WedWed, Jun202163002 2021+00:00pmWed, 02 Jun 2021 14:12:56 +0000 | Studio News
From product packaging to social media to visual art, here are some of the top trends in graphic design that have made their way into the cultural production of Glasgow’s best artists and designers.
The simple aesthetic of fonts like Helvetica have given way to the more flourished design of serif fonts. More retro than their predecessors, these fonts convey an elegance and meticulousness that is both timeless and classic. It is branding that suggests that being new, hip, or excessively modern is unimportant, but rather that ongoing excellence is a foundation of what they do. In these dark times, retro nostalgia has seen greater prominence across media; the comeback of serif fonts is yet another addition to this phenomenon.
Natural, muted, and earthy tones
There may be a few reasons for this trend: at last the coming of springtime after a long, dark, isolated winter; the longing to travel to the world’s natural recesses when this has been impossible for so long; or the return to nature for some as lockdown has forced us out of cities and cafés and into the spacious countryside. It could also be how these tones produce a calming, serene effect akin to being in nature, emotions that have been sparse in these anxious times. See how even a colourful bird like a parrot becomes more muted in Sorores Aromatherapy’s packaging, and with more of an emphasis on dusty pink tones. (Also note the serif font – nice). Or see Artichaut Creation’s multicoloured tote bag with earthy greens and muted oceanic blues, with a Scottish hillside serving as both background and inspiration.
Colourful and chaotic designs
On the flip side, there is an equally strong trend towards the colourful and chaotic, a trend which recalls the more punk and DIY attitude of zines and collage art. This trend sees designs structured almost like comic books, with black-bordered differently coloured squares segmenting each section. It helps convey a kind of narrative as it suggests perhaps not all the elements of the piece are happening simultaneously, but at different poignant moments. This sets these designs apart from the calming vibe of natural and muted tones, and instead delivers punchy, emphatic, and memorable moments all in one visual space. In recalling punk and DIY aesthetics, there is also a gesture towards self-representation by small artists and creators, as well as authenticity and handmade crafts.
With more people ordering online than ever, creators have capitalised on this by upping their packaging game. Pre-pandemic, it was often the case that customers would have a face-to-face interaction with the seller, but since then there have been large chunks of time where these interactions were not only impossible, but illegal. Check out Sorores Aromatherapy’s packaging which often includes dried flowers, unique card designs, and even pinecones, all neatly presented in a box. Similarly, duststudio’s playful jewellery designs are accompanied by aesthetically complementary packaging: adding a bit of joy to the ritual of opening up packages that have arrived for us.
More and more feminist, queer, and anti-racist discourses are entering mainstream political discussion thanks to BLM, MeToo, and an explosion of queer online communities. Consequently, 2021 is seeing a fresh batch of artists looking to represent themselves and their allied communities from their own perspectives. This may come in the form of Molly Hankinson’s work, whose decision to portray women, non-binary people, and women of colour in casual yet assertive ways tells viewers that these groups have always been here, and they’re not going to take any more nonsense. Or in a similar vein, but even more aggressive, is Emily Brooke’s self-portrait titled ‘stop talking’: a bold reimagination of women’s silencing and subjugation into an unignorable, non-willing, and hostile subject. We look forward to more interesting and multifaceted representation in the coming months of 2021.
Written by Maddie Reid - email@example.com
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From product packaging to social media to visual art, here are some of the top trends in graphic design that have made their way into the cultural production of Glasgow’s best artists and designers. Serif fonts The simple aesthetic of fonts like Helvetica have given way to the more flourished design of serif fonts. More […]