December 12, 2013No Comments

2014 digital marketing and design trends

2013 saw a number or popular and effective digital marketing and design trends. These trends include:

  • Responsive design
  • Flat UI
  • Retargeted banner ads
  • A focus on CMS and inbound marketing
  • Infographics
  • Big data

As 2013 comes to a close, it's time to look at the digital marketing and design trends that will impact 2014. Many of the trends from 2013 will continue to have influence in 2014. However, I would like to point out a few other areas that will be of interest in the coming year for digital marketers and designers.

1.) Analytic accountability
Clients are starting to take a look at agencies and the value that they offer. For many agencies, it is no longer enough that a clever or visually appealing campaign be provided. Clients want to see a return on investment. This could lead to more agencies implementing direct marketing best practices for measuring success and ROI. In order to stay competitive, agencies need to adapt their former business models to answer these client concerns.

2.) Think mobile first
Mobile technology continues to resonate with customers. More and more, customers are engaging with us digitally through either a smart phone or tablet device first. Desktop computers are no longer at the forefront of digital interaction. In 2014 it will be paramount that you think mobile, when tackling your digital strategy. Whether it's incorporating responsive design, single page websites or mobile friendly emails, digital marketers and designers can no longer afford to focus on desktop experience only.

3.) Content is king
If 2013 showed us anything, it's that consumers want relevant content. And search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo want to help them find it. In 2014, if you don't have a content marketing strategy, your efforts may wither on the vine.

4.) Get personal
Everyday, consumers are bombarded with thousands of messages. The key to breaking through to them is by using "big data" to personalize your marketing messages and efforts. Look into areas such as:

  • Retargeted banner ads
  • Personalized emails
  • Geo-targeting SMS
  • Social apps that use GPS

Consumers expect more from the brands they interact with, and personalization helps your message resonate.

5.) Less is more
With consumers struggling to get through all the content and messaging out there, design is becoming more streamlined and sleeker. Expect Flat UI design, single page websites, parallax scrolling and an emphasis on typography to continue to dominate in 2014.

6.) Radiant orchid
Pantone announced its 2014 color and the winner is: Radiant orchid. Expect to see this color popping up all over the digital landscape.

I'm sure there will be even more trends to spawn out of 2014. And true to their nature, some will be impactful and others will just fizzle. What digital marketing and design trends do you expect to see in 2014? What trends impacted you this year?

November 8, 2013No Comments

Typography takes on interactive design

Remember the days when web designers only had a handful of web safe fonts to play with? When websites relied heavily on an images and typography was a secondary concern? Well those days are behind us as typography moves to the forefront of interactive design.

Typography focused websites have trended for the last few years, but 2013 has seen the demand for them intensify. Part of this is due to the introduction of flat UI design. The shift in focus on more content, as well as the increased use of infographics have also contributed. If you're not paying attention to typography in your interactive/web layouts now is the time to start.

Good typography is essential to any layout. It organizes our content in a meaningful, user-friendly way. It also adds extra design flourishes. When working with typography in your digital designs consider this:

Fonts speak out
Remember those limited web safe fonts I was referring to earlier? Thanks to a little thing called Google Fonts, designers now have access to hundreds of free web safe fonts to add spice to their layout. Sick of Arial and Verdana? Try out PT Sans or Ubuntu. Want to be bold with a serif that's not Times? Try Josefin Slab or Abril Fatface. Yes the names may sound silly, but their typefaces speak volumes. The typeface you choose speaks as much to your product/service as your imagery and content.

Maximize the minimal
Stand alone typographic design treatments used to be something relegated to print. More and more though, digital designers are incorporating typographic design approaches as the key visual. This allows designers to use text as both content and visual interest. Websites that focus on typographic solutions over visuals are also smaller in file size, requiring less band with and download time for the user. While the design may appear minimal, the resources are maximized.

Avoid the clutter
If you've ever worked in any kind of newspaper/publication layout, then you're familiar with a grid layout. Web design works the same way, especially responsive design. Break out all of your typographic tools to present your content in an appealing, user-friendly way. That 1-column block of content is now 4-columns. Change the subheads to a different font-family. Allow a quote to break through 2-columns. With responsive design, CSS3 and HTML5 the options are limited only by your imagination (or CMS system lol).

Use your words
While a picture may speak a thousand words, sometimes they need real words to give context to their meeting. Good typography enhances the images around it. When viewed, it should feel like it has a symbiotic relationship with the creative around it. You never want your text to look like an after thought that's been slapped on a photo.

With my roots in print, I'm excited to see typography take the lead in today's interactive environment. Check out the below links for great examples of websites that are harnessing their typographic tools.
20 typographic websites | Webdesigner Depot
Best Examples of Typography in Web Design | Inspiration - Awwwards
A Journey Through Beautiful Typography In Web Design

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© Justin Herren 2022 | Creative strategist + design lead