This post was written by Brea Weinreb, Marketing Specialist at 99designs, the global creative platform that makes it easy for designers and clients to work together to create designs they love. As an artist herself, Brea is passionate about visual culture and making design accessible across the globe. She holds a degree in English and Art Practice from U.C. Berkeley and currently lives and works in Oakland, California.
If there’s one theme going into 2019, it’s that for every new design trend embraced, there are plenty of classic design styles that seem to never go out of style.
As an ecommerce store owner, keeping current on the latest trends is essential to remain competitive in an always-changing marketplace. With this in mind, we’ve combined some of our top design trend predictions for 2019 to guide you as you refresh your brand for the new year.
1. Chatbots get Colorful
As an ecommerce store owner, you’re probably no stranger to the rise of chatbots. Chatbots allow you to manage micro-interactions with your customers throughout the buying journey and guide them swiftly toward the “purchase” button. But instead of relying on standard chatbot setups in 2019, customers will expect a chatbot experience that stands out.
For 2019, go beyond a cookie-cutter chatbot setup by experimenting with bright colors and customization. Take advantage of advancements in AI to tailor your chatbot to your individual brand. Give it a personable face, infuse the script with your brand voice, and utilize bright colors to make it stand out. You may even opt for an animated brand mascot to bring your chatbot to life.
Whether you’re already using a chatbot on your ecommerce site or you’re planning to start, it’s important to go beyond templated solutions to create a customer experience that unique to your brand.
2. Storytelling through Color
If there’s one theme in logo design trends for 2019, it’s that authenticity rules. Using color purposefully allows brands to create a more genuine connection with their audience. As the new year dawns, we’re seeing brands choose colors more intentionally in order to convey carefully crafted meanings.
If you’re rethinking your logo design this year, be sure to read up on color psychology first. Consider your brand personality and the story you are trying to tell as a company. If you’re selling sports equipment and trying to promote an energetic lifestyle, you may want to consider yellows and oranges. Meanwhile, if you’re doling out legal advice and want to appear trustworthy, blues and grays are probably your best bet.
On top of color psychology, put some time into studying how retail logos have changed over time. What were the trends for ecommerce logos in 2019 compared to ten years ago? How have popular color choices changed for ecommerce sites since the early days of online shopping? You’ll likely be inspired by something you see as you browse the decades.
Then, run your proposed palette by friends, colleagues, designers, and even strangers to determine whether the hues you chose evoke the feeling you are trying to convey. The best thing about this trend is that it’s timeless – the right colors last forever.
3. Fonts with Attitude
No matter what font you use, chances are it’s been used before. However, this redundancy doesn’t stop designers from trying to go bigger, bolder, and better than ever. In 2019, fonts are going berserk, using dramatic bold letters, dark shadows and dense lines to jump off the screen.
The best part about this trend is that you don’t necessarily have to make up a new font. You can put a twist on a classic like Times New Roman or Helvetica by increasing the drop shadow, upping the contrast, or playing around with the arrangement of letters. Don’t be afraid to get messy either, especially if it fits your brand voice.
Similar to color choices, you want your typography to match your brand image. If your ecommerce site has a fun, whimsical feel, for instance, you probably don’t want to go too dark and bold with your lettering. Take a look at your existing font and think about ways you can play with it without going too far. For inspiration check out a free font database like Urban Fonts or DaFont.
4. Retro Design
Vintage nostalgia seems to be the trend that never goes out of vogue. However, as the years go on, the past that we’re digging into shifts a little each time. For 2019, we see a look back to the early days of the internet, with a rise in glitchy aesthetics and RGB split screen styles.
You’ve probably seen the social media filters that simulate a slightly fuzzy VCR tape or a janky projection of Super-8 film. They may have been nuisances in their time, but today these styles invoke nostalgia from older generations and curiosity from younger consumers. You can incorporate this style into your product pages and social media posts to capture attention.
Combine retro elements such as glitch art with your current brand identity in order to modernize the trend and appear infinitely cool. Pro tip: re-appropriating glitches from the early days of the internet works best if there aren’t actually any errors on your website!
5. Scripts That Make a Statement
Contrasting the big, bold typographic choices we chronicled earlier, we’re also seeing a return to the basics in the form of script fonts. However, this time around script typefaces are evolving, adapting to various shapes and styles in order to suit a range of brand identities and missions.
The goal in utilizing this trends should be to craft a script font that perfectly communicates your brand’s voice. If your brand is lighthearted and feminine you may opt for a thin-weight, elegant script, whereas if you’re appealing to kids you may want your script to be loopier and more relaxed. Whichever way you bend your script, make sure your text remains legible and eye-pleasing.
Experiment with multiple script styles until you find one that tells a story of its own. Have your team’s key leaders write your brand message in their own message. It may turn out that the people who are the heart of your business have handwriting similar to the script that’s right for your brand.
6. Multidimensional Design
3-dimensional design is growing increasingly familiar to younger consumers thanks to the rise of virtual reality in games and movies. 3D can jump off the page at customers in a way standard design can’t, which is why designers and brands alike are jumping to this trend. The best part about 3D is that it works across a range of assets – virtually anything can be rendered in 3D!
As an ecommerce site owner, you can use 3D in a variety of ways. One of the best (and most unique) ways to incorporate this style is to give your shoppers a chance to view your products in 3D. Virtual fitting rooms are growing in popularity for clothing retailers as well. Not only does this look aesthetically advanced, but it also improves the customer experience by giving customers a chance to try on items before purchasing. Avoid overdoing it, though. A little 3D goes a long way!
7. Increasing Use of Video
Granted, we already know that video is rapidly becoming the way to reach customers, but 2019 will be the year to make it a top priority. As Google continues to prioritize video content in search results, brands that don’t invest in video will find themselves falling behind. This is especially true for ecommerce sites, considering many online retailers now use video to help customers get a better look at products.
Using video for every product on your site can get costly, but you can highlight some of your top products using video. Consider how you can tell your own brand story through the use of animated explainer videos and other informational content. If you’re on a super-tight budget, consider going the DIY route and making an engaging video for your “About” page featuring the smiling faces of your very own team. An example we love is Brand24, whose post-purchase email contains a humorous video of their employees dancing in their office saying thank you. All you really need is an iPhone and basic light setup to make it happen these days.
Above all, the most important thing when utilizing trends is to apply your own personal touch. Your site should reflect your brand and what you’re all about. Whether it’s with a new font, a revamped landing page, or a fresh logo, it’s important to combine knowledge of current trends with your own unique brand voice to really make an impact.