To quote the prolific German poster designer Lucian Bernhard: "Simplify." A one-word tenet for any devout designer, couldn't simplify it if I tried. Trends in music, fashion, and design come and go, and often return in a cyclic manner. Is there a metaphysical underpinning to this?
"Hem lines are rising and falling in a rhythm based on the rise and fall of empires millennia ago!"
-Terrence Mckenna, Inventor of the TimeWaveZero theory.
New Trends in Design
Here smack-dab in the middle of 2014 there are a few trends making their way back into the spotlight of the design world. It seems we have found ourselves at a return to simplicity. Simplicity for the purpose of clarity & user-friendliness. Not simplicity just to be minimalistic, but a necessary one to accommodate our sometimes daunting experience us at this modern day concrescence of complexity.
In 2013 and now in 2014 we have seen and are seeing prevalent use of strict geometric and technical grid-like illustrations as well as big bold retro typefaces, 19th century typefaces and hand-drawn style illustrations and type over the recently enjoyed "photo-driven" design for posters and signage. It seems we are in the eye of the technologically advancing storm and are collectively taking a breathe and a small step back to the classic, streamlined experience.
On the World Wide Web (remember when people called it that? Me neither.) we are seeing trends like fixed navigation, one-page scrolling, parallax scrolling, and a focus on responsiveness- all things that diminish the treacherous time-taking terrain from point A to point B for the user.
Moreover, we can see that Google, eBay, and YouTube in 2013 made a return to flat graphics. Ditching their embossed 3D style effects, perhaps throwing them into the "played out" pile along with drop shadows and star-wipes, others are following suit. Similarly, you (or the Apple enthusiast buried deep beneath your Android enthusiast exterior) may remember with the latest iPhone update, iOS has also adopted the flat graphic style for it's icons. This is all part of a movement to return to user friendliness. Is this a minimalist design approach?
Apple has made it clear that their approach was to better the user-experience:
"Simplicity is often equated with minimalism. Yet true simplicity is so much more than just the absence of clutter or the removal of decoration. It’s about offering up the right things, in the right place, right when you need them."