Designing for the future: trends we need to consider now

“This blog post is a part of Design Blogger Competition organized by CGTrader

Those of you who follow me on social media will know I have just finished my design degree! A fairly healthy chunk of my degree was dedicated to writing, and this is something I really enjoy. I find it a really great way to explore my thoughts. I was invited to partake in a blogging competition all about the future of design. As I would like to include more design related content on my blog, I thought this would be the perfect introduction to this part of my life. Fear not though! My usual posts will resume, there just may be a design one here and there from now. Enjoy!


Technology in Education. 

What we perceive to be established modern graphic design has stemmed from a system of roots which worked together to blossom skills and understanding. The humble cave drawings created by our ancestors many years ago have been considered the very start of design. But what about the future?

Let’s consider the educational process. Just completing my degree in Graphic Design, I am able to reflect upon an experience rich in techniques both digital and traditional. Specialist software and machinery have been able to develop ideas into functioning, pieces of real design. While I have considered my MacBook to be my holy grail possession, there is something about the touch of a fresh sketching pencil onto beautifully textured paper. For me, it is important to utilise traditional techniques as much as those more modern and digital. Some may argue that I am stuck in the past, however part of practising design is finding your style, flow and working methods. I was also lucky to have access to 3D printing, Laser cutting, and other pieces of machinery which have enabled the educational design experience to transform.

If we take a look at the same graphic design course, but further back in time, you can imagine a much more different experience. Before desktop publishing software, a layout would have been created with patience, repetition, glue/wax and sharp razor blades. For those who would have had a similar education to myself, you can empathise when appreciating how much technology has had an impact on the creative industry.

“As my old lecturer used to say to me ” yes… but what is it saying?’ If you couldn’t answer that and more importantly your creative couldn’t answer that you were toast and so was your education.” – Cory Siddall, Creative Director ‘Truth Marketing’.

If we imagine graphic design as a timeline, we can see that technology has shaken up the way we work. If technology has improved anything, in my opinion, it is time. We can now create design in a few hours and clicks rather than a few days inhaling poisonous chemicals. If that has happened in such a short period of time, what does the future hold for design and how do we train designers for a role which may not exist in ten years time? Here are my predictions for the future.

With the mobile phone and tablet developing every month of the year, responsive design holds a lot of pressure for providing the perfect user experience. We can shake our phone to change a song, pinch to zoom in, and detect a song by holding up your phone to a speaker. While apps, websites, software react to what we tell them to do, what if they react without us telling them? What if software and hardware is developed to follow our eye pattern instead of scrolling with our finger? What if a piece of technology, like a tablet, responds to our mood?

User experience design, in my opinion, will become even more important than it is currently. Think of a shopping centre. I remember using a map in a leaflet to find my way around. Now, we have touch-screen maps, apps which guide us around loyalty cards that track our spending habits. While it gives off a rather frightening ‘Big Brother’ vibe, everything is in place to enhance the experience. Perhaps education will drive towards a more conceptual approach and include an emphasis on design thinking rather than the designing itself?

I also believe we will see every website, software etc optimised for mobile devices as part of this uprising of responsive/user experience design. Could this mean RGB becoming the new CMYK?

Could branding and identity become a whole new ball game? Let’s imagine a logo. In the future, we will have to consider how we make it interactive and responsive both on print and web. Could it be animated? Could it change colour depending on the weather? Could people also become more swayed to use a company/brand which incorporates modern design capabilities into its identity, meaning an end to ‘never judge a book by its cover’?

In summary, the industry is rapidly ripening thanks to technology. In terms of education, it is now about teaching to have transferable and adaptable skills, rather than to be good at only one thing in particular. When we think of how many times our adobe software launches an update – this is a classic example of how as designers, we adapt, learn and keep up with the industry standards. No longer are we equipped with the tools which enable us to answer a brief, but how to expand a response to match an every-growing creative industry.

Check out my Behance, Instagram and Website here 🙂





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