Cameron Duneman, Graphic Designer

Connectivity has transformed and influenced how we live our lives. How we connect with the world around us in 2017 is easier and faster than it was 5, 10 and most certainly 15 years ago. Every piece of news or data can be consumed in real time but is often forgotten just as quickly as it was received. Information is being constantly shoved in our faces with every brand out there trying to catch our attention— creating a strobe light of advertising that makes us cover our eyes to try and block it out. Even as I type this, Colonel Sanders keeps popping into my headphones, yelling at me to go to KFC and eat some fried chicken. I’m just trying to listen to Spotify’s Music For Concentration playlist and write a blog you all can enjoy! Leave me alone, Colonel!

So, as I was saying before a certain white-haired man rudely interrupted me, the rate at which we consume information has turned us into a disconnected group of people. Yes, I realize I just said the opposite of what I first stated; and yes, I also realize I work for an agency that has advertising in the name, but the connectivity we have been given is only surface level. There is no substance to our connectivity. No emotion. As humans we crave deeper connections and we become more invested when we have them. Thankfully design is coming to save us.

In 2017, we are headed toward a movement of a deep desire to be a part of something. We want to be a part of the brand and feel a connection to what the brand believes. We want to feel like, in some way, we contribute to the brand even though we are simply just consumers. The New Year brings emphasis on authentic, simple and human interactions between brands and consumers and a back-to-basics design thinking that fulfills that purpose.

So what can we expect?

THE COLOR

Natural and earthy colors like maroons, browns and tans, dark greens and olive will become more prevalent. These colors feel welcoming and inviting, like a nice, warm hug from your mom. Pantone’s color of the year is even called Greenery, which they describe as being “symbolic of new beginnings.”

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THE PACKAGE

Packaging will continue with the trend of focusing on the actual product itself and not keeping any secrets, allowing consumers to see exactly what they are purchasing and creating a trust between brand and consumer.

THE BRAND IMAGE

Logos will continue to be simplified. Creating a “no frills” look that doesn’t intimidate, but aids in the human feel of the brand and connection with consumers. Logos with a vintage look will also continue to be a prominent part of design in 2017, creating a sense of authenticity with consumers.

Looking ahead at the coming year, we, as consumers, want to take a larger role in what we are being asked to, well, consume. We want to know the brand’s history so we can be a part of building the future. Brands would do well to keep that in mind and give their consumers a peek at what goes on behind the scenes and create opportunities for consumers to invest in their company’s story. Companies like Luster, a brand engagement company, aim to help brands do exactly that. They use the power of social media at events to create beautiful hashtag mosaics with the help of users.

The more consumers feel like they know the brands they use, the more engaged they will be, and they will become your brand’s biggest advocate. The answer lies in the design. Design helps us bridge the gap between brand and consumer. In 2017, design trends will help bring back true connectivity.

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