The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) is the oldest and largest association for the design profession. Their Design Trends for 2015 prophesize that design will play a much greater role within business and society – much more than simply creating clever things to make our lives more beautiful and practical. Here’s what they say will be the 6 major trends:
The world is getting smaller and more integrated every day – so designers will need to think outside the box - waaay outside the box - and draw on thoughts, experiences, cultural influences and human studies. Why? Because designers will need to produce designs that can both serve global customers and compete with global competitors. Design will be heavily influenced by the complex world around us - and in turn will have more influence on the daily lives of people. What does this mean? Designers need to think big, and share and absorb ideas to stay relevant.
Designers are creative problem solvers - but the problems they solve will get more complicated and involve new technologies, new ways of communicating and different social systems. Think of Twitter – first set up in 2006 but now handles more than 1.6 billion search queries a day. Or the iPad - which only arrived in our lives in 2010 and is now a common household item. Designers will find that their briefs expand in scale and scope and it will be their challenge to communicate effectively through this complexity. (By ‘expanding briefs’ we mean project plans, not underpants)
Globalisation means that the audience available to a designer is far greater than before - but ironically this means that designers will need to narrow their focus. To avoid meaningless mass communication, zoning into niche audiences and targeting them with special interest designs will be key to engaging effectively.
There is a new economic context for communicators – the Attention Economy. Basically, people are always busy and short of patience so designers (writers, musicians, artists, broadcasters, teachers etc.) need to find a way of grabbing attention with original concepts and stunning content before readers get bored and.......
(no, that wasn’t an editing error)
Because of access to blogs, social networking sites and online publishing tools – people are sharing more about their personal lives than ever in text, photos and videos. Think Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, SnapChat, Tumblr, Flickr – every day there’s a new app to spread yourself around. Designers will need to change how they approach users – they’re not just business customers with a need anymore, they are individuals with characteristics and profiles and it’s these that will determine how audiences are segmented.
People are gradually realising that we need to stop plundering the Earth. We are currently chipping away at the tree branch we’re all sitting on and we need to stop to avoid a painful fall. Designers need to step up and take the lead in sustainability – not just by creating more resource-efficient designs, but by ensuring that the end-users act responsibly. Don’t just design a recyclable plastic food carton, help reduce the amount of packaging we need to throw away in the first place.