What sort of projects can graphic designers look forward to in the coming months? Current trends indicate companies are growing more innovative than ever and calling for the services of professional designers.
Graphic design work is evolving and adapting to a variety of materials, styles, and marketing approaches. Take a look at this list of hot graphic design projects and consider adding a few to your portfolio; not only will you gain experience in these areas, but you may just convince clients that you are precisely what they were looking for.
1. Smartphone cases
These days, everyone has a smartphone and the market for cases and covers is booming. Plenty of amateurs are already in the field, and major brands are happily leaping in, too.
Businesses big and small are looking for graphic designers to create logo or brand-color designs for smartphone cases they can give out or sell. After all, this creates a brand message every time a customer takes out a phone, and makes an ideal gift for loyal fans.
Smartphone cases are canvases for a wide variety of creative content, from simple logos to 3D efforts, depending on how in-depth the brand wants to go.
2. Traditional large-scale print
Large-scale print continues to be useful, but with a few added twists. Today companies are watching for designers that can create interesting, attention-grabbing posters and banners.
Old-school advertisements are being pushed aside by more modern efforts that draw the eye and make customers think. If viewers start asking what a poster means or what it’s trying to say, they are on track to discovering a brand message, even if they don’t know it.
The key is making traditional print an interesting puzzle without confounding or boring too many average consumers. This takes a lot of imagination on the part of the designer, but also highlights talent more clearly than many other projects.
3. Unique mailers
Old-school mailers grow increasingly noisy and flashy, but brands have started to turn to more subtle uses for mailers and pamphlets. New shapes, personalized cards, and interesting tickets have a better chance of capturing people’s attention these days.
Imitating classic tickets, old-timey newsletters, and funny postcards can pay out dividends if customers find themselves pleasantly surprised instead of just bored.
4. Mobile/digital stories
Mobile and digital stories have grown more interactive and complex. Graphic designers are being called upon not only to design web pages, but to devise stories that people can navigate and explore.
A classic example is the service Storify, which shows the trend in its simplest form. A more research-oriented angle is presented by Google’s latest Mobile Playbook, which allows viewers to leaf through pages but also zoom in and explore specific topics.
This kind of design works particularly well on mobile devices like tablets. Not only is the code more complex, but the customer-experience goals are also a little different from traditional web designs.
5. Social customization
What makes great social media design? Today it’s a mix of the right backgrounds, profile pics, customization, and understanding of social media guidelines for social media marketing. The best place to show off many of these factors is in your own social media profile.
6. Graphic/product combos
Take a look at Pinterest or similar networks and you’ll see that graphic design is moving quickly into many aspects of product creation. Carefully constructed, innovative labels have grown more popular as brands seek ways to set their products apart.
Wrappers, stickers, lids, cans, cups, toys … more and more, these are becoming canvases for original design work rather than holding places for the basic logo.