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Trending This Week: Playful Illustrations in Label Design

by Caitlyn Hampton on May 12, 2017 No comments

According to Ernest Hemingway, the best way to overcome a creative block is to start with one true sentence. It’s an exercise in finding the essence of the creation so stubbornly locked away in your head. For designers, that same brain freeze can feel like a death sentence, especially when you’re 5 hours from a deadline. But don’t despair—Hemingway’s advice may be more applicable to design than it first appears. When you aren’t sure where to start, just stay true to the nature of whatever product you’re designing for. Which takes us to the trend we fell in love with this week: playful illustrations in label design.

When designing for beverage labels or food packaging, the goal is to convey which emotion you want associated with the product. We need to ask ourselves, what do these products truly mean to our customers? Do those crunchy, salty chips fill them with joy? Does looking forward to that after-dinner ice cream get them through the long workday? You get our point.

So what did we want to convey with our beer label design below? A playful throwback that takes you back to your nerdy, youthful days—but with an adult twist. To capture that carefree vibe, we took these spacey vectors from our library of royalty-free stock graphics and had a little fun ourselves.
 

Stock Vectors

Download the colorful flat science and technology vector icons used in this design.

 
If you’re not a pro illustrator quite yet and need a little help getting your designs together, don’t panic. This is one reason why stock vectors are so useful. We simply took the collection from the icons below and transformed them into the design on the right to make our label.

 
Stock Vectors

Download the colorful flat science and technology vector icons used in this design.

 
Feeling inspired by our playful design? Packaging design is a great way to flex your creative muscles and adopt an aesthetic you don’t usually aim for. Now it’s your turn—what’s the truth behind your next project?

 

Get Spacey with Stock Vectors

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Playful Illustrations in Label Design

Trending This Week: Color Block Designs with Stock Graphics

by Caitlyn Hampton on April 21, 2017 No comments

Designers have many tricks up their sleeves and one of the simplest is color blocking—a technique in which large blocks of bold color are photoshopped into the background.

Following brand guidelines can be tough. Style guides are strict and limit everything from the typefaces you’re allowed to use to the colors you can apply. In short, professional design projects can leave your creativity feeling a little stifled—but don’t despair! Color blocking is a great way to spice up your designs while staying on-brand and on-trend. Using the right stock graphics combined with a bold color blocking technique, you can breathe life back into your designs.

From display ads to website heroes, color blocking allows for some freedom by providing plenty of white space in your design.

 
graphic images

Download the graphic image used in this design.

 
In our display ad examples, we chose a yellow background to provide contrast with the model’s red hat, resulting in vibrant, playful ads that encourages potential customers to take notice.

 
Graphic Images

Download the graphic image used in this design.

 
We used the golden ratio in order to determine the size of the yellow block, positioned the model to cover a portion of the split between the two sides, and maintained her shadow in the cutouts to create some depth between the model and the background.

 
Graphic Images

Download the graphic image used in this design.

 
By using color blocking, we were able to choose a loud, bold color, and play with the layout design of the ad. All our brand guidelines were met, and creativity was still able to spread its wings.

Now it’s your turn—we’ve gathered some of our favorite stock graphics for use with this technique. What will you create?

 

Get the Graphics

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Color Block Designs with Stock Graphics

Trending This Week: Linear Vector Icons in Web Design

by Caitlyn Hampton on March 24, 2017 No comments

In web design, vector icons not only make your page look on-trend, they’re also great to convey a large amount of information in a way that’s both efficient and visually appealing—a rare combination in the world of design. Since users tend to rapidly skim pages, well-designed icons make your message easier to pinpoint by breaking up the content of a page so that viewers can quickly identify your services or products.

Take a look at our example below. This attention-grabbing homepage is noticeable for all the right reasons—with one quick glance, you get all the important details without any visual or verbal clutter.

 
Stock Vectors

Download the icons used in this website design.


 

So now you see why icons are a win-win for content and design, but the tricky thing about icons is that they can be really tough to design well. They require time and an attention to detail that can take hours or even days to get just right—even if you’re a professional designer.

The good news? We recently acquired a new collection of stock vectors for our library, including dozens of high-quality icon designs. They will take your web pages to the next level and save you hours upon hours of work. Check out some of our favorites here and if you want to see how to use icons in a resume, check out this post.

 
Stock Vectors
 
So what do you say—are you ready to take your website designs to the next level?
 

Explore New Icons

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Linear Vector Icons in Web Design

Trending This Week: Geometric Illustrations and Grunge Textures

by Caitlyn Hampton on March 17, 2017 1 comment

With flat design being all the rage recently, it’s hard to find a digital design with texture and depth. But trends are always evolving and revolving, so it came as no surprise when we noticed a deviation from this new norm. This textured landscape illustration by Berin Catic caught our attention. It still uses similar concepts to flat design—simple geometric forms, distilled down from their complex shapes in reality—however, with one distinct difference: the use of grunge textures. We couldn’t help but notice that this style can be easily recreated using stock images.

 
Stock Images Using Grunge Textures

Download the grunge texture and landscape vector used in this design.

 
Stock Images Using Grunge Textures

Download the grunge texture and landscape vector used in this design.

 
To recreate Catic’s look, we used simple geometric shapes, added a grunge texture with the blend mode set to Soft Light, and finally added a color overlay with the blend mode set to Hue. You can color each shape differently; however, we chose to use a color overlay for a monochromatic look.

 
So what do you say—would you add texture to your illustrations or are you a flat design for lifer? Let us know in the comments and get started with your next work of art!

 

Discover Dimensional Grunge Textures

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Geometric Illustrations and Grunge Textures

Trending This Week: Brutalist Web Design

by Caitlyn Hampton on March 9, 2017 No comments

If you thought you’d seen all the trends there could be by now, think again. There is a new design style in town—actually, it’s kind of old—and it’s making websites look bad. Known as brutalist web design, this “back to basics” trend is a reaction to the user-friendly, “too perfect” web pages that have overtaken the digital world as designers and browsers become more comfortable pushing their creative boundaries. Given the renewed popularity of brutalism, we beg the question: Can web design ever be too good?

To achieve this retro look all you have to do is forget everything you’ve ever learned about web design best practices. In brutalism, there really aren’t any rules. One of the key components is how easy it should be to code your web design in HTML. We took this as a hint to have some fun and go a little crazy with bright colors, fun stock vectors, and of course we can’t forget monospace fonts.

 
stock vectorsDownload the stock vectors used in this design.
 

The brutalist design style was originally an architecture movement from the 1950s through the 1970s, and it descended from the modernist movement. The aesthetic was about showcasing the raw concrete and not trying to gloss over how a building was actually made and structured. Brutalist web design boasts the same philosophy—don’t hide the structure of your website—or rather the HTML. It truly is web design at its core. Think Craigslist. No CSS, just functionality.

So, what do you think? Are you willing to jump on the brutalist band wagon or would you rather stick with more modern times?

While trends may come and go, if you’re looking for some amazing stock vectors for your next web design project, check out our 20 best graphics for web design.

 

Get Retro Stock Vectors

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Brutalist Web Design

80’s Trends in Graphic Design

by Mallory on June 16, 2014 2 comments

80’s Trends in Graphic Design

Everything old is new again, and in this case, not that old. Don’t look now, or should I say do look, because the trends and aesthetic of 1980’s and 1990’s graphic design have come back! You can’t keep a good design down, and what follows are insights as to why graphic trends of that era are special and appealing, and a musing on why and how they have returned circa 2014.

Styles like “Neon Noir” and “80’s Deco,” made the ’80’s distinctive. The 90’s weren’t as distinctive as the 80’s, but were arguably as singular and significant, and surely more experimental with the influence of flannel, long hair, grunge music and the “Seattle” style.

Neon Noir

neon noir

Neon Noir visually fused crime-filled streets with designer-filled wardrobes. Bright colors, dark backgrounds and scripted fonts of typography are all staples of this form. Favorite subject matter and source material included palm trees, sports cars, beautiful women and sunsets.

The films “To Live and Die in L.A.,” and “Thief,” and the hit television show “Miami Vice” sported elements of the Neon Noir design style. The movie posters for “Risky Business” and “License to Drive” were quintessential examples of the form.

80’s Deco

doodles-flowers284-01-111413-1028

A full-blown art deco revival transformed graphic design in the 80’s. This modern design style is called 80’s Deco, and it made its mark not only on graphic trends but also on architecture and interior design. Earmarks of this style are overt angles and curves, and clean, sans-serif fonts.

The opening credits of “Miami Vice,” and renowned designer Razzia’s poster art of a 1936 Bugatti Atlantic automobile were prime proponents of this 80’s style art deco.

Seattle, Grunge, and Other “Subtle” Experiments of the 1990’s

guitar-player-on-grunge-background-913-902

The 90’s were distinguished by design movements with arguably less flash, but equal doses of singularity and distinctiveness. Grunge music burst on the scene in 1991, fueled by the band Nirvana, and the flannel, “Seattle” styles spawned by this cultural wave influenced everything from fashion to design.

The movie poster for the film “Singles,” and the film itself, visually and aesthetically covered this territory. So did Nirvana’s album designs, rave flyers and the Starbuck’s Coffee logo.

Back to the Future

So why is the current graphic design scene dotted with these visual ornaments of the recent past? Call it nostalgia, retro-thinking or just the fact that most everything is cyclical in the broad scheme of time. And if the designs stand the test of time, why not?

You can find royalty-free graphics of the 80’s and 90’s at GraphicStock.com

References:

http://luregraphics.com.au/Blog/files/637a17b39802f4d830cf5c7bede4f8ae-6.php

http://prezi.com/c40axineg1yn/history-of-graphic-design-80s-and-90s/

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Mallory80’s Trends in Graphic Design