Top 10 Predicted Design Trends for 2017

The smells of Thanksgiving dinner haven’t begun to fill homes and we’re already looking ahead to 2017. I know, I know, give a holiday a chance to happen before you jump to the new year. But unfortunately, with marketing, there’s always a factor of looking ahead and working to produce the best possible product and services for our clients and our agency.

So in lieu of planning that next holiday meal and hanging strings of lights on the porch outside, here are the top 10 trends we expect to see in 2017.

Website design

We’ve all heard how important mobile devices are too, well, everything. In 2017, mobile will firmly take precedence over the desktop for websites. With smartphones and other mobile devices being the primary device for many web users accessing websites, we can’t stress enough how pertinent it is to have a mobile friendly website.

The limited amount of content that is view-able on mobile also forces companies to get rid of any content or information that isn’t 100 percent necessary. Which means the catchy tune that auto-plays whenever someone visited your website during the last five years has to go. We’re sorry to see it leave also.


Responsive websites are made to fit all devices. They are programmed as one site, not different sites or domains.


Following one step behind the emphasis on mobile is responsive design. Working with and or along side mobile, responsive design allows a company to build one website that will work for all users, regardless of the device being used.

Another point of emphasis for the shift toward responsive design is Google’s ranking algorithm giving more weight to websites that are optimized for mobile devices. As companies constantly work and strive to keep their website in the top search engine result pages, having a responsive website design is one way to lessen the work.

Need another reason to make the shift to responsive design in 2017?

More than two-thirds of visitors will leave a website if it isn’t optimized for a mobile device.

This shift will also affect email design, with considerations needed on how images will scale down along with content.

Websites will be used to tell stories more in 2017. The focus won’t be on Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales but using your website to tell your story or a client’s story on their site. Through interactive tools and responsiveness, customers and visitors alike can become a part of the story.

Cinemagraphs are poised to help with the storytelling surge, using static images which move on a loop. These have become more popular in the last year than videos and GIFs for many websites and web developers. Also expect to see more use of parallax scrolling in the new year. This 3D effect occurs when the background of a website is programmed to move at a different speed than the rest of the page. It can be used to add a subtle element of depth to a web page or be the star of the website.

Email design

With more and more businesses realizing the power of email marketing, you can look forward to several trends for email design in 2017. At the forefront will be color and how it’s used. Colors that grab attention, but are cohesive with each other and the content itself are expected to be a big part of email design.

The key for anyone who uses email marketing will be finding how to effectively use color to drive the reader’s eyes to the content itself.

Alongside the use of color will be images. Gone are the days where sticking a stock photo or – gasp – piece of clip art into an email and calling it an image. As younger generations such as Millennials and Generation Z tend to communicate in images such as emojis, using images to grab short attention spans is important. When used in moderation, images can be viewed as blank slates. A gradient with headline overlay or a graph of text contrasting against the image are common uses.

Modular email templates will take on a bigger role. As more and more people embrace email marketing again, templates that can be easily and quickly interchanged are in high demand. This not only will make lives of email marketers a little easier but overall campaigns more easy to manage and create.

Graphic design

With consumers wanting more authenticity from businesses and brands rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, expect a shift from stock photos to original work. Graphic designers who can create illustrations from scratch can help a company build its brand and truly connect with consumers.

The drive for authenticity also means incorporating customized color schemes into every element of a company’s graphic design.

The use of over-sized typography has been gaining traction in 2016 and will continue to do more so in 2017. While adding an element of flair to any design, over-sized typography likewise works to grab the attention of online users.

Color gradients, whether two tones or a single bright color, are predicted to be used more. Gradients give a level of depth to a design or can be used as a standalone piece of layering.

What Does Each Mean For Digital Marketing?

Each of these elements of design is a key component in any marketing effort or campaign. Website design is always evolving as consumers expectations shift and technology evolve to allow developers and businesses to do new and innovative things with a website. But in 2017, the overall message for website design will be for businesses to focus on mobile and responsive websites. We aren’t going to get rid of our smartphones and mobile devices anytime soon, so it would be silly to expect consumers will do the same.

Email marketing will also continue to follow the path blazed by website design, especially in terms of responsiveness. With 91 percent of mobile device users using those devices for email, it would be a critical mistake to not optimize your email design. Any images or graphics used in the body of your emails will have to be scaled for responsiveness or risk a convoluted image covering what you want people to see – the content itself.

91 percent of mobile device users are using those devices for email.

The trends in graphic design for 2017 will touch every part of digital marketing, especially the areas we’ve touched on. As companies shift from a marketing approach of “here’s what we offer, do you like it?” to “this is who we are and why ” the basic elements of graphic design will work together to further a company’s brand and message to consumers on a more individual level.

What do you think we’ll see in design for 2017? Let us know in the comments or on our social media pages!

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