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8 Visual Communication Predictions for 2017

8 Visual Communication Predictions for 2017

2016 has been a whirlwind year for design, and we expect that 2017 will have even more in store for marketers worldwide. Virtual reality really took off, animation got innovative, and we found ourselves going back to the 80s.

We’ve explored some of the most exciting trends and case studies to give you the eight most exciting design predictions of 2017. Enjoy!

Shareable design - Making Greater Use of Consumer imagery

There’s no doubt that camera quality on mobile phones has increased dramatically in recent years. Moreover, hotels and leisure brands are making the most out of this user generated content.

The Radisson RED hotel in Brussels has nailed its design. The design of this Radisson Hotel is entirely focused on the consumer. The interior design is built up of collective pieces of artwork from local artists and illustrators. They even have a ‘shareable moments’ wall, where you can take a selfie, upload it on Instagram, tag the hotel in and be instantly shared on their lobby wall.


Email Marketing - How Design is Taking Advantage

We all want people to sign up for our newsletters. And some fantastic brands are coming up with new ways to entice consumers. Kate Spade is a great example.

Her email marketing campaigns use creative GIFs to showcase her products, which you can see below. Exciting images and videos like these make you want to sign up for her email newsletter, as it’s something different.  

Image sourced from Giphy

High-quality GIFs can easily be made in Photoshop, and you can find a demo for that here. Essentially, you set up the design for the individual frames, export them out and turn them into a frame animation via the ‘timeline’ function in the toolbar under ‘view’.

Animation in email marketing is still uncommon and there’s plenty brands could be doing to take advantage of this as a way to captivate audiences with a unique call-to-action. Animation is forming a greater part of email marketing design and we’re sure in 2017 marketers will be coming up with even more exciting ways to interest consumers.

Colour - Predictions for 2017


Colour can make or break your branding consistency. But brands are stripping back on their use of colour in design, both on and offline in 2017. So here’s how you can take advantage.

Image sourced from Pantone

Pantone describes these colours as a mixture of ‘Vitality, Relaxation and the Great Outdoors’. Natural earthy colours are relaxing, but also energising. Pink Yarrow, for example, is ‘a captivating and stimulating colour that lifts spirits and gets the adrenaline going.’

Interestingly, Pantone actually released two colours of the year for 2016. Both Rose Quartz and Serenity were chosen as the colour of the year. The last few years have seen a few pastel colour picks, so we think this year Pantone will go with either Pink Yarrow or Flame this year. They’re bright, powerful and fun.

Colours convey emotions, thoughts and feelings. Brands need to be aware of this with their design and branding guidelines are a great way for your brand to remain consistent, yet interesting with design.

It’s also important to note the difference between CMYK, RGB and Pantone colours. Choosing the right format for your design is important and colours can change dramatically depending on which format you choose. You can find out more about this phenomenon on our sister company’s blog, which has broken down all the technical know-how of colour in branding

A Blast from the Past - Why Brands are going back:

What’s interesting about the new Co-op logo?


How about this ‘new’ Kodak logo?


Well these new logos are not ‘new’ at all - They’re actually old logos of both Kodak and Co-op! Both of these brands are opting for ‘retro’ logos rather than a ‘modern approach’, and we expect much more of this in 2017.

The ongoing stripped-back approach to graphic design is being taken back even further. Google wants your logo to be as simple as possible with little text. (Quite like Facebook advertising standards interestingly!) Brands are on board, and this graphic design ship is already sailing.

Data, Data, Data - Quick, easy and creative for UX:

Consumers want information, fast and instant. There’s no doubting that. You can find an Uber in 30 seconds, so why would people ring for a taxi only for the phone-line to be busy? But how can web designers and marketers optimise websites for this?

From booking a table at a restaurant to booking a flight to LA, users want solutions instantly. Websites are, as a result, downsizing. Web developers as a result are coming up with new and creative ways to engage audiences. You can see this in Uber’s website below:  

A great example is Jamie Oliver’s website.


Booking a table at one of his restaurants only takes a few clicks. Potential customers don’t have to wander through a maze of different pages, they just have to click ‘book’ and choose a time. But what makes Jamie Oliver’s website particularly interesting is how it tracks your location. This makes booking a table even more easier, as it points you in the direction of your closest restaurant.  


Virtual Reality and going 360° - Creating an Interactive Experience:

It seemed that in 2016, virtual reality was on everybody’s minds. What’s more, it’s estimated that ‘Virtual Reality (VR) device sales will reach 14 million units next year, and possibly more than 38 million units by 2020.’ That’s a lot of Virtual Reality, but what does this mean for design?

Marriott International were one of the first hotel brands to start making use of Virtual Reality. They introduced an ‘in-room virtual reality travel experience’ with Samsung, but we expect 2017 to be the year where virtual reality becomes much more accessible to brands.

“Our guests want to be in inventive spaces that help foster their creativity and thinking. VRoom combines storytelling with technology, two things that are important to next generation travellers.”

As part of their sponsorship with Team GB, Samsung also offered VR experiences throughout the Rio Olympics. Taking British citizens to the Rio British House:

2016 was the year where virtual reality took off, but there’s still much more scope for brands to take advantage of it. 2016 saw a burst of various social media influencers being gifted VR headsets to promote it as accessible. Virtual Reality offers designers the chance to really flex their technological fingers, and we expect 2017 to push this trend even more.

There is an opportunity for all brands to offer interactive experiences with consumers through intelligent VR design. You could showcase hotel rooms and destinations for example to consumers.

Insights into Booking Decisions - How Design Can Follow Up Leads

Data shows that year on year, more people are booking hotels, experiences and flights on their phones, rather than on desktop computers.

Booking online is getting easier and easier. Trainline even introduced an online booking system on their app, so no more panicking about buying your train tickets at the station. Once you’ve booked an online ticket, you’re all ready to go! We love that Booking.com also advertise to you. So once you’ve booked your train tickets, nearby hotels are shown that could be suitable for your trip.

We predict that 2017 will see the rise of more innovative and creative ways apps and web applications can follow-up leads. Making creative use of push notifications is a great example of good UX design. For example, hotels and travel brands could make great use of sending follow up push notifications linking to the hotel’s blog with travel tips for the destination the consumers going to.

User experience goes beyond just in-app and we’re sure 2017 will see some great ways for web and app designers to innovate.


Hand-drawn typography and illustrative styles:

Illustrations tie in with the ‘retro’ approach, time for designers to get back to basics -  get the sharpies and pencils out!

You can see an example of this with Oreo here, who use clear blank (blue) space with illustrations of their cookies!

We think 2017 will see the return of bold illustrative styles in graphic design, combined with motion graphics are exciting, fun and quirky. 

What we’re trying to say is, don’t be afraid to go old school with a good illustrative scamp...


Snapchat Filters - Dive into the world of branded SC filters:

Brands worldwide are diving wholeheartedly into the world of Snapchat, filters galore. Some of the biggest brands across the globe are creating their own snapchat filters for users, consumers and customers to enjoy.

It seems like every other week a new filter is out on this social media platform and graphic designers are being increasingly put to the test, coming up with new and exciting ways to engage consumers online. This one from McDonald’s particularly caught our eye:



But what about return on investment? Snapchat is one of the more difficult platforms to predict ROI, but you can’t doubt its brand awareness as filters that are exciting and funny create a response from consumers.

We’ve even written an entire blog post on whether your leisure brand needs Snapchat over here.


We’ve recently mocked up a snapchat filter of our own…


We expect 2017 to be a very exciting year for graphic design. The rise of digital is sure to get even bigger, with platforms such as snapchat gaining even more momentum for brands! Illustrations are set to make a comeback. Brands are going back in time for inspiration. 2017 is going to be an exciting one, marketers.

If you want some creative pixel8 magic added to your next visual communications project , get in touch with us on 0161 228 6489. We’ve worked with brands from Hilton Hotels to Eastlands Trust centres, so why not get in touch about your next project? You can also fill in our contact form here, and someone will be in touch shortly to assist with any questions or queries you may have.

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