6 Marketing Design Trends We Will See in 2020
Marketing design trends are set to change quite rapidly over the course of this year and will have a massive impact on digital and print marketing in 2020. For marketers, knowing what trends to focus on could be all it takes to increase your brand’s digital reach and maximize your sales funnel.
The digital landscape has evolved at a steady pace, impacting marketing design, technology, and deliverability.
For marketers, it is a struggle to stay on-trend—it requires rejigging your digital marketing plan and being constantly open to making changes.
What helps is knowing what trends are coming your way in the next year, so you can adapt your marketing plan and brochure templates as required.
In this article, we will look at six marketing design trends that we will see in 2020.
1. Abstract Marketing Design
According to a study on graphic design trends, 2020 is going to see a shift towards illustrations, rather than a reliance on photographic imagery.
But the simple, stylized illustrations popularized in 2019 will soon become a thing of the past. It seems the overuse of such simple graphics has led to them losing their charm.
Instead, 2020 will see more abstract illustrations that look almost unreal—the focus will be on interpretative design that is quirky enough to excite the imagination while still being engaging.
Alongside abstract illustration, we will also see a rise in isometry in design, as well as asymmetry—all of which will impact social media posts, landing pages, and newsletters.
Asymmetry, in particular, needs to be noted by marketers in 2020. The standard grid design of websites has been the norm for the past few years, but this is set to change.
Personal blogs and websites have already begun adopting this asymmetrical design and brands will have to join the bandwagon next year.
The challenge when creating these designs will be to stay on-brand. Abstract design, if it hasn’t been a part of your brand identity before, can be jarring for users to see.
One can emblazon their brand logo on a design to make it more obvious but we would recommend creating a marketing campaign to unveil your new design scheme.
Another important aspect of incorporating abstract illustrations into your marketing design is choosing the right colors—we will discuss colors in detail in point four.
The color palette should be seamless and complementary, with a few pops of vibrant color to highlight a section of the graphic.
Abstraction and asymmetry will make powerful and bold statements in 2020, but marketers and designers will have to be careful not to descend into chaos. Your message still has to the focus.
Source: Ocean School
Still images and illustrations definitely have their place in marketing design but movement is far more likely to attract people and hold the viewer’s gaze for longer.
Motion is something that marketing design will home in on in 2020 and it should be something that marketers and designers take into account when creating content.
The best way to capture motion in design will be by using animations and GIFs.
You can use animations and GIFs to show a product or service in use, for how-to guides, or to add a dash of fun to your design.
Some of the simplest animations one can add to a website is parallax scrolling, as well as some mouseover effects. These are simple, yet effective, making your marketing design stand out—look at Ocean School's website as an example.
In general, it is best to not incorporate too much animation, or complex animations—remember that your page load speed needs to be optimum for good results.
This is one of the reasons why video has slowly been fading out—not only has video not had the desired effect, mainly due to inflated metrics from Facebook—but because video slows sites down.
Page speed is still a major part of achieving good SERP results so use animations and GIFs that tell a story without slowing down your loading time.
While animations can still be heavy files, the great thing about GIFs is that their file sizes tend to be smaller—you can add longer visuals without your page load time slowing down.
And animations and GIFs tie in well with the abstract illustrations we mentioned in point one—these illustrations can be brought to life with the addition of some animations.
3. Interactive Marketing Design
While abstract illustrations and animations are engaging, there is still a level of passivity to them. A consumer can do little else but view them.
If you want to keep customers engaged, you need to offer them an experience through your marketing design.
Take a look at Noisli’s website—it has a deceptively simple layout with icons that can be clicked on to create a combination of white noises to improve productivity or help people rest.
This is the direction that marketing design needs to go in in 2020—simple interactions that engage the site visitor and encourage them to remain on the site for longer.
The same goes for marketing design across social media. The rise of augmented reality—over virtual reality—needs to be taken into account because it will play a big part in 2020 marketing.
Incorporate AR in your social media and your apps—give people the opportunity to use their phones to interact with a display, magazine, or QR code.
You don’t always have to go as big and bold as AR—360 degree videos on social media give users the sense of interactivity while also being fairly simple to produce.
Or really pair it down and create interactivity with a hashtag campaign.
The possibilities for interactivity are endless as long as you are creative and have a thorough understanding of your audience and their needs.
4. Muted Colors
In 2019, bright colors and gradients were all the rage—they changed the way graphics were designed for social media, websites, and email marketing.
But that is not how 2020 is going to look—there’s been an oversaturation of bright colors and internet users are no longer as affected by them as they used to be.
If you want to make an impact with your marketing design next year, you have to go the opposite route with your color scheme—tone it down.
Muted colors are going to be the in-thing in 2020, and they will have to be used across the board, in social media imagery, and web and app design.
But if you’re concerned that muting your color scheme means using fewer colors, you don’t have to fear.
Muting a color is more about adding white or black to make the color look less garish—not that you can only use neutral colors.
So you still have access to a vast color palette, but they aren’t as in-your-face as they’ve been thus far.
Which means that you can make elaborate abstract illustrations and graphics with numerous colors to help your visual content stand out from the crowd.
The muted color palette will also affect the kind of stock photos you use. Many brands still rely on stock photos and that isn’t going to change any time soon.
When it comes to choosing stock photos in 2020, ensure that the images you choose don’t have vibrant color schemes as they will look incongruous with your new muted palette.
5. Serif and Heavy Fonts
The use of text across design and visual content has become the norm over the past few years. And that trend is definitely set to continue into 2020.
What will change, however, is the kind of fonts being used in marketing design.
While we have been seeing more handwritten fonts in the last few years, these are going to be phased out next year.
Instead, serif fonts will become more of the norm. These fonts will be weighty and bold, to make them stand out better against backgrounds.
Think heading fonts but used across the body copy to make a powerful statement.
These fonts will make any social media post stand out in the crowd of posts on a social feed, and make your website look more welcoming.
Heavy serif fonts also look great against muted color backgrounds, which will be the on-trend color scheme for 2020.
However, while the new font style can be exciting to incorporate, legibility has to be a priority—heavy fonts may not look good on all devices, or may be too bold for the eye to read.
Ensure that you focus on making your text readable instead of just attractive.
The digital sphere has been changing rapidly over the past year and one of those big changes is the rise of Shoppable posts on Instagram.
Shoppability will now tie into marketing design, not only on social media but on websites as well.
As always, speed, efficiency, and user-friendliness will have to be factored into all designs, and mobile traffic, which continues to gain traction, will also play a part in this.
Brands will also need to understand the buyer journey more thoroughly—Shoppable has made it possible for users to make purchases directly from Instagram.
Ask yourself how this will impact the way you design your omni-channel marketing campaign.
If users can accomplish so much within a single platform, how can you adapt the UX of your website to make the process simple and straight-forward?
AI will also play a part here—machine learning AI has become far more efficient at answering complex queries and doing some marketing as well.
Implementing AI in your social media and website chatbots could make the shoppability of your brand more effective.
Factoring in ecommerce into your marketing design is a tough ask but it is going to make a massive difference to your reach in 2020.
Marketing design is evolving and we are going to see massive changes in 2020.
The above trends are going to have an impact on the way your design your marketing content and deliverables.
Though they may seem daunting, if you start planning your marketing design changes now, you will be able to make the requisite adjustments while still maintaining your brand identity.