Design Trends To Watch In 2021
EPIC’s Own Rachel Bertsch Does Some Trend-Spotting
Articles about trends at the beginning of the year are unavoidable, but they truly provide value and a vision for where the industry is going. With something as abstract as design, it’s not always a linear path. But I’m seeing priorities that are changing across industries, which will shape the future of design and user experience. Let’s take a look at some!
Accessibility And Inclusion
This one is more than a trend. It’s a necessity. Accessible design allows the digital or real-world environment to be accessed, understood, and used to the greatest extent possible by all people—regardless of their age, size, ability, or disability.1 We have seen a big rise in the awareness of accessible and universal design over the years, but I believe we are starting to come to a tipping point. Thankfully, this is a direction and side of history I feel many want to be a part of. It is important to be aware and strive to be better.
At a minimum, you should care about accessibility because you want people to use your products! Designers and those that make products will continue to educate themselves and share with others how they can design for all.
With so many trade shows and events moving into a digital space instead of IRL (in real life), it is crucial for these online spaces to engage their audience. Gone are the days of the static, lifeless website. Brands need to continue to interact with their customers, and now designers can invent all-new ways to connect. We will see a rise in websites going to 3D and 360-degree solutions, and see more and more brands turning to experiential websites and web apps to make up for the lack of in-person interactions. These new and improved digital events and interactions will open up many different kinds of storytelling possibilities that may live on well past 2021. Reach out if you want to learn more about the 3D immersive projects we’ve created with our clients.
With many working from home recently, personalization has become of the utmost importance—especially in our living spaces. Many of us are spending more time at home, and making our homes feel more like a true reflection of ourselves has gone from an afterthought to the forefront of our minds. I believe our environments will only continue to become stronger reflections of us and the things we love.
We will see this reflected in web design—and all other types of design as well—with the ability to personalize and tailor our interfaces to our needs. With all of us being physically distanced from each other, we are craving humanity and a personal touch. This also ties back to and is reflected in the importance of accessible design, as designers continue to think about inclusion and accessibility.
Curves And Organic Shapes
We are seeing curves everywhere from our fashion to our furniture. These post-modern-influenced shapes are back and in a big way, and I don’t think they will be going away anytime soon. Some examples of curves are in the grid below.
With the 1980s and ’90s being so popular, you can see this influence infiltrating several design industries. Some of my favorites are the big boucle chairs and billowy velvet couches that make me want to sink in. It doesn’t surprise me that curves are also showing up in our type design and web fonts. With the increasing popularity of Adobe Fonts, a designer can easily access and incorporate these fun and whimsical type options into any website or design.
With the 1980s and ’90s being so popular, you can see this influence [post-modern shapes] infiltrating several design industries.
Gone are the days of the all-white minimal design. I believe we will continue to see a shift towards a warmer, more joyful use of color in everything from interiors to the web. I wouldn’t call this full-blown maximalism like others are saying, but careful and well-considered use of color. In the wake of the s*itshow that was 2020, this is as refreshing as a fresh peach on a hot summer day. As an avid color lover, I am jumping on this vibrant train and won’t be looking back.
1. Hagstrom Builder/Lekker Home: www.pinterest.com/pin/488429522093996742/
2. CB2: www.pinterest.com/pin/659425570439301557/
3. West Elm: www.pinterest.com/pin/88172105195899424/
4. CB2: www.pinterest.com/pin/293930313183513669/
1 Centre for Excellence in Universal Design, universaldesign.ie/What-is-Universal-Design/