Straight from Our Creative Designer
If you’ve read any of our blogs, you know we believe in the power and effectiveness of good marketing. We believe not only in planning, strategy, organization, messaging, and call to actions, but in great design. Without great design, you could be missing out on a ton of potential customers through failure to grab their attention. Because design has such a wide range of options (nearly endless), we’ve compiled a shortlist of design trends you should keep in mind for your next marketing campaign.
Layout & Structure
Minimalism is a buzzword that simply never goes out of style. Minimalist design is clean, simple, and sleek, and because of its bare nature, makes the viewer pay attention to the most important details on the page or in the email, letting them know exactly what you want them to do (for instance, buy your pizza or use a coupon) or what you want them to know about (your shop’s delicious and popular deep-dish). When designing minimally, don’t be afraid to use white space and interesting hierarchy. Mix it up and surprise your audience with something different and less busy than the marketing of your competitors.
Digitally, audiences are now looking for “simple, sleek, easy-to-use interfaces. If you’re unsure how to simplify your website for a more minimalist design, use tools like eye-tracking tests to see where your viewers are focusing. Once you have eye-tracking data, you can simplify your website to include just those areas that are important to and effective on viewers. It’s also important to cut unnecessary pop-ups that can distract from relevant content. “Ensure the user journey is purposeful by opting for simple and time-saving design features so they can easily search for items of interest.”
With marketing, you’re always telling a story. It’s important to make sure the story is not only conveyed by words – but by imagery and layout too. “…more than ever, consumers are looking to buy from brands they can relate to, that feel approachable, relevant and authentic. To achieve a genuine connection…use storytelling.” Make your story strong and significant to customers with personalization, tailored content, product value, and authenticity.
The “s-curve” layout is a unique way of leading the viewers eye down or across a webpage, email, or printed document. It’s formed by using imagery on the left, words on the right, and then words on the right, and imagery on the left (or another similar variation) to bring the viewer’s focus from left to right, back and forth. This helps potential and current customers better understand the marketing they’re looking through, but also keeps their attention as they do so.
This type of design can help your shop stand out among the rest of the modern, boxy design that’s more popularly used. In today’s digital world, “it is so rare to get a handwritten note from someone that when we do, it feels extra personal.” Adding a small sketch or unique handwritten note to your design, without overdoing it, can increase the authenticity, personalization, and overall personality of your marketing.
Iconography has been hugely popular for a long time, mostly due to its easy-to-digest nature. It’s a simplistic way to get certain ideas and information across, such as offers, menu items, and contact information. Yet, these days, “icons have been granted much more visual prominence. Conveying…personality, unique artworks and most importantly, clearly communicating the intended message”. Illustrated and unique icons can be used to help your shop stand out from the crowd, and distinctively illustrate your brand. “Aside from speeding up loading times with lightweight graphics, icons soften brand identities and encourage an emotional connection to be made with the audience.”
Since the beginning of 2020, reality has often seemed surreal, making us question what we really know to be true and trustworthy. “Considering how mixed up –– and messed up –– day-to-day life often seems; it’s no wonder graphic design is exploring imagery that bends the edges of reality.” Using strange, juxtaposing, and even somewhat jarring elements can catch a customer’s attention yet also feel oddly familiar if they’re more adapted to strange happenings and visuals. Play around with imagery that tells the story in a more imaginative way, and see how your audience responds. It just might strike a chord!
Pops of Color
Even if your shop’s brand has more neutral colors, you can always spice things up with a few pops of color at the right place and time. A good splash of color can help bring a message to life without losing your shop’s identity – if done correctly.
No matter who your main customers are – young, middle-aged, or older, bright and bold type is exciting and eye-catching. It draws the customer in, if used in the right place(s), and catches anyone’s attention for at least a few seconds, even from far away. Plus, large type provides maximum readability, as long as the font isn’t too out-there.
Socially Conscious Design & Authentic Representation
Social consciousness. Diversity. Representation. Understanding. All of these – in today’s world and into the future, are extremely important and at the top of many customer’s minds. In our current society, “design and culture are integrally connected.” Showing a better future through imagery and design can often be the best way to facilitate change. This year and in 2020 especially, “social unrest and movements for anti-racism have captured national attention,” so you were remiss if you didn’t at least acknowledge or even take a stance on these issues. Socially conscious design with authentic representation of several ethnicities, cultures, sexualities, and more has become a huge part of graphic design practices. “Within the theme of socially conscious design, key trends include authentic representation, sustainability, and celebrating diversity and imperfection.”
Sustainability & Natural Elements
Environmental concern. Sustainability. Eco friendly practices. These, too are at the forefront of today’s initiatives, especially after a tough year where many of us have been consistently indoors. We were truly forced to take a better look at our outside world, and our impact on it. Many companies are focused on preserving the earth and sustaining the health of our planet. Through natural imagery and sustainable design your company can further convey your care and efforts, and give your customers a sense of peace and tranquility. “As consumers think about waste and their environmental footprint more than ever before…expect to see more and more packaging designs that emphasize sustainability through natural iconography, neutral color palettes, and eco-conscious materials.”
Optimism & Support
Lastly, although we’ve had a few rough years, we can finally see brighter days ahead, and so can our customers! Show your support and emphasize this brightness with optimistic design and “good news” layouts. Make your audience feel a sense of trust for your shop by showing that you care for them and empathize with their current struggles. Provide offers, specials, and rewards programs to make customers see that you know their struggle and want to support them in their time of need.
Looking to implement some of these unique design practices into your direct marketing campaigns? Contact the ZaHub crew.