on-screen text without compromising the readability. 

David Jonathan Ross and his fellow experts have been working on Reading Edge series, a platform that improves compatibility and adaptability of fonts when text is being transferred from one media to the other. For instance, copying information from a web page and pasting into another page may change and distort the previous arrangement and fonts, hence making it difficult to transfer information. However, with the new developments, the paradigm in the production of print and on-screen artworks is changing, and the issue of fonts for different media has a general approach that improves compatibility. Ross argues that, since screen sizes often differ in different gadgets, the only thing required is the adjustment of font sizes and not font types to display text at the maximum attainable screen size and resolution. The primary goal of the project initiated by Ross and his colleagues is to have consistency in the way texts appear on different platforms, including screen and print. 


 The field of graphic design has been evolving, and new concepts replaced the traditional methods of doing things. However, due to the ever changing trends, there are challenges that designers face. Sometimes, the issues make working on artistic designs difficult. Adaptability of the modernized means of creating images and using symbols like logos to communicate information is paramount for every aspiring designer, since one cannot thrive using only the traditional ways of thinking. New challenges are embraced and used as the learning platforms, so that in the future, the upcoming works can be compatible with the trends in the market. For instance, the logos become clearer and simpler without much details or colors. The designers have adopted a simplistic way of using symbols to represent information, which might not fit in the logo or business cards. They aforementioned facts are the trends, which the modern designer has to adopt and embrace. 


Following the fast and ever evolving design industry, there is a need for the learning institutions to embrace the changes as learning objectives and train the future designers based on the present rather than the past. In most cases, the tools used in teaching in schools are the old ones; they represent the history instead of the present. The occurance is due to the cost implications that come with upgrading teaching aid. However, the cost is worth the outcomes, the new approach to education will teach qualified and updated professionals, who can assist in upgrading the current affairs in the industry rather than taking the time to adapt to the work environment. Another recommendation is embracing of competitions and award systems like RDA, where artists can exhibit their works and receive recognition. The award systems are an underlying platform in upgrading the industry, since they make the stakeholders work extra and produce quality works in the market, hence faster and consistent growth. 


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