2019: The Year Where Design Breaks Rules and Perfection is not the End Goal

07.02.2019 16:59

When Superimpose helped launch #747WarehouseSt nearly a year ago in Los Angeles, it was competing in one of the noisiest moments of the global sport calendar. An iconic event, with the world’s most forward-thinking brands in one city, NBA All-Star Weekend was a star studded occasion where the limelight never stays on you for long.

To land this in a significant and sustained way, Superimpose developed a bold, unapologetic and customisable brand identity and design language that elevated every activation within the multi-level complex to appeal to press, influencers as it did to consumers. Going by no rules and allowing consumers to truly be a part of the brand, this creative agency shows that traditional design principles no longer apply the power isn’t always in the end result.

A partnership between D&AD and Superimpose for the series ‘The Future of Creativity’, we spotlight the design trends to permeate industry this year that marks step forward for visual culture.

As an agency challenging brands to ‘do things differently’ we always look beyond what’s comfortable to create stand out content and communications that break out new businesses and re-energise existing ones. As consumers become more visually driven (the younger generation even dubbed as ‘Gen Viz’) we witness a rising emphasis on the power of content to catch you ‘in-feed’ and spark conversation. An image is no longer an image, it’s a visual cue to a universe that entices you in.

The key drivers of this change in the past few years can be attributed to the rise of social media, collaboration culture and technology that propels visual output to evolve in interesting directions and multiple directions. Every artist, studio, agency and brand have the power to take it in any way or any form they like. However, surprisingly, experimentation and exploration sometimes becomes more difficult the bigger you become.

In 2019, we’ll start to see braver and more considered approaches to design and content creation. Here are three trends to take notice of to make you think differently about the world at your fingertips and beyond:

1. Real World to New World

At one point where every trend report highlighted the importance of ‘authenticity’, brands inevitably began to try own this in their own way. Their own interpretations gave resurgence to unscripted, street cast, ‘normal’ people and places that become all too familiar. Everyone from high end luxury to FMCG keenly touted their ‘authenticity’ until it become the so normal and perhaps, overlooked.

As a kick-back, we’re seeing an emergence of hyper-real, fantastical, future-facing art directions made capable only by the the growth of wider skill sets and the imagination of new-gem creatives. It’s a new reality we’re seeing. These surreal manifestations are bold, exciting and other-worldly at times, challenging us to look twice and disregarding the ideal of perfection when it comes to product shot rules, becoming more alike art than a functional advert.

2. No Rules

Over the past year, we’ve witnessed a growing symbiotic relationship between brand and advocator. Fans and artists that use logos and marks are now becoming integral parts of local activations and initiatives. With a shift in the perception of relevance between emerging talent over the seasoned pro, we will see more output from entrusting younger, fresher talent with commercial projects.

Where once control of aesthetic was of utmost importance, now there appears to more freedom. Whether it’s the brand’s growing adventurousness or the smaller creative studios that’s pushing them to become more open - it’s clear the audience hold the power. Present in creative spaces, workshops and platforms the opportunity to be commissioned, to partner or to get involved in product design, even if on a individual customisation level demonstrate the level of support that brands can have. For some it’s a ‘make or break’ moment.

3. Appeal is in the Functionality

As technology becomes ever more complex and innovative, there’s a danger in over consideration of the consumer journey. Our minds have not evolved at the pace of our developments and sometimes the most interesting can also be the most confusing. As graphic design and branding language is becoming more intrinsic to still and moving content, heavy branding that feels more hierarchical and less engaging forgets to consider the means of function. The fundamentals can not be overlooked.

Platforms are learning to rewire to fit their purpose, moving away from over embellished sites, sweeping transitions and parallaxes. We want to view content that feels native to our devices, not to navigate a universe that’s contentious with poster designs.

As design and art direction continues to develop, innovate and surprise, it never ceases to amaze….The depths of our imagination, the creative possibilities in collaboration and the opportunities given by others will continue to evolve visual culture. This poses as the most exciting challenge for ourselves and for other creatives out there, to step up and to stand out.

"What is the future of creativity? That is the question a new partnership between D&AD and creative agency Superimpose Global aims to answer. Bringing on board opinions and analysis from industry experts, the partnership will see the launch of a new monthly essay series on the D&AD website. From the new technologies and skills creatives will need to master to the changing demographics of the industry itself, each article will offer unique insights from the most exciting topics to the most pressing issues facing the creative industries today and tomorrow. The essay series launches in October and will be hosted on www.dandad.org"

Originally published by D&AD

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