The world of visual design is changing. There’s a lot more technology involved. It is no longer simply “create an image in Photoshop” so that aesthetics are pleasing. We are lucky to live in an exciting time with access to many different tools; however, today, there is also more competition out there. You have to keep up with trends, learn new skills and methods for creating your art, and be prepared for anything!
Design for different types of screens (and people)
A large part of designing for screens includes designing for different types of people. You should bear this in mind when you’re creating your visual content, whether it’s a website, an app, or some other digital product.
You also need to consider the various devices people use to access your products and services. If someone is on a desktop computer and another person is on their phone, there’s a good chance they will have different preferences for things like font size and color combinations. Some are easy to see from across the room, versus from across town (or around the corner).
If you want your work to be accessible to as many people as possible, you should always consider screen size when creating anything visual—and make sure that all of the elements are readable and is set to responsive mode regardless of how far away they might be viewed by potential users. Therefore, consider the layout, typography, whitespace, negaitive space, focal point, space and volume.
Design for social media
The internet is evolving. So are the ways we design for it. In the future, designers will have to keep an eye on what’s happening with user experience, social media, and mobile devices.
When you’re designing for social media, think about the platform first:
- What does it look like?
- What are its strengths?
- How can you use those strengths to your advantage?
Then think about your audience:
- who are they, and what do they expect from this particular platform?
Next consider the content and message you want to convey: when looking at the format of your finished design (the size of photos or text), remember that no matter how gorgeous everything looks on a computer monitor, if it’s either too small or too big, people won’t be able to see it properly on devices such as smartphones or tablets. Finally, ask yourself why someone would share this piece of content in their feed in the first place − would they want others to see their post as well? Or would sharing help them accomplish something else entirely (like making their followers feel good)?
Learn more about user experience (UX) and web design
User experience (UX) is the overall experience that a person has when using a product, system or service. UX design is a process that focuses on improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the user and the product. UX can be applied not only to traditionally manufactured products like automobiles and household appliances, but also to services such as banking systems and healthcare.
As a graphic designer you will have to understand how users interact with the various interfaces such as websites or even apps on smartphones. In doing so you can create graphics that make it easier for users to accomplish tasks on those interfaces. It should not take too much effort on the part of users for this task. For example, if some information needs confirmation from the user, pop-up windows can be deployed instead of making the user fill out a form again. Repeated filling out of forms takes more trouble than simply clicking a yes button in a pop-up window.
Design for the future of branding
The future of branding is customer experience. The reality is that a good brand experience today involves far more than simply the design of a website, a product, or service. Branding has to do with every interaction people have with a company: from how they find out about it in the first place and talk about it with others, to how easy it is for them to get help when they need it—and whether that help comes from another human being or an automated system.
Designing for the future of branding means rethinking everything about your business—from strategy down through operations—to create an experience that’s as seamless as possible for every one of your customers (current and future).
Design for social topics
By now, you’ve probably heard the buzz about social media, and how it has changed the way that people interact with each other. Social platforms have become an important part of daily life for many people around the world; however, they provide designers with a unique challenge when it comes to branding. There are many different types of screen (and people) to consider when designing for social media. These considerations include:
- UX design
- Web design
Design for video
Video is a great way of communicating a message and can add movement and rhythm to your website, more than just adding color or shape. Video can either be used as the main focus of your website, or in conjunction with other web content to add emphasis to the focal point. If you are attempting to put your message across, video is an excellent choice. Video is also the future of marketing; and there will be more content than ever before!
Utilize motion graphics when possible
Motion graphics are becoming more and more popular; therefore it is important to know how to use them in your designs. Motion graphics can be used to express the emotion of a design, and to add something extra that words alone couldn’t convey. Some common areas where motion graphics are used include:
- Briefs (presentations)
- Social media posts
Find the balance between technology and creativity
You may have heard the adage − “art is long, life is short”. Therefore, as a graphic designer, you’ll have a great deal of work to do. You’ll need to create logos and branding, design websites and apps, make brochures and flyers − you name it. And with all this work comes the temptation to rely on technology instead of creativity.
But don’t be swallowed up by your tools! The most important thing for any designer is the ability to think creatively: if you’re not able to innovate on your own without relying on software or other people’s designs, how can you expect anyone else to use your work?
The truth is that technology will always be changing; what matters more than anything else are the principles behind it all—the human touch in every piece of design we create—and these are what will always set us apart from machines.
Explore augmented reality and virtual reality
Augmented reality (AR) is a mix of the real world and virtual reality. AR is seen when images on a screen, are overlaid on what you’re looking at, as with Pokémon Go or Snapchat filters.
Virtual reality (VR) is an immersive experience that takes place in a simulated environment, such as watching 360° videos.
Learn a new coding language
If you’re interested in learning one of these languages, there are plenty of resources online that can help you get started. Here’s one guide on how to learn HTML and CSS: https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-learn-html-and-css/.
Visual design is moving towards technology; and it’s good to know what to look out for in the future!
- Look at the various types of screen and how they affect your design
- Understand social media and user experience design
- Learn about branding for the future
- Design for social topics as well as video, motion graphics, etc.
I hope this article has helped you understand the future of visual design, while offering some tips on how to stay ahead in your field. Remember that it’s important to keep up with trends; however, don’t forget about creativity and good old-fashioned hard work!