Industry design trends can be confusing. They are continually evolving, changing and growing. Some can be around for years and manage to adapt with the times, whereas some are so short lived they barely get started, and once their time has passed they’re dead in the water.
This is emphasised more so in music and fashion culture where the sphere of influence and inspiration is relentless. With that in mind let’s take a look at some of the visual and design trends currently happening…
In 2017 fashion brands are making a conscious effort to cut through an overcrowded, condensed and distracted marketplace with straight-talking brand dialogue and personality. This has resulted in visuals that are more bespoke and handcrafted to showcase genuine authenticity and credibility. One brand that does this brilliantly is P&CO. To put it in their own words “P&CO is a rebellious lifestyle brand created for the thrill seekers, the risk takers and the wild ones”.
Everything P&CO create is hand-drawn by the company directors and their in-house team. This includes everything from their t-shirt graphics and marketing collateral to their social media and online presence. This approach injects an essence of their brand story and personality directly into the products and visual presence. This helps to validate their image of being different and genuine through a feeling of craftsmanship and individuality.
Fashion and music industries are always looking for something innovative and trying new ideas because it is one of the few industries where it’s possible to get away with near enough anything.
One example of this experimental nature is Glitch Art. To put it simply, Glitch Art is a process of fracturing an image by breaking the pixels and distorting them in a completely random way. This isn’t a particularly new concept, but the process of creating the visuals can be so varied and random that the results can be surprising.
That’s where the band Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes come in. Looking at the album art above, I was really surprised to find out that this was created without using Photoshop or any image processing software. It was actually created using a type of Glitch Art, but fractured in such a way that the results don’t look typical of this style.
The visuals were created by Dean Richardson who plays guitar in the band. By opening the images as text and hiding some secret messages within them he was able to distort the images to create a random but consistent visual style. What I love about this though is how considered and designed the artwork looks, but in reality, the delivered result is totally random, and the only controlled factor was the initial photo taken on an iPhone.
Another trend to look out for is designs becoming seemingly less designed. This results in visuals becoming at first glance quite simple, clumsy and even messy. This style includes having overlapping imagery and text that seemingly has been thrown together without any care for a basic grid alignment, and usual typographic elements such as widows, orphans, rivers left to do their thing.
This style of design has been executed by brands such as Urban Outfitters and American Apparel to great success, and it now seems to have filtered across into more mainstream channels. This is inspired by the transition period we are currently in, with a rise in startup culture giving way to small independent businesses that look to inject real personality, individuality and a non-commercial edge to their visual output.
Kanye West’s album ‘The Life Of Pablo’ is a perfect example of this style of design being used in a different context. At face value, it has an old-school, basic feel that could look quite amateur, but underneath these initial visuals is a hidden design and consideration.
The 90s are back! Vintage distressed visuals, polaroid photography and bold vibrant colours are styles coming back into trend through design. Research by Deposit Photo suggests that the resurgence in this style is due to the 90s’ generation now becoming brand ambassadors, starting businesses and using social media in such a way that they are driving consumer demand.
The results of this style of artwork, particularly in photography, portray a more grainy, textured and natural finish that helps capture a more authentic and real life moment through storytelling. Candid shots are becoming more popular, and help further this motion of storytelling by capturing honest and sincere emotions that people can relate to.
Joshua Halling is a freelance music photographer, who’s work captures this feeling of nostalgia whilst still capturing the energy and passion of a live music show. He has an ability of portraying candid style shots in a way that brings a rawness to his work by capturing the split second of the moment in-between.