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Design Trends to sure up your 2021: Your marketing may take on a new look.

As everyone has spent huge amounts of time at home and living and working more from remote locations, design trends are pushing towards bringing us together — and bringing nature inside. As we review these changes, we see three major trends that will continue shaping marketing communications in the months ahead:

  1. Use of natural and organic shapes

  2. Blends of typography and an increased use of 3D typography

  3. Increase in authenticity

Natural and Organic Shapes

Natural and organic shapes have inspired creativity since the beginning of time. These shapes have mimicked nature’s color combinations, structures and even textures. A renewed interest has come about in marketing due to an increased focus on health and wellness, sustainability and conservation, along with other personal choices. Recent isolation and increased time indoors for the better part of a year has given the industry an even greater appreciation of nature and other organic elements. For these reasons, bringing nature to audiences through design elements may help create and strengthen the emotional connection they have with your brand. The use of organic shapes — ones that flow, curve and almost have motion — promote feelings of calm, ease and continuity. From pencil outline drawings and watercolor overlapping shapes to stamp-like, grunge typography and softer, more rounded iconography, nature’s beauty is continuously informing design.

The next time you want to integrate natural, organic shapes into your concepts, think about the unexpected places they may be found:

  1. A cross-section or root system of a tree for a logo

  2. The veins in a leaf or vines growing up a building for an abstract background

  3. A creek or river bed’s ecosystem’s hierarchy to organize an infographic’s flow

While bringing natural elements into every design isn’t practical, it will help us to increase the use of those natural shapes, colors and textures that can induce feelings of order, calm and peace. And ultimately, help marketing messages better persuade, inform, or entertain us into action.


Similar to the increased use of elements in nature, typography is being increasingly used to help messages flash from the crowd — especially in digital spaces where we all live these days. Take 3D typography for example. Many companies are moving from flat or two-dimensional marks to vibrant, lifelike three-dimensional icons helping them make bold statements. We’re also seeing more contrast achieved by combining distinctive, custom fonts to create their own visual representation of a brand. Whether it’s different sizes and weight of one font or the combination of completely contrasting fonts, there’s a renewed focus on the use of type in design to draw the audience in and connect with them to capture their attention and influence their decisions. Here are a few ways specific typography can help marketing authentically connect with an audience:

  1. Makes Text Reader Friendly: Careful use of typography ensures that visitors enjoy increased readability and legibility of text on a web page. A wrong choice of fonts will make the presentation complex and confusing for viewers. For instance, small and cramped fonts create tension in the eyes. So, even when the design project is fun and complex, the audience should be able to scan the text.

  2. Builds Recognition: Consistent use of typography creates an immediate visual connection for audiences and each communication becomes quickly recognizable as a piece of the brand. Visual consistency can also reinforce brand values and messaging — fonts that are strong, bold and wide can demonstrate stability and power.

  3. Creates a Visual Impact: Creating visual impact with typography is often done with layers of elements, not just type. And yes, ensuring the fonts align with the concept or theme and resonate with the target is essential. But it’s the perfect combination of white space, contrast, hierarchy, weight and alignment of type with the other design elements that creates the greatest impact. The beautiful marriage of elements captivates the audience and influences their actions.


For years, we’ve been on a mission to encourage and educate brands about intentional diversity in marketing with a desire to make them more authentic and transparent. Over the past year, the spotlight on social justice and equality has generated a refocus on and renewal of the roles brands should play in society. For most, this hasn’t been merely a symbolic push to inclusivity but also has been a conscious move to embrace and celebrate the differences that make us who we are as a whole society. This celebration of diversity is what brands have striven for but have been unable to achieve — moving from an end to commoditization of differences to a true embrace of differentiation. This true embrace goes beyond sex, race and age and reaches through nuanced language, cultural sensitivities and even nonbinary pronouns to express identities.

To embrace our differences, marketing strategies and tactics should include more diverse faces, voices and points of view to ensure that even when audiences and clients are majority homogeneous in composition, the creative is not. At the base level, creative will reflect this most obviously in the photography and the selection of talent that represent the diverse faces used in the advertising. Now besides adding to the diversity of faces, creative needs to reflect diversity in lifestyles. That diversity will be displayed by families of mixed ethnicities and sexual orientations or persons with disabilities and physical challenges, to the use of expanded color tones in iconography and increased diverse actions of emojis. The need to reflect the range of individuals in the audience will continue to be important for gaining attention and creating an authentic connection that leads to influence.

As you look at where your marketing has been through the first quarter of 2021 and assess where you want it to be for the rest of the year and beyond, get in touch with Alpha Business Images. We want to help you discover your authentic voice, create visual impact and influence your audience to choose you again and again.


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