October 11th, 2018 - Brand

Brand Styling in 2019

I’m not a fan of talking about brand or graphic design trends. I honestly believe the best thing you can do for your business is to create a brand that stands the test of time.

But as we look to 2019, I’m hopeful that some of the current fads will fade. I’ll happily wave good-bye to all of the rose-gold millennial-pink water colour logos, flat lay photos and copy that’s so clever it misses the point.

So when a colleague from across the pond asked for my thoughts on brand and design trends in 2019, I relented.

I dished about upcoming trends that allow brands to establish credibility through clear and easy to absorb design.

What brand style trends are emerging for 2019?

  1. Clean and Clear
    Whether it’s a logo, a colour palette, a website or a brochure, brand style is definitely getting less fussy. In an age where we have mere seconds to grab and hold someone’s attention, brand clarity is essential. This means we’ll see less script fonts and detailed logos (see below) as design becomes more minimal. We’ll also see far fewer words on a webpage.

  2. Responsive Logos
    The term responsive logo is emerging to describe a concept that allows your primary logo to exist in a few scalable and easy to construct and deconstruct pieces.This is growing out of the demands of the digital environment. When I rebranded Blackcoffee in early 2018, I created a simple icon coffee bean to be the simplest symbol to use for Blackcoffee.

    At it’s smallest, a successful responsive logo must be recognizable as a tiny 16 x 16 favicon at the top of a browser.

  3. Realistic Photography
    Good-bye flat lay. See you later headshots on home pages. The world is looking for emotional connection – not a carefully ‘curated aesthetic’. Brands come to life when photography (even stock photography) is chosen to make the viewer feel something.

  4. Movement
    Because humans are used to moving quickly and flashing screens, I think that minimalist design for websites will only be interrupted by movement that allows the reader/viewer to feel like something is happening. Short videos, moving backgrounds, website pieces that move with your curser will play a bigger part in the coming year as these elements feel good to the person scrolling through your website.

  5. Holistic Approach to Strategy and Design
    As agencies, corporate brand and marketing teams, and yes even small businesses and solopreneurs grapple with providing a premium customer experience, we’re going to see a big shift from heavily ‘siloed’ disciplines that create disjointed brands to a more holistic approach.Too often strategy is created in one shop, writing is outsourced, a graphic designer creates a logo and a web developer takes it all and tries to turn it into something. This results in what I refer to as the brand gap.

    To create a seamless and aesthetically pleasing user-experience, it’s time bridge that gab and for brands to be carefully choreographed from a team approach. This trend has been emerging at the corporate level and I work with teams and entrepreneurs to help them fully integrate.

What’s your advice for business owners wanting to stand out from the crowd?

The best way to stand out from the crowd is to offer clients and potential clients a clean professional brand style that connects emotionally and tells them who you are and why they should choose you. 

My advice is to step away from Canva and other DIY sites, get clear on your brand, and hire a pro to create a clean, upscale look that captivates. 

Establishing trust and credibility at a glance must be the top priority. From there, infuse your brand with a unique, compelling style that connects emotionally with your target audience. 

And please, clean up your copy. Clever, lengthy web copy became a trend over the recent years. Your potential buyers aren’t stopping by your website to read a novel, they are looking to skim the content and get an impression. 10% of the impact is the words you use, while 90% is the overall look and feel of your brand. 

Remember, the most important element is supporting your clients’ experiences as they interact with your brand. That means sticking with the emerging trends for 2019 – ensuring your materials are clean, easy to read and navigate, connect emotionally, and that they get to the point. 

You can read more about 2019 design trends in this blog by Digital ID from the UK, featuring yours truly and 14 other experts from around the world: Brand & Design Round Up.

With gratitude,

Shannon Larkins

Shannon Larkins

Founder, Blackcoffee Studio

Over the course of 15+ years, Shannon has grown Blackcoffee Studio out of a love for building brands and reputations. She serves up Blackcoffee as a morning ritual while caffeinating clients and readers on the regular. You can find her at www.BlackcoffeeStudio.com


Blackcoffee Studio

Blackcoffee is a premium brand development agency, offering luxury brand experience to clients at home in Calgary, Canada and around the globe. Brands create experience, set you apart from the competition and drive growth. Anyone can bulid a business but only the exceptional can create a brand. Are you ready?

Shannon Larkins

Shannon Larkins

Hi I’m Shannon, founder of Blackcoffee Studio. A former reporter, spin doctor and politico, I now focus on using my powers for good.

I create mighty brands for clients and share their stories with the world. I’m also rather addicted to my nutty family, dogs with pushed in faces, Mexico and of course coffee … black.