David and Tim investigate the upcoming trends in the digital design world in 2019


Behance, part of the Adobe family, is the leading online platform to showcase & discover creative work. Read the article about Design Trends 00:57

Read the full episode transcript below:

00:28 David: Hey, everybody, welcome to another episode of WP The Podcast, brought to you by WP Gears. I’m David Blackmon.

00:36 Tim: And I’m Tim Strifler.

00:38 David: Today, we’re going to talk about design trends for 2019. I’m going to throw this out there before we dive off into this topic: I don’t know that Tim and I would consider ourselves professional designers. I think we feel like we know what looks good, and we definitely keep up with design trends that are converting for clients’ websites and stuff, so we’re just throwing that out there before we dive off.

01:08 Tim: Yeah, definitely, and another thing I want to say, a lot of times when you look at the latest design trends, this is like the cutting edge of design, where you’re probably not going to design most client’s sites using the cutting-edge design because it’s very, for lack of better terms, designy. So, a client’s site, for a typical small business, it needs to be clean, you want it to look modern, but a lot of the cutting I design is kind of pushing the limits of design, and it’s really very specific situation for you’re going to use those, and you might use one element of like a super trendy, modern design, but you’re not going to build an entire website using only the modern-design trends because it’s going to look over the top and overdone. Would you agree that, David?

01:55 David: Oh yeah. Absolutely, and we’ve got a list and we’re going to link to an article, we’ll put in the show notes, it’s over on Behance. Behance is probably one of the most well-known designer outlets, where people post their work and stuff. I think Behance is owned by, maybe, Adobe, which a lot of the designers use to create these awesome design trends, and we probably won’t go through the entire list. We’ll let you check it out.

02:27 David: We’re going the kind of choose high points of what we think, and according to Behance in this article, and I’ll tend to agree with it, and you know what? I didn’t even know that we were on the cutting edge in trends of 2019 with our redesign of Divi Space, but according to them, the trend of the year is custom-made illustrations.

02:49 David: We recently started incorporating this into our own internal designs. We haven’t done this for any client sites yet, but we have done for our own, and I can tell you that I absolutely love it. It’s fun. Our good friends at WPMU Dev have been doing this for, gosh, some years now. They’ve got Dev Man, who is their custom illustration, and they branded it really, really well, and we’ve kind of started doing that with our own Divi Space website because we have some unique features that we’ve kind of went with custom-made illustrations, and we hired somebody on staff who can actually do them.

03:30 David: He’s phenomenal. He’s awesome. His name is [Mehal 00:03:33]. He’s from Poland, and he is … I mean, he’s legit. I don’t know how to say other than that. So, custom trend of the year is custom-made illustrations, but I will say this, they take a lot of time to do, so if you’re on a timeline with customers and stuff, like Tim said, you’re not going to be able to do all of this stuff, but if you do have the budget and the time, custom illustrations is the trend of the year.

04:01 Tim: Yeah, definitely, and you can use illustrations, but maybe not fully custom to where you can buy stock illustrations, so to speak. So, UI8 is a good one. Even on sites like Shutterstock, they have some illustrations and everything that … There’s designer websites. Creative Market’s another one where you can buy packs, and they’re kind of centered around a different theme, and those can make it look really modern too without having to go through the high budget of something custom.

04:36 Tim: Then the next trend we’re going to look at is bold colors. Now, this has kind of continued, but 2018, it was really a big thing using really bold and vibrant colors, and so that’s going to continue into 2019. Colors will be even more courageous and so, yeah, supersaturated tones is what you see. So, it’s kind of going beyond just bold colors, but like very saturated images and tones and everything. Yeah, I definitely see that. It’s continuing. I tend to like really saturated colors. I don’t like when it’s too simple, and I guess the Squarespace minimalist design that you see, I’ve never been a really fan of. I like a lot of color, and so that’s why I’m a big fan of the bold-color trend.

05:20 David: You would be a great friend of Leslie [Bernal 00:05:24] if you like the bold-color trend.

05:26 Tim: Yeah, and I am.

05:27 David: Yeah, one of our good friends, who is a classically-trained designer. She’s college educated. Her degree is in graphic design, and she very much is a bold-color person. She does some awesome stuff. Next, is UX and UI trends. Mobile first, it’s really, really, really important in 2019 and going forward. Depending on what industry you’re in, it’s going to kind of determine whether or not you’re going to go mobile first. For example, Tim and I have product companies we cater and geared towards, website developers.

06:05 David: Typically, those types of … that audience, our audience, is sitting at computers like we are during the day and stuff, so mobile first probably doesn’t make sense to have our stuff going mobile first. However, a lot of businesses, brick-and-mortar type businesses, probably should be considering going mobile first because that’s where people are finding you. That’s where they’re looking your business up and finding you, so look at your analytics, find out whether or not … where your audience is coming from. If it’s mobile, then you need to be designing mobile first, and that’s a huge trend that’s been going on for a couple of years, but it’s going to continue into 2019.

06:46 Tim: Yeah. Another one here is animations. Now, one thing I want to make clear is these are subtle, small animations, not over the top, annoying, obnoxious animations. So, whether that’s just animations that kind of continuously animate, or cover micro interactions. It can really be very tasteful when it’s done right, not over the top, and so that’s the thing that we always warn designers, especially with page builders, when with a couple clicks of the button you can animate something, and so it can be really tempting to make everything animate as you scroll down the page, but it can be a little bit nauseating. So, animations are good trend.

07:26 Tim: I’m going to hit on a couple ones here: Gradients were really big in 2017 and 2018 and they continue in 2019, and then isometric design. This is something that we see a lot in web design. Isometric is kind of like the perspective, angled type of like mockups and illustrations and everything, where it’s kind of like 3D, so to speak, and so we are going to see that continue in 2019. Again, for web design, when you’re showing off mockups of a website on a device and it’s kind of at an angle, that’s isometric design.

07:58 David: Yeah. Like I said, we’re not going to run through all of these. We just kind of wanted to touch on a couple, and I feel like we’ve done that. This article really goes through general trends. It talks about UI and UX trends, which I kind of touched on one, and they dive deeper into probably six, seven categories into each one of these.

08:22 David: The articles also going to go over typography trends which are all design related. Branding, logo design trends, so it kind of will go into generalizations, top categories, and then it’ll dive down into each one of those. So, it’s a very long article. I think they do a great, great job. We’re going to link to it in the show notes and stuff. Tim, is anything else that we need to point out, or are we good to go on this?

08:51 Tim: No, I think we are good to go on this one. One other one I saw here that I thought was interesting is animated logos, and I have been seeing more of that, so I think that is definitely a trend we’ll see continue because typically you see a logo and it’s static, but an animated, playful logo can definitely add a lot, so yeah.

09:07 David: Awesome. Well, tomorrow we’ve got another great topic for you: How much time should you allocate to learning and training? And this is self. This isn’t training other people. This is your own learning, so if that’s something that interests you, come back tomorrow and listen to it. We’ve got a great topic for you. Tim, until tomorrow, we’ll see you then.

09:30 Tim: Take care. Bye-bye.

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