The world might be on pause, but your brand shouldn't be. In fact, now is an ideal time to push your brand forward with a brand update, refresh, or overhaul. By using these quieter times to revamp your brand identity or refocus your positioning, you can emerge from lockdown with a fresh, up-to-date brand that grabs consumers' attention in all the right ways. Here's what we anticipate to be the top branding trends of 2020 and beyond.
1 The '80s Are Calling
Design is cyclical. We've seen mid-century, and Art Deco styles make a comeback in recent years, and now we're on the lookout for the latest nostalgic vibes. Good news for all those 80s kids: neon, chrome, and pixelated art are all back again. This is a trend that's been happening for a few years with the resurgence of the Memphis Design School approach, and we think there'll be more of it. Bold colors, geometric designs, and a whole lot of electronic-inspired fun are on the agenda. If your brand jives with this aesthetic, go for it!
2 Maximalism to the Max
Led by the success of Apple, we've done the razor-thin lines, gradients, and grayscale for years now. But minimalism can be cold, hard, and impersonal, none of which are particularly on-trend in a world where consumers increasingly demand that brands be welcoming and personal. Enter maximalism. Buoyed to popularity by boho-inspired interior designers, this branding trend is all about more. Bright colors, eye-catching patterns, hand-written scripts, and layered visual assets comprising both photos and illustration are the name of the game. Your customers are complex people leading multi-faceted lives, so why not let your brand lean into the visual excitement offered by this trend?
3 Crazy Enough to Work
It's been a tough year for just about everyone, and the blows just keep on coming. People are looking for things that jolt them out of this current moment, creating an opportunity for brands to go wild. The funkier, modern and more experimental your branding gets, the more it's likely to resonate. If your brand has been politely following the principles of modernist or international design styles, now's the time to get rude. Go against the grain, and don't be shy about showing your true colors - because look where being buttoned up got the other guys. Good design can transcend movements. And moments.
4 Visual Assets to Call Your Own
The internet has exploded with digital asset aggregators. It's never been easier to find a stock photo, download some attractive vector art or find commercial usage rights to that font you love. But as consumers increasingly become content creators themselves, we expect the next year or so to be the time when bespoke looms large. On-site photoshoots, studio-created design moments, and hand-crafted fonts are the way of the future. They are singular, ownable, and, since they are created for you and by you, beautifully on brand. Nothing says fresh like custom.
5 Print is Back in Print
Digital is quick, ubiquitous, easy to update, and cheap to disseminate. But that's precisely why everyone's doing it. Let's face it; there's something elevated and memorable about a suite of beautifully crafted branding moments. Business cards with real heft thoughtfully designed brochures, and high-quality mail-outs are a way to set your brand apart from the rest. Not only that, but print lets you be creative in ways that digital simply can't. While the resurgence of print may still be a few months away given current circumstances, we anticipate it making a bold comeback in 2021 as brands reclaim their place in the market.
6 Throw it Out and Start Again
Last, but certainly not least, we anticipate that one major trend of the next year or two will be the drastically shortened life cycle of the traditional branding refresh or revamp. The world is changing at a rapid-fire pace, and brands are having to adapt to that. That means that trend cycles are going to be shorter, faster, and perhaps a fair bit wilder. Don't be surprised if you see brands launching multiple new looks, identities, or campaigns over the coming months.
If your brand feels like it could do with a little something extra, take this time to embark upon a refresh or reimagining of your brand identity. It's an investment that will keep you in the game - no matter what the rest of this year brings.