2018 Destination Marketing Creative Trends

It’s Not Too Late to Hit The Reset Button: Are You Utilizing The Latest Design Trends In Your 2018 Destination Marketing Creative?

The results are in: companies like Apple, Google, Spotify and Dropbox have been releasing new versions of their operating systems and setting the new standards for what we can expect in the coming year.

Old friends and new trends side together creating new blends for a sunny year. The return of the long-forsaken gradient. Do we have amends to make to our old friend? It would appear.

We’ve taken the time to sift through and organize 10 of the latest design trends so you, too, can be in vogue and in the right direction with your destination marketing creative.

Perhaps, you decided February 3rd was a good a day as any to void your “No Sugar in 2018” contract. Maybe the gym membership discount promotion ending before you got around to it was just meant to be. The point is, you’re here now, and you can consider the list below your ticket to redemption (shoutout to those staying strong in 2018-keep sticking it to those triglycerides).

1. Breaking The Grid

All rules were meant to be broken. In designers’ perpetual crusade for more interesting compositions, the safe blueprint that was once our layout cocoon has been shed for unconstrained flight. Graphic elements have the green light to cross borders they were once forbidden from, creating unexpectedly pleasurable pairings of line and text.

2. Illustrations To Take The Lead Role

The ever-evolving squabble of the design world over what types of images work best for advertising has taken an interesting turn, with illustrations bursting from the floorboards of design agencies like a third-act Tarantino character. Maybe it’s return coincides with the resurrect fashion of the 60’s era where it once took the main stage. Whatever it is, illustrations used effectively can do wonders for bringing more esoteric concepts to life. In some cases, illustrated characters can serve to stand for humankind itself rather than a photograph of an actual person that may leave the divergent viewer disconnected.

3. Brutalism Garners Widespread Appeal

With a seeming wanton disregard for web best practices, the brutalism style is employed by designers in an act of almost political defiance. The ripped-open, whitewashed walls and borderline offensive (to the status quo, anyway), in-your-face imagery can make a lasting impression. Proceed with caution (or don’t).

4. Organic and Oblique Elements

To say that 2018 is “well-rounded” would be a gross understatement, and saying she has “nice curves” seems kitschy. So we’ll say this: Both primary and secondary design elements, including buttons and even background elements, seem to be more relaxed. Some might say even too relaxed. Regardless, their friendly demeanor can be inviting, and to spice things up a bit, many designers are taking the edge off, pairing rounded elements with the dramatic flow of lines that cut across background layouts in muted, bright and, yes, even gradient fashion (we’ll get to that later).

5. Motion and Movement

Gone are the days of the laissez-faire approach when it comes to text and imagery on the web. Designers now prod information to interact, to hop and to live with the movements of the user. By creating subtle animations or employing creative scroll movements to draw attention to the right elements at the right time, designs which employ movement succeed in bringing content to life.

6. Maximalism

The best compliment a designer could once pine for is “it’s clean”. While we won’t sit here and tell you that 2018 is the year to refrain from using antiperspirant, we will say that maybe this is the year to get that rainbow-colored hairdo (or at least that purple stripe). The idea here is to effectively surprise, entice or even shock the viewer if you’re feeling spritely. With a more digitally savvy audience comes a higher expectation of what the viewer can handle. Maybe the hair dye is too much, too permanent-but throwing on a flannel with a mismatched tee shirt once a week might feel good.

7. Serifs Put On Their Groovy-Two-Shoes

Like Laney Boggs descending gracefully from the staircase of former shame in “She’s All That”, serifs have found their place on the web as the respected beauties they always were. With display technology rendering and custom support of serifs becoming the standard, we’re rubbing our eyes in disbelief at how great serif fonts are looking front and center now that they’re allowed to come out and play with the cool kids (we won’t tell the serifs it was all a bet if you won’t).

8. Drop Shadows and Depth

Drop shadows haven’t been, well, in the shadows exactly. What is new, however, are the variations coming to the table. Non-traditional, more subtle uses of shadows in conjunction with bright, dashing colors are serving to deepen the depths of the screen.

9. Colors Gone Wild

The years of colorful adolescence are nearing end. With accelerating improvements in screen and device technology, colors are finally graduating, looking to fulfill their full potential. It’s time to party. Forget just wading in the deep end, brands are now doing flying squirrel somersaults with ‘hex’-tra zest. Excess color palettes are the drink of choice, especially now that we can get away with it. Hey, everybody is doing it.

10. Making The Gradient

Last, but not least, the gradient has returned. It’s not the gradient that you used to know (see: Apple’s elder iOS icons that employed subtle gradients to suggest 3D). The gradients of 2018 are loud, proud and returning with a bang. They’re showing up to the party with wild colors. From duotone effects to playing wingman when other images aren’t available, the gradient is the unsung hero of a year filled with surprises.

Want more? There’s another design trend so compelling we decided to write an entire article about it. Learn about cinemagraphs here and why you should be considering them for your destination marketing campaigns.

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