2023 marked the year of throwing it back to Y2K and retro design styles, but heading into the new year, the trends to look out for are a 180-degree flip, according to seasoned designer Kirsty Campbell of Pink Pony Creative.
Looking back at 2023, Campbell defines the year as very innovative in terms of design, and this will only continue to grow as 2024 creeps in around the corner.
With only a few days until we switch over to new calendars, Campbell talks about the trends the design world is expecting in 2024.
AI is here to stay
In 2023, artificial intelligence (AI) took the world by storm and that included in the design world.
The introduction of generative AI design tools such as Adobe Firefly and Midjourney led to a reimagining of how design is tackled.
Though the introduction of these tools have divided the industry between those who think it will take their jobs and those who are using the tools as a support, the introduction of AI showed that the possibilities are endless when it comes to design.
Heading into 2024, Campbell says AI usage in the design world is here to stay and will be used very differently across the spectrum.
From people using AI to create new images, to aiding them from creating mood boards and mapping out examples, the use of the tech will only continue to innovate how designers work.
“That will really [be] powerful in the design world,” says Campbell.
The influence of pop culture
2023 saw the beginning of the revival of cinema and its influence on the world; take a look at Barbie as an example.
Campbell says that during the height of the Barbie phenomenon, every designer was jumping on the bandwagon and adding hot pink to everything they did.
The influence of pop culture was first seen from the TV show Euphoria, that quickly saw its Y2K, glitter, utopian aesthetic heavily influence design across the world.
Many brands were quick to follow this aesthetic, adding checkers, flip phone graphics, and bright, neon colours into the mix.
With cinema starting to come back following the pandemic and 2024 expected to be another big year for the industry, Campbell says it will be no surprise to see the influence trickle down into the design avenue.
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Stripping back for bold minimalism
In September 2023, global pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson underwent a brand refresh that saw it strip back from its logo.
This rebrand marked the beginning of the design world stripping back on brighter, bolder, and sharper design attributes, removing anything that is not needed.
“They had so much character and now they’re stripping it back,” Campbell explains.
Though it may look like they are stripping away personality and nostalgia, minimalism continues to stay popular as the years go by, proving that rather than a trend, it has become an evergreen style.
Other global brands such as soft drink company 7Up and Jell-O also rebranded this year, stripping back everything and just being simpler and bolder.
Campbell says there will be more of this in 2024, as the style gives a more youthful feel and resonates more with the younger generation.
The rise of 3D art and illustrations
At the end of 2023, Campbell recognised that many brands are starting to work with styles such as 3D and moving illustrations thanks to the improved capabilities of technology like AI.
The use of illustration gives a more personable and handcrafted feel that makes it more relatable, says Campbell.
This, alongside the use of 3D elements that give a liquid and metallic effect have started to gain traction, with brands such as Mecca Cosmetics using it in a few campaigns already.
“It has a modern, futuristic feel to it. I think it’ll be interesting to see if it hangs around next year,” adds Campbell.
“it’ll probably go through its waves of being popular and then not popular as well.”