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Breaking the norm or the new norm?

by Simon Derham
on 15 Jun, 2020 2 min read

One of the biggest design trends I’m noticing and that’s continually on the rise is brands looking to stand out from the crowd – to be seen, heard and appeal to or connect with their target audiences. That in itself is far from new or a trend, however, we’ve never been so bombarded by media and communications competing for our attention and as a result, brands are having to be braver and take more risks in order to own their own individual identity.

From an aesthetic design perspective, we’re seeing bolder and more unique colour palettes used than ever before – some of these colour palettes would have received a poor grade in traditional complementary colour studies, yet they not only work but they feel new, fresh and fashionable.


halo brewery experimental colour palette

Halo Brewery’s colour palette


bold and geometric colour palette

Visual identity for the University of Applied Social Sciences


Likewise, designers are opening the font box and looking at typography with new eyes. There is a legitimate typography craze happening with brands looking to own something unique and different. We’re seeing both old and new fonts used to great effect and in a way that again feels new and different.


Recoleta font for magazine design

Recoleta font


Helvetica Now font for branding

Helvetica Now font


The same trend applies to a brands use of illustration, animation and photography. Every visual element is a part of the whole picture and so again, point of difference is key here.

It would seem the old rulebook has gone out the window and the boundaries and limitations have been removed (or at least significantly expanded). That’s both exciting and also potentially daunting from a creative and design perspective – after all, being brave is being brave and a risk is still a risk. You want to get it very right but you also run the chance of getting it very wrong.

Brands are having to move and evolve at every touch point to stay relevant and how they look is only one aspect of brand design as a whole. It’s a fundamental aspect though because impressions matter and like it or not, you are judged by your appearance.

These design trends are very much of the times and they are constantly changing and adapting. It’s an exciting time to be working in the industry because brands are much more receptive to and hungry for creativity and design that ‘breaks the norm’ – which now seems to be ‘the new norm’… for now!


Need help with design?

Want to keep your design style on-trend? Contact our team at Thirst for help with your design strategy and vision. Our team of talented and creative designers can shed some light on what your brand is missing and will show you the power of impactful, design-led branding.

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