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Graphic Design Trends to Watch Out for in 2017

Friday, July 28, 2017 | Comments (0)

Halfway through 2017, it’s clear this year is shaping up to be an exciting one in graphic and print design. From cool packaging, bold typography, to layouts, and cinemagraphs, we’re counting down some of the hottest trends in graphic design that should stay relevant for the rest of the year.

Let’s start with colour.

It’s All About Green 

Smarbag 2017 Pantone Colour of the Year


Pantone’s colour of the year is Greenery, which represents new beginnings. 

According to Pantone’s website, “Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.”

Greenery also comes at an apropos time, with concerns about the environment and climate change at an all-time high. It’s no surprise why the philosophy behind Greenery has also influenced other print and graphic design trends this year.

Bright and Bold Colours


It used to be that designers favoured safe and digestible colours and avoided anything too bright and bold. And so, in the past few years, we had layouts in neutral colours like whites, greys, and blacks. 

But it’s the complete opposite in 2017, with design elements now featuring bright, bold, and vibrant colours. And with Pantone crowning greenery as its colour of the year, designers should be encouraged to use colours found predominantly in nature like yellows, oranges, and reds—all at varying degrees of saturation or intensity, depending on the medium. 

Geometric Shapes and Patterns 


The trend of using geometric shapes and patterns in graphic design and print first started in 2016 and we’re seeing it continue well into 2017. With nature being such a huge influence this year, you can also expect to see this trend manifest not just in colours, but also in patterns—think marble swirls, wood grain, and waves.

Bright Packaging with Flat Designs and Patterns


Of course, neutral colours still have their place, especially in flat design and patterns. You can, for example, incorporate flat design and patterns in blacks and greys, pairing it with a pop of bold colour. This will give your product packages a contemporary look, with the dash of colour reminding consumers that you’re a fun brand.



Minimalism is another trend from 2016 that continues to stay strong this year. Minimalist typography and layouts will still exude an ultra-contemporary chic that can make your designs appear refined and elegant. Need colour, a pop of colour or metallic foiling in silver and gold should be all that you need.

Bold Images Combined with Sleek Typography


If you compare today’s stock photos with samples from 5 years ago, it’s clear that designers are gravitating towards bolder images, pairing them with sleek and understated text. This recipe is great for reaching out to audiences with short attention spans (pretty much everyone on the Internet) and for conveying short messages.



Cinemagraphs aren’t GIFs. They’re still images—usually beautiful ones—with minor moving elements. This effect gives the image a realistic effect—in other words, life. They’re a great way to catch people’s attention if you can pair them with clever marketing messages. Because Cinemagraphs have novelty on their side, there’s no telling how audiences will react to them in the distant future. Will the novelty wear off, or will cinemagraphs maintain their cool factor? 

For more news and updates on all things graphic design, be sure to follow this blog. If you want the perfect packaging medium to showcase your prints, Smartbag has you covered! Contact the Smartbag team to learn more about our custom packaging materials. 

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Smartbag Pantone Colour of the Year 2017
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