Branding and design trends for the new year

Markon Brand Design logo

Design is more accessible than ever. In 2016, companies large and small will be searching for creative ways to make an impression while adhering to the prevailing trends of the year. Companies trying to stay ahead of brand and design trends in 2016 will be wise to pay heed to two core themes: authenticity and mobile digital experiences. The market’s thirst for increased authenticity will show in brand communication and heightened care for individual personal identity. Second, because mobile technology continues to be the predominant way we access information, new constraints, opportunities and functions are opening up for designers to tackle. Brands that make the investment in surpassing those challenges and maximizing on those possibilities will lead in the digital sphere. To help you in your planning for the year ahead, the team at Markon has identified the six major trends in branding and design that will have the greatest significance in 2016.

1. Raw, candid, social photographic style will continue Brands have increasingly been working to show how they fit into consumers’ lives through candid photos for some time. Candid photography that is minimalistically styled with casual models or settings will continue to be found on the web, social and in digital advertising.

2. Logos will be typography driven, responsive We mostly interact with brands online – on social, the web, in apps – on mobile devices with small screens. Technology has increasingly been forcing logos to adapt to its demands. Minimalistic, text-only logos are the most responsive in this regard and will continue to be adopted by brands.

3. Simple websites & landing pages Presence is more important than pomp these days. It’s no longer about having the best website with the most interesting features. Small-to-mid-size businesses will be wise to take the time to invest in simple websites – or solely a landing page – that incorporate mobile-friendly (responsive) design.

4. Personal branding is required The value of personal branding will increase in 2016. A personal brand encompasses everything from voice, to style and even written communications. In a time when everything is public and connected, today’s professionals must always be aware of the image they are presenting to the world.

5. Democratization of design Great design is no longer the exclusive privilege of elite brands. Creative services and technologies are increasingly available to those who seek them. While more accessible than ever, brands in 2016 will need to be on guard against devaluing their brand with rapid, DIY solutions.

6. Brands will have conversations Social media has opened the door to two-way, consumer-to-brand communication and as those conversations grow, the window to respond to consumers is decreasing – and fast! The days of 24-48 hour response time are gone – now brands need to respond to consumer communications within hours or less.

Together, these six trends can help any business stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Many are even concepts that require nothing more than commitment just to see them through – no other investment required! Branding and design trends should be considered as you plan your marketing strategy for the year to come, but keep in mind that this strategy should also support longer ranging business goals and objectives – something that we advise our clients to invest in regardless of trends. If you’re interested in learning more about the six trends we’ve identified here, including a helpful one page visual guide and printable summary sheet for you to reference in the months to come, visit to download the full, free report.

This edition of Tip of the Week was written by the team at Markon Brand Design in Vancouver.