There are millions of things fighting for your audience’s limited time including technology, politics, cat videos, and food. That means that the designs you created last year probably are not going to work this year.

2018 is the year we finally take risks in marketing and design. 2018 is calling for brighter and riskier branding, bolder and dominant color choice, and even eye-catching custom so skip the boring stock photos, minimalist graphics, and small typefaces. This year, stand out by giving your audience exactly what they want.

With the overwhelming impact of digital marketing and constant access of social media, boring and repetitive stock photos are so last year. Your audience is smart and will appreciate a little more effort in the graphics you drop into your newsfeed.

Acquiring the desired branding effect is more than just choosing what looks good to you. After all, you are trying to appeal to a targeted audience that might think very differently than you. Be inspired by what’s realistic and authentic and create some original and engaging photos to use in your platforms.

They can be playful, practical, or purely artistic. The demand for custom graphics and illustrations will continue to grow throughout 2018. Custom imagery has always played a major role in print media. But recently original photography and illustrations have taken a backseat to cheaper stock alternatives. If you want to stay relevant as a growing business, it is a must to spice up your brand and marketing design with bold, illustrative graphics and custom, realistic images of your company and team.

Most people are searching for authenticity in their digital life and using original and fresh imagery is the best way to appeal to the masses. For example, if your e-commerce products do not stand out, then your products will be overlooked. Make sure the time you spend putting into your posts is paying off. Use a mix of bold colors or pastels that will make your product stand out above all the other noise in your audiences digital world.

You want your audience to stop hard thumbing and read your article or follow your link, and the right graphic can do just that. Without sounding like a broken record, I persist, do not use boring stock images on social media platforms. Your image or graphic is the first thing the audience sees, and maybe it will lead them to read the text associated.

This year, step out of your comfort zone, and as your business continues to grow, rebrand with tons of unique, vibrant color schemes. With the economy growing, every day there are new business startups. Be sure to differentiate yourself from the rest and go bold.

Yes, usually a rebranding effort is reserved for necessity, and usually requires only an update to the font or graphic of a business logo. But 2018 is unconventional. Maybe you don’t want or need to completely rethink your brand’s color palettes, but instead, introduce some more risky colors into your brand’s already well established design. With bold colors being the most common driving force that I have seen behind each of the new design trends this year, sticking to the traditional corporate palettes will not cut it in today’s market. As well, minimalism and neutral color schemes are on its way out of trend.

As a small business, if your not willing to risk ‘all of your brand’, find a few colors that you can call your ‘unofficial brand colors’ and use them across all of design projects and social media platforms. This way, you can do something new and exciting, but still stay close to your comfort zone and the core values of your business.

With so many different approaches to design these days, it’s hard to know what will help you stand out while still appealing to your specific target audience. One of the most common approaches to design in past recent years has been the clean, modern, and minimalist look. In this style of design, you can expect small fonts, minimalist layouts, and flat aesthetic. This approach often feels more formal and corporate. With a modern design, you can lay it all out clear and straightforward while still evoking emotions and appearing approachable. However; consumers seem to have an ongoing fascination with color. Whether it’s bold, vibrant, pretty or risky, this year’s diverse spectrum of color trends has a little something for everyone.

We’ve established that bold and bright color is in for 2018 design and according to the Pantone Color Institute (the global authority on color) UltraViolet will be the color to rule them all for 2018.

Pantone describes this particular purple shade as “dramatically provocative and thoughtful” and further explains that “purples have also long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance”. With its official Color of the Year status, we can expect UltraViolet to be everywhere in 2018. Along with its 2016 counterpart Pink, the favored pink palette has evolved from bubble-gum tints to the spectrums of blush, rose and salmon hues in turn becoming one of the most universal colors of the decade.

Black is back! Black has long been considered the ultimate neutral. It can be sexy, sophisticated, edgy, mysterious or clean and everything in between. Black has the unique ability to fade into the background or be used as a statement color while effortlessly blending into almost any design style. But in 2018, we’re going to keep moving toward risky design including using black with touches of charcoal, indigo, or green undertones. Black has always been the perfect mix of masculine and feminine color, a timeless, classic.

As yellow joins the design world with positive associations including attention-grabbing, cheerfulness, energy, happiness, hope, playfulness, and warmth. Yellow has high energy that can evoke mental activity and bring on cheerful thoughts.

In the past, yellow has generally been associated with the fast food industry. A popular choice for fast food restaurants, yellow seems to stimulate the appetite, but at the same time keep you moving. In 2018, yellow can be symbolically associated in a dramatic way from vibrant to mellow and frequently used to grab attention or draw consumers in.

With all that said, the design scene is about to get a lot more interesting as we continue to focus more on originality, the individuality of brands and what their audiences are demanding. With so many old and new styles on the table, it is the time to be taking risks and breaking traditions. Make 2018 the year you release your creativity!

Ps. Don’t know where to start when choosing a new, bold, and unique color scheme? Ask us! We pride ourselves in helping local businesses grow. Epic Nine was founded in 2014 in Maryville, TN by Jeremy LaDuke as a one-person marketing operation and has since grown to be a 6-person team of creative and analytical experts, in both Maryville and the Tri-Cities, who are passionate about results.

While each member of the E9 team has his or her area of expertise, we also place a high priority on being generalists and know enough about each area of marketing so that we can more effectively create comprehensive marketing solutions that fit the needs and budgets of small and medium-sized businesses.

References:
https://bedtimesmagazine.com/2018/02/color-trends-2018/
https://www.pantone.com/color-of-the-year-2018-tools-for-designers
https://99designs.com/blog/tips/colors-marketing-advertising/

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