Modernize your print materials with these hot trends!

If your printed collateral still looks the same as it did when pagers were the hot new item, it could be time for a style update.

Print needs to stand out to be effective, whether it’s a direct mail piece, an ad in a magazine or a brochure on a rack. Especially if you’re trying to appeal to younger consumers, you need to visually represent that your business is on-trend with this decade. This doesn’t mean you have to re-brand, but you can use these modern design trends to add a fresh look to your printed materials.

The artist's touch
On the opposite end of the spectrum to flat design, is the trend towards artistic effects like watercolor, metallic foils, and custom illustrations. There are many great examples of this: the use of cartoons, paintings, custom artwork, and digital painting. It requires a skilled designer, because the use of too many elements, or poorly constructed elements, can cause the design to look too busy or unbalanced. Stick to simple illustrations in minimal colors. There are many stock art websites and skilled graphic designers you can source this kind of artwork from.

Hip and minimal flat design
Minimalism is in. Flat design, characterized by clean, bright design, plenty of white space, and lack of 3D effects is pleasing to the eye.  This page employs flat design. Notice the lack of drop shadows, gradients, and embossed fonts. The simplicity of flat design, using bold headings and contrasting colors, helps a reader to quickly understand information. To integrate flat design into your work, use contrasting colors to help pieces stand out – such as white type on a dark blue background – and use simple shapes. Ensure you leave lots of white space and use subheadings to direct your reader down the page. Stick with one or two font families, and a few colors. Less is more.

Infuse personality with script typefaces
Add flair and life to your materials by using beautiful script and hand-drawn typefaces. Script typefaces range from masculine grunge fonts to feminine and whimsical watercolor calligraphy. The key to using script fonts is to pick one, and use it sparingly. Use it in headlines and highlights. When script typefaces are too small, they're very hard to read. Test your script fonts with the printer, as some will bleed when printed. Your printer can help you avoid this.

The new retro
The looks of the 60s, 70s, and 80s are back! However, they have a fresh look. The new retro designs use elements of the past, such as patterns and iconic shapes and symbols like the cassette above. This trend appeals to younger generations and older, though it really depends on your brand. A retro 80s pattern probably won’t suit a traditional corporate law office.

Pulling from elements of flat design, it’s best to design with just a few colors and let the artwork shine by using minimal text. This look is best used for things like posters, postcards, flyers, and invitations.

This is not an exhaustive list of trends, but they’re ones that can easily be pulled from to update your print collateral. Focus on your audience first, and choose a design that will appeal to them while also regarding your brand guidelines. The essence of your brand must remain intact, but adding different styles and elements will help your materials stand out.

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