Emerging New Design Trends

When designing a website, a poster or pretty much anything it is important to understand what is possible before you begin designing. For example, what software is available, what features are available within these software to produce the result you are looking for. Software and programming/markup languages are always changing with features being removed and added. This can lead to a number of styles trending, albeit this is not the only cause for trends but it is the most dominant one. By keeping up with the newest CSS3 properties for example you could end up starting your own trend.

Trends are not necessarily of huge importance but if you stick to them, there is a strong chance your design will look aesthetically pleasing. Of course you can always try and aim for a timeless design, take the Coca Cola logo for example, but please remember it’s impossible to predict what the future will bring so spending hours and hours trying to make a design timeless will prove difficult (if not impossible).

Nonetheless I feel it is fun to keep up with the latest trends, and to see where the community is driving design. In this post I shall be sharing a few trends that I have recently discovered. Most are usually initiated by top designers with their followers simply copying their designs. Others maybe that little bit more creative and so spread by themselves. Anyway without further ado, the trends:


I feel there has been a rise in vintage style design. What makes a design vintage? Well I think the key is to use patterns, textures and unique typography. Liam Mckay has been an avid user of textures and patterns, he even released a free brush set containing various subtle textures. I think the design cubicles’s redesign really set the ball rolling. It demonstrated the strength of the vintage style and how it was very unique compared to the clean style of design  that we have been seeing for years.

You can see with the redesign of the Design Informer that Jad decided to go with the vintage approach:

What followed alongside the vintage style was the patterned shadow which you can see in the logo of TDC which is now being used in every other vintage design. What resulted of the trend was a simple tutorial on dribble by Sacha Grief.

Three Dimensional Elements

Another trend emerging is giving elements that extra dimension. Buttons are becoming more like buttons, that are pressed down and released. Rogie King took a shot at the style over on Dribbble and got a pleasant response.

The only other place I had seen this style of design was at Bjango:

I liked the style so much I even implemented it on my own site. The technique is easy to achieve, by adding a simple drop shadow x amount of pixels 90 degrees below an element with zero blur, you will have your 3D look and feel.

Webkit Animations

The third trend revolves around webkit. Even though webkit has been around for years, only recently has it made its way on to our browsers. With the simplistic transition and animation features many designs and developers have been adding little webkit animations to their design.

From the simple, slow hover transition for a link to full blown animations, the webkit animation attributes are just as powerful as the ever popular jQuery library. By far the best example of this trend has to be on the Apple website.

Apple demonstrate what can be done with webkit and have definitely inspired me to experiment further. Now although only users with the latest Browsers will be able to view the animations, it adds a little something to the design. The design still functions without the animations, however the experience is made more enjoyable for those users regularly updating their browsers.


Well there you have it a few trends currently emerging. When you start your next design why not try implementing one of the trends above. Not only will the design look amazing but it will be received well by the design community.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 14th, 2010 at 11:02 and is filed under Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

An aspiring web designer who is currently working on transforming tutorials into something magical.

About the author Published by Liam McCabe

3 Responses »

  1. Vintage and 3D styles have been around for a long time now, no?

  2. Vintage and 3D Styles have been around for a long time, yes, but the point was that they are emerging design trends now. Its like 80’s clothes, they have been around for awhile but are becoming a design trend again (though I hope they really aren’t). Perhaps it would be better to describe them as re-emerging design trends, but I can see where the author was coming from.

    Good post!!