Category Archives: News

Niko Creative Kenya awarded Best web and graphic design agency – Nairobi 2019

I don’t even know where to begin. When I got nominated for the award by Corporate Vision magazine for best web and graphic design agency in Nairobi, I never expected to win the award. Not that I doubt or don’t believe in my skills as a designer but because of the passion I have for design. Majority of the works that have gotten Niko Creative noticed are my experimental designs and personal projects that I have undertaken just to better myself as a designer and also see how far I can go.

The award is truly humbling and fuels my drive to keep on producing quality design work that everyone can appreciate.

30 Day Logo Challenge

For a while I’ve been wanting to take up the 30 day logo challenge and see how best I can handle the task of coming up with a new logo each day for a month. The main objectives of taking up this task was to see how far I can push my creativity, work under a tight deadline and also better my logo design skills. I have to admit that it was indeed a “Challenge” coming up with an entirely new logo concept each day but it proved to be a fun and worthy project. Before I started off, for the 1st 7 days I decided to look for existing companies within Kenya to do my own version of their logos and the other logos would be purely for fictional companies, organizations and individuals. Some of the design concepts took me well over 5 hours pondering on ideas as others took as short as 45 minutes to conceptualize.

Below are the 30 logos I designed of which some I hold more dear than others but all said and done I love all the logos I designed for this challenge.

9 Innovative design trends 2018

A logo is not only the face of a business, but also a symbol of the era in which it was created. Recognizing logo design trends is an essential part of choosing a logo design style which feels fresh and relevant, and there’s no better time to get on track than the dawn of the new year.

9 logo design trends to watch in 2018

  1. Responsive, contextual logos
  2. Architectural inspiration
  3. Fun! (Creating an energy and vibe.)
  4. Pushing metaphors to the extreme
  5. Experimental techniques in typography
  6. Grid-based logos
  7. Layering and masking of patterns and color
  8. Simple typography paired with monograms
  9. Fundamental geometric shapes

1. Responsive, contextual logos

We are living in an age where logo designers must not only create aesthetically pleasing designs, but must also have deep understanding of the different contexts in which those designs might be applied. Posters, business cards, signs, installations, advertisements and packaging are only a few examples of places a logo can end up. In 2018 keep your eyes peeled for an increased awareness to context in logo design.

loyal coffee logos

via Studio Mast.

Coffee logo featuring mountain landscape
Logo with illustration and photos of people in vibgrass
via Fabio Ongarato Design.
MPavillion book
MPavilion signage
Logo with photographic background
via Snøhetta.
Farm logo with trees
Logo design by ludibes.

One excellent example of awareness to context can be seen in Snøhetta‘s logo design for Kristin Jarmund Architects, which takes the abbreviation “K J – A”, and allows it to adapt to various layouts upon photographic backgrounds. In this way, the logo accommodates concepts of architecture both metaphorically and visually. Another thoughtful example of awareness to context comes in Studio Mast’s logo design for Loyal Coffee, which includes several iterations of line-based illustration that adapt to coffee cups, menus and coffee bean packaging.

2. Architectural inspiration

While basing a logo design off of an architectural design is nothing new, it’s resurging in popularity in clever, innovative ways. Physical space has always been important in creating a brand identity (think how every Starbucks and Apple store “feels” the same). As we move into an increasingly digital world, designers are finding ways not only to capture the look of architectural landmarks, but also how to embody the concepts behind the physical manifestation of the brand through their visual interpretation. For example ….

Philip glass concert logo

via Savvy.

Logo in the shape of architectural feature
Logo based on the concept of an underground bar

via Föda.

Undercroft bar architecture
Logo using negative space of inn with many windows

via Savvy.

Logo of lighthouse

Logo design by yukii for Barnegat Oyster Co.

Taak building

A wonderful example of this trend is Savvy’s logo design for Philip Glass’s concert in the historic National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. The shape of the logo is drawn from the main feature of the building, the “Umbrella Fountain,” designed by Mexican Architect Pedro Ramírez Vasquez. This feature is, in essence, a geometric, circular skylight which lets light pour in around a large engraved pilar. It is both massive and stunning—qualities which are referred to in the bold, black and white rendering of the logo. At the same time, the impact of the logo speaks to the qualities of Philip Glass’s work: his music is emotional intensity, and explores its relationship with physical space.

Another nice example of architecture-based logo design can be seen in Föda’s work for Undercroft, a secret cocktail bar underneath a historic church. The bar is entered through a dim archway then down a small stairwell. Inside the bar, there are multiple shelves for storing liquor and books. The logo reflects many of these architectural aspect by creating levels, with lines “pointing” to the underneath layer. The angled line in the “N” even hints at the idea of a small stairwell.

3. Fun! (Creating an energy and vibe.)

Fun is something that sells just about as well as sex. While fun has always been a staple in logo design, the current state of economic uncertainty might be inspiring people to counteract negativity with funner designs than ever! Fun is hard to resist, and it comes in the form of bright colors, good vibes and cute characters. This year we hope to see fun logos left and right, making 2018 a year that makes you smile!

Fun logo with cute illustrations
via A Friend Of Mine.
Cute logo with hand-drawn monster

via Bedow.

Childrens logo with colorful shapes

via Perky Bros.

Multicolored logo
via Bedow.
Logo with cute illustrated alligator smiling

Logo de Valigator réalisé par dan.stiop.

Logo with astronaut drinking tea in space

Logo de Cosmic tea réalisé par giyan.

There are many ways to create fun in a logo. Some of our favorite examples from this last year include A Friend Of Mine’s design for Luxe Waihek, which contains joyful custom typographic characters (notice how the “e” makes a laughing emoji style face), Bedow’s logo for Fable Skateboards, which contains a whimsical smiling monster and 99design’s own giyan’s design for Cosmic Tea Co. which features an astronaut sipping tea in space!

4. Pushing metaphors to the extreme

Metaphors are certainly not new to logo design, but the ever-expanding reach  of curiosity and creative exploration in the design community has recently caused them to become a focal point of deep creative exploration. This year we should see logo designers pushing metaphors to their extreme, with thoughtful and clever concepts that give more depth to a logo than visuals can alone.

Logo with metaphorical shoelace shape

Logo avec métaphore du lacet, via Perky Bros.

Run Mfg logo
Logo of tree with “networks” in the branches
A tree branch network logo by Dusan Klepic DK™.
Logo of body with “pathways”

Les traits du corps, réalisé par Arthean.

Logo with chemistry diagram look

Logo inspiré des molécules chimiques, via InHouse.

Logo with metaphorical dots
Dots as topography metaphor via A Friend Of Mine.

Above, the designers at Perky Bros have created a perfect dual metaphor for Run Mfg, where a shoelace not only nods to a running shoe but also depicts paths or routes. This not only explains what Run Mfg does (running event planning/design), but it also opens up for creative possibilities in the branding.

We also love how InHouse has broken out the typographic characters of “Pacific Potion” to create a beautiful “chemistry diagram”. This creates a metaphor of wine as chemistry, and works especially well for a wine brand that pays especially detailed attention to the ingredients, ratios and science in their wine making process.

5. Experimental techniques in typography

From old style to sans serif, typography has always been subject to experimentation—from the development of new typographic shapes to the modification of pre-existing typefaces using illustrative or photographic techniques. It doesn’t end there either. This upcoming year we should see continued experimentation in typography, with both innovative concepts and new realizations of how pre-existing technology can apply to this medium.

Logo with experimental line-threshold use

Logo avec ligne de délimitation, via Fabio Ongarato Design.

Logo with experimental line-threshold use
Logotype with a symmetrical rotating element
Logotype with a symmetrical rotating element via Design by Tokyo.
Logo with extreme negative space
Logo with extreme negative space via Bond.

Check out how the typographic treatment for Kusumé utilizes an experimental, yet tasteful use of the line-threshold process (a dated threshold technique intended for printing grayscale photos using only black ink). This creative use of the technique brings the typography to a new level which feels unconventional, organic and intriguing—perfect for a cutting edge Japanese restaurant.

In another experimental example, 99designer HeART changes the scale of each circular letterform in the logo for echo to create, you guessed it, a visual echo. It’s a new technique in typography that we haven’t seen yet and that’s exciting! We expect (and hope) to see more in 2018.

Lastly, we love how Bond’s logo design for Heritage pushes broken letter forms to the extreme, where typography “dissolves” into abstract shapes.

6. Grid-based logos

Grids have played the role of backbone in graphic design ever since Josef Müller-Brockmann laid out the fundamentals of theory on the subject in 1981. Grids have the power to portray logic, theory, control and perfection. In a sense, it’s a trend that’s never ended—only come and gone in waves. Based on designs we’ve seen of late, we can expect a healthy serving of very obvious grids in logo design this year.

Logo with letters offset on red grid
via Bēhance.
Logo where letters become the grid
via InHouse.

Take for example how the lines which compose the typographic letters of the MOAA logo become the grid itself. Or how the grid-based “trellis” which weaves through the typography of The Modern Flower Co logo creates a wonderful counterpoint to the curves and swirls of the letterforms. Lastly, we love how the grid in the ABCraft logo speaks to how fundamental the brand name and values are. Expect the grid to appear in many new and interesting ways in 2018!

7. Layering and masking of patterns and color

Layering and masking are a sophisticated techniques that involve using patterns to reveal, or contain, additional content within shapes. It’s often subtle and can easily go under the radar. With that said, this technique has a lot of room for experimentation in both abstract and conceptual approach. That’s why we’re putting the spotlight on it.

Logo where “g” masks a variable abstract pattern

via Bedow.

Logo where “g” masks a variable abstract pattern
Logo where “g” masks a variable abstract pattern
Logo composed of masked patterns of color
via Bēhance.
Logo with layered patterns and colors

via Snøhetta.

Logo with text masked by paint strokes

via Dom Layton.

Logo with watercolor within woman’s hair

Logo réalisé par Cross the Lime.

Logo composed of layered shapes and colors

via Tiffany Chan.

Logo for plant-based protein

Logo réalisé par ~pinna~ pour Valk.

One of our favorite recent examples of masking/layering in logo design is Bedow’s design for photographer Gustav Almestal, which layers different abstract patterns behind the “G”. In this example, the letter “G” not only masks the patterns, but it becomes a statement about the lens, or eye of Gustav Almestal. Additional it hints at concepts of light and shadow. Powerful!

8. Simple typography paired with monograms

There’s always be a place for the classics. Lately we’ve been seeing a resurgence of simple, well-crafted typefaces paired with monograms. Designers are honing their skills with classic typefaces of the past, which involves giving precise attention to the basic parameters of logo typography: typeface choice, kerning and letter-spacing.

Logo with simple and classic typography

Logo avec typographie simple et classique réalisé par Tee™ pour Jamestown Coffee Roasters.

Logo with simple and classic typography

via Savvy.

Logo with simple and classic typography

via Bunch.

Logo with simple and classic typography

via Perky Bros.

Showcased above are some brilliant examples of this trend. The typeface for the Wagon Wheel is simple and unmodified. It’s clear that the typeface choice was carefully made: Its character shapes nod to the past (think wagons) but also holds aspects of modernism to bring the brand into current times. Further, notice the perfectly balanced kerning in logo. You can bet your buck that the kerning didn’t look that good without some keen adjustment.

In another superb example, the typeface chosen for the Marohnić Tomek & Gjoić relates to the early Monotype era of typography. The typeface is beautiful on its own, and when treated with a careful eye results in a powerful logo and monotype that champions classic simplicity.

9. Fundamental geometric shapes

Typography isn’t the only aspect of logo design receiving simplification these days. The actual shapes used in logos have as well, with an increased focus on minimal geometry, or geometry created with a less-is-more attitude. When you look at some of the advantages of this style—like branding versatility, easy readability and instant impact—it becomes clear that we should be seeing more in 2018!

Logo with simple geometric shapes
via Bond.
Logo with minimal geometric letter “K”

Logo réalisé par ludibes.

Logo with minimal geometric shapes

Logo réalisé par zotov.Agency™ pour FEEMO.

Logo with geometric form in shape of color swatches
via Kurppa Hosk.
Geometric “&” logo

Logo réalisé par Angstrom Alliance.

Logo with geometric pattern

via Bunch.

Geometric circular logo
via Bunch.

A great recent example of minimalist geometry can be seen in Kurppa Hosk’s logo design for office space design company Ogeborg. The logo takes the concept of a sample book or swatch book (commonly seen in the paint section at hardware stores) and turns it into a simple and recognizable geometric shape. Customers who see this shape should instantly understand that Ogeborg is a company that can help them with interior design.

2018: a year of contradicting logo trends

2018 looks to be an interesting year for logo design trends. We see both experimental typography and a return to basics. We see simple grids and geometry, as well as complex applications and layering of color and pattern. It looks to be a year where boundaries are pushed, and we can’t wait to see what the designers of the world come up with!


Original Article Link: 99designs
Author: Workerbee

10 Things Every Design Student Should Know To Succeed

Earning a degree in graphic design can be challenging. It takes an enormous amount of patience, hard work and strategic planning to get through numerous deadlines, periodic examinations and year-level challenges.

The list below covers useful tips for design students that are proven to double productivity and improve your performance.



The most important thing a design student should learn and value is organization at all times, in all areas of learning. Calendar management is one. An ordinary calendar can serve as a planner. Detail everything on your calendar to help you keep track of everything you need to accomplish for each day, week, month or semester.

Use the calendar to keep track  of your deadlines and your project progress. Today’s smartphones, tablets and computers come with calendars you can adjust to your personal preference. You can also download calendar applications and task reminders to help you make the most of your time.

You can end up falling behind and missing important assignments if you don’t list your deadlines in chronological order. Use your calendar to list assignments and their deadlines to get a better idea of how much time you need to set apart for each project.

Learn to stick to your deadlines and make it a point not to miss any assignment as this reflects your ability to meet expectations later on in your career.


Learn to Prioritize

Knowing when to study and party is a survival tip for any student. Think of it this way: You should have twice as much time for working on projects or assignments as you do for social activities. Design is a demanding area of study but also a rewarding career.

Learn to prioritize. This also applies to project and subject management. If you can determine which subjects needs more of your attention, then you can focus on those. Following this tip will also free up time for improving your performance in other classes.


Master the Art of Overestimation

Design requires time. A student in design should know early on that every project or assignment that will be required during the course of study cannot be done overnight. Most often than not, projects will be assigned  ahead of time and will require days or even weeks and months to complete, depending on the difficulty of the subject matter.

Train yourself to overestimate the amount of time needed for each project.  An important tip for design students is to never eyeball the amount of time you think you will need. If by chance you finish the project before your estimated time, then you will have extra time to do other things or review and improve what you have just completed.

When you land a career in design, you will find that overestimation will save you time, allow you to be detail-oriented and be more efficient in your responsibilities.


Establish Your Network

Design has various specializations. When you start working, you will find yourself needing the expertise of professionals from other areas. As of now, you can start reaching out to potential partners, friends and fellow designers who can assist you when you get your degree and establish your career.

Be friendly and make sure you get connected to people who in the future might  be working for other agencies or specializing in other fields. Establish real connections, both for personal growth and your professional future.


Keep the Passion and Momentum

Design work is demanding and at some point may become frustrating. You can survive your studies by being passionate about your course work and enjoying every challenge. Passion fuels creativity, which is the most important requirement of design.

Ask yourself every now and then why you entered design school and keep reminding yourself of that reason.  This will enable you to complete your studies with enthusiasm and become successful in your field.

7.Be creative

Be and Stay Creative

In The Top Essential Skills of a Designer, we covered the career paths a design graduate is most likely to follow. In this post on tips for design students, we mentioned that the most important requirement is the ability to remain creative throughout your career.

As a designer, your creative ability will be reflected in anything you produce. There may be times you will find your creativity will wane, but, there are ways you canmaintain  and  improve creativity. You should be aware of this and never be afraid to accept that you are in need of inspiration and help coming up with ideas.

In the world of design, ideas are currency and without them, there is nothing you can offer. Always offer your ideas. If they are not welcomed, don’t get disappointed just yet. The world of design is as erratic as the world of marketing is, so keep those ideas flowing, store them and you may just need them in the future.


Be an Avid Learner

Learn as much as you can. Digest everything. Make the most of your time as a student in design. Learn from your classmates, team members and your teachers. Get some inspiration from your peers’ ideas and store up everything you see and hear in your creativity arsenal–you never know when you might need it in the future. Use the Internet, your books and every situation you encounter. Explore and learn. Experience everything around you, including success and failures, and learn from them.

Never refrain from learning something new every day. Experience is the best teacher, and we can only be a failure if we  stop learning what we fail to understand.


Invest in Your Portfolio

Invest time in building your portfolio. Learn how to handle your weaknesses and strengths. Collate your work and understand the reason why you have chosen certain pieces to form part of your portfolio. Knowing why will make it easier for you to answer why you have  chosen a particular piece to showcase.


Be Open to Criticism

You are in design school for a reason: to learn. Expect your professors and peers to critique your creations. Sensitivity has no place in learning. Criticism is given to help you make better choices and come up with better ideas  while you perfect your skill.

A critique is not a personal attack, but a meaningful way of telling you there is a room for improvement and that you can do better. A particular person’s opinion about your work is not the end of the world, nor does it make you a bad designer.

Avoid getting defensive when being given suggestions and feedback. Be open to what others have to say on how you can improve your work. Again, you can learn a lot from others..

Your work is created not only for your  satisfaction, but for your audience’s appreciation, hence it should be effective and beautiful in their eyes, even if it means disregarding your personal point of view and stepping out of your comfort zone.

11.Stay uptodate

Stay Up to Date with Design Trends

There are rules in design that are so basic that they still exist and are implemented to create harmonious and well-balanced creative projects.

And yet there are means and methods that are already classified as overused or ineffective. In a post on most overused design elements, we have provided a list of some of the most commonly used elements and techniques in design. They may still be good to use but in a rapidly and constantly changing world of visual design, one needs to learn new things and master their implementation to give a fresh and more contemporary presentation of visual elements and design.


Believe in Yourself

You can’t ask other people to value your work more than you do. How you see yourself will be reflected in your creations. It will also affect how you sell your work. If you don’t believe in yourself, you don’t believe in what you do and what it can produce, you will fail to sell it to others.

You have to understand that your time and effort is worth the price of your work. If you believe in yourself and value what you do, you will never be a prey of intimidation, and you will not be shaken by demeaning criticisms.

Design is a competitive industry and you need to know how much you are worth and take pride in it so that other people will see and respect it.

Woman practicing yoga on the beach at sunset in Koh Chang, Thailand

Breathe and De-Stress

The design business is hectic. Stress and anxiety are normal emotions most people experience in this field.  When you find yourself stuck and unable to generate ideas or find inspiration, take time to relax and calm yourself. Free yourself from overwhelming feelings and do whatever is necessary to get out of the funk. When you’re a student, you can push yourself to beyond your limits but take a break when something feels wrong or is not working right. This will help you regain peace of mind and give you a fresh eye. It can also offer a new perspective.

Designing is stressful, and you need to de-clutter and de-stress to give your creativity a chance to flourish.

Keep these tips for design students in mind while you are in school and it will make your studies much easier to complete.  You will have more time to accomplish everything and have better chances of performing better and even graduating with honors. With these accomplishments, you will have a better chance of showcasing the quality of your work, standing out among your peers and landing a good job.

About the Author

Mydee Lasquite

Posted on October 2, 2015 by Mydee Lasquite

Mydee is a content strategist at Visme’s Visual Learning Center. After years of writing for various companies to promote brands and products, her passion for content and love for offering valuable information landed her at Visme to help individuals and businesses make informed decisions and improve their communication and presentation skills.

Original Article:

6 Web Design Trends You Must Know for 2015 & 2016

Trends in web design come and go.

Who can forget the GIFs of the ‘90s, or the more up-to-date focus on flat design?

Recently, we’ve seen a surge in popularity of responsive web design, as more and more sites join the drive to become ‘mobile ready’ which is now even more important in the wake of Google’s Mobile Friendly update.

Let’s examine some of the most popular for this and the coming year.

1. The Proliferation of UI Patterns

One of the side effects of responsive design has meant that a lot of sites look similar. However, responsive design isn’t solely to blame. The rise of WordPress sites and the booming theme market also have a hand in it.

And some folks, such as Matthew Monbre, have copped to being guilty of following everyone else’s look with his company’s site.


Photo credit: Cypress North

But having a similar look isn’t necessarily a bad thing. That’s because we’ve changed the way we consume the web, which has resulted in a lot of common UI design patterns. Design patterns have matured and as such, there’s little in the way of innovation when it comes to UI patterns.

In other words, a checkout will still be a checkout and should function as such. Same with a login model. There’s no real reason to reinvent the wheel. UI patterns must guide users through a smooth experience.

Here’s a few patterns you should be familiar with:

    1. The hamburger menu: While some criticize this pattern’s use, there’s no doubt that it’s widespread use makes the function easily recognizable for users.


Photo credit:Silenza via awwwards

    1. Account registration: You’ll find this pattern whenever you try to register for a site. There might be a form to fill out or a button that’ll allow you to use a social account to sign up. Multi-step form wizards are also effective since they “chunk out” the required fields, reducing friction and encouraging users to flow through the process.


Photo credit Typeform

    1. Long scroll: Placing all your important elements above the fold is now a well-known myth. Furthermore, almost everyone is accustomed to long scrolls thanks to mobile devices. The technique works especially well for sites that want to lure users through storytelling, and you can still mimic a multi-page site by breaking the scroll into clear sections.


Photo credit: Vimeo

    1. Card Layouts: Pioneered by Pinterest, cards are everywhere on the web because they present information in bite-sized chunks perfect for scanning. Each card represents one unified concept. Since they act as “content containers”, their rectangular shape makes them easier to re-arrange for different device breakpoints.


Photo credit: TheNextWeb

  1. Hero images: Since vision is the strongest human sense, HD hero images are one of the fastest ways to grab a user’s attention. Thanks to advances in bandwidth and data compression, users won’t suffer from slow load times either. One common layout you’ll find is a hero image above the scroll, followed by either zig-zagging sections or a cards-based arrangement.


Photo credit: Maaemo

For more UI patterns and techniques, check out the free e-book Web Design Trends 2015 and 2016.

2. Rich Animations

Animations are being used more and more to enhance a site’s storytelling, making the experience more interactive and entertaining.

However, you can’t just stick animation in anywhere. Consider carefully whether it adds to your site’s story elements and personality. Animations can be thought of in terms of two groups:

  1. Large scale animations. These are used as a primary interaction tool have more impact on users and include effects like parallax scrolling and pop-up notifications.
  2. Small scale animations. These include spinners, hover tools and loading bars, and don’t require any user input.

We’ll describe 7 of the most popular animation techniques:

    • Loading animations

These are used to entertain users and delight users during an otherwise tedious experience. Loading animations tend to be popular for flat design, minimalism, portfolios and one-page sites.


Slack via Lauren Tan

Keep them simple and avoid adding sound. They should however match your site’s personality and color palette.

    • Navigation and menus (nonscrolling)

Hidden navigation menus have become increasingly popular, especially as they can be used to save screen space. As you can see in the example below created in the collaborative prototyping tool UXPin, these use animations to reveal a menu when clicking on a specific button and prevent a jarring transition (like a navigation drawer hidden behind a hamburger icon).

    • Hover animations

Hover effects give a more intuitive feel to a site as users mouse over content. Users unsure about a feature’s function tend to hover over them automatically for instant visual feedback.


Photo credit: Humaan

    • Galleries and slideshows

Galleries and slideshows are an effective way to showcase multiple images without overburdening the users. These are great for photography sites, product showcases, and portfolios.


Photo credit: Born Fighter via awwwards

    • Motion animation

Our eyes are naturally drawn to motion, which makes it the perfect tool for drawing a user’s attention. Motion can also help with visual hierarchy. This can help to add interest and intrigue to forms, CTAs and menu items.


Photo credit: Bugaboo via awwwards

    • Scrolling

Smooth scrolling relies on animation and gives further control to the user, who can determine the pace of how the animation unfolds.


Photo credit: Squarespace

    • Background animations/ videos

A simple animated background can add visibility to a site, but should be used in moderation or it can be very distracting to the user. The key is to work on individual sections or create a gentle movement of an entire image.


Photo credit: Dunckelfeld

3. Microinteractions

Microinteractions happen all around us, from turning off the alarm on your mobile phone to liking that cat picture on Facebook.

Each one done without a second thought. It’s likely that you started your day with a micro-interaction. By turning off the alarm on your mobile phone, you engaged with a user interface in a single moment. And more and more of these are baked into the apps and devices we use.


Photo credit: Slack

Micro-interactions tend to do, or help you do, several different things:

  1. Communicate a status or bit of feedback
  2. See the result of an action
  3. Help the user manipulate something

Micro-interactions are a vital part of any app.

As recommended in Web Design Trends 2015 and 2016, you’ll want to ensure that these interactions happen almost invisibly. Don’t go overboard and keep it simple. Consider each detail with care, and make each interaction feel human. That is make text conversational and not robotic.

Micro-interactions are an important part of almost every digital design project. You’ll be hard-pressed to design a website or mobile app that does not include some element, or moment, that a user needs to interact with.

Each of these interaction types lead users to a path of more human-centered design. This concept of making devices more human-like in their moments is a key to adoption and usability.

4. Material Design: A Richer Alternative to Flat Design

Last year, Google launched its new style language, Material Design. It uses shadow effects and the concepts of movement and depth in order to create designs that appear more realistic to the user.


Photo Credit: Google Now

The goal of Material Design is to create clean, modernistic design that focus on UX. While Google’s design aesthetic has detractors, it’s been mostly praised as a game-changer.

With its minimalistic look, Material Design has a lot in common with another growing trend — flat design. Material Design, however, makes use of depth and shadow, which allows for more depth than pure flat design.


Photo credit: Angular

Before now, we’ve seen the majority of Material Design projects limited to app design. Google however announced Material Design Lite in July, which is more suited to websites. Nevertheless, Material Design was intended to provide great UI and UX across devices. Lite uses vanilla CSS, HTML and JavaScript and is intended to make it simple to add the look and feel of Material Design to websites.

Material Design Lite doesn’t rely on any particular framework, so designers can use a wide variety of front-end tools to create their sites. It’s also lightweight when it comes to the code.

5. Responsive Design

Responsive web design has become incredibly popular in recent years thanks to the rise of mobile internet usage.


Photo credit: UXPin

It’s safe to say responsive design isn’t going anywhere soon, as it represents a relatively simple and cheap way for businesses to build a fully-functional mobile-friendly site. But responsive web design does come with some issues if not carried out properly, the most important being performance.

To ensure that a responsive performs at the peak of its ability, according to Guy’s Pod, designers should:

  1. Avoid using JavaScript and CSS image loading using the display:none tag. This still downloads the image to the device and adds unnecessary weight to a page.
  2. Use responsive images which are defined using a percentage.
  3. Use conditional loading for JavaScript as many of the JavaScript components used on a desktop site will not be used on smaller devices. Pay particular attention to third-party scripts such as those used for social sharing as these often impact negatively and reduce performance.
  4. Use RESS – Responsive and Server Side
  5. Apply performance testing into the process in order to effectively measure and optimize each site.

Performance is important not only to UX, but also to Google in the wake of the Mobile Friendly update which released in April 2015. Responsive web design is also highly compatible with minimalism, thanks to the necessity to keep page weight down. It’s also great to work with cards and responsive design as they can easily restructure in order to fit any breakpoint or screen size (like rearranging rectangular containers of content).


Photo credit: The Guardian

Responsive web design is becoming less of a trend and more of a best practice. And designers have come up with clever ways to get around any speed issues.

There’s no doubt that responsive design is highly useful and versatile, but it also should be lightning fast in order to deliver a great UX.

6. Flat Isn’t Going Away Anytime Soon

Flat design has been around for a while and is compatible with other trends such as minimalism, responsive web design and Material Design.


Photo credit: Beoplay via awwwards

Going forward, it’s likely that we’ll see the following further trends in flat design come to the forefront.

  • Long shadows. These bring more depth to flat designs.
  • Vibrant color schemes. Popular UI frameworks and templates have prompted many to begin using more vibrant colors in their designs.
  • Simple typography. Simple typefaces help to ensure that text remains legible and readable in flat design.
  • Ghost buttons. These allow for functionality without distracting from the UX and are often represented as outlined, clickable links that change when the user hovers over them.
  • Minimalism. Looks to cut down on the number of elements in order to create a fresh, uncluttered UI.

Additional Advice on Web Design Trends

Don’t follow trends just because they’re the “hip” thing to do at the moment. Trends represent popular techniques for good reason, but make sure it’s best for your users. For example, an e-commerce site certainly wouldn’t do well as a single-page infinite scrolling site.

Trends are nothing more than additional tools in your designer toolbox. Always pick the right ones for the job.

For more advice on the 10 most important web design trends, check out the free e-book Web Design Trends 2015 and 2016. You’ll learn from the best with analysis of 166 examples from companies like Google, Apple, Reebok, BMW, Intercom, Adidas, Dropbox, and many more.

Jerry Cao

By Jerry Cao

Jerry Cao is a UX content strategist at UXPin — the wireframing and prototyping app. For visual case studies of effective use of white space in web design, check out the free e-book The Zen of White Space in Web UI Design. 23 examples are analyzed from some of today’s hottest companies including Apple, Square, Lever, Wunderlist, and more.


Original Article Link: AWWWARDS

2016 Logo Design Trends Forecast

This article has been contributed by Chandra.

The art and science of logo design is continuously changing as businesses can now engage consumers in an increasing number of digital channels. The frequency of engagement is increasing at a rapid rate, while the quality of engagement has become more inclusive, more personal.

2016 Logo Design Trends

Considering everything else that is happening, the way in which business logos are designed is changing as well. The “rules” that worked before the turn of the century no longer count today. In fact, what has held true for the last five years no longer has the same authority. The art and science of logo design is changing as fast as the “opportunity to engage consumers” grows.  And again, this “opportunity,” is changing as fast as technology develops.

Fortunately, there are many people who have dedicated themselves to closely studying these changes, establishing patterns and forecasting trends in logo design. Bill Gardner of theLogoLounge (read the interview here) remains one of the most credible sources for such forecasts. His observant eye and attention to detail, as well as his innate “radar” to detect design approaches fast becoming “trends”, is what sets him apart from the other forecasters.

So what will logo design be like in coming months, or in the near future? Here are six logo design trends that are forecast to strong in 2016.

2016 Logo Design Forecast 1: Flat

Famous Flat Logos

Flat designs will continue to dominate and not because they look clean and forthright, but because they register well in any browsing device, especially due to SVG. They load a lot faster too. Patterns, textures, shadows, gradients will give way to simpler lines and colours. These register better in print or online, in black, grey or colour, and on any browsing device. Companies will lessen or simplify their design elements making them easily identifiable, almost iconic.

2016 Logo Design Forecast 2: Handmade

Handmade logos speak of honesty. They somehow convey an effort to be intimate or personal. This trend has been slowly gaining ground for several years now. It is not something new. A small sketch of an arrow, or one or two scribbled letters prominently combined with some other design elements have been evident in a growing number of company logos. Some look like “hybrids.” They’re the ones that don’t look “truly” handmade but they don’t feel digital either. Such designs suggest the idea of being handmade and yes, they also do seem to register the same charm, though not on the same level.

Handmade Logos

Handmade elements and font sets, or a suggestion of such, will be more evident in logo design as the year progresses. Bespoke font sets will be a valuable design asset.

It is important to emphasize that typography is no longer just the style of text you add to the design to spell out something. It is, and will always be, a great contributor to communicating the brand’s personality.

2016 Logo Design Forecast 3: Kinetic Logos

Dynamic logos, kinetic logos or logos that change-but-remain-the-same will find greater appeal. Perhaps because the style offers freshness, or it could be because the decision of what is attractive becomes even more personal, while the need to connect to as many people as possible becomes the priority.

Dynamic Logos

It has also become a great way of breaking down information and communicating it in “byte-sized” pieces.

Penguin Random House
City of Melbourne Logo Variations

This type of logo has the ability to make consumers unconsciously aware of the direction and diversification the company and brand is pursuing in real-time. The danger lies when the “kinetic” change does not “rhyme” with the core values the company has effectively communicated and has established for itself.

Think of the daily changes in the Google Doodle and you will get the idea of how this growing trend both fascinates the consumer and answers the need to present something fresh on a regular basis.

2016 Logo Design Forecast 4: Negative Space

Negative space will continue to amaze. A design is something you see first, but then it speaks to you and you understand what it is saying. That is what makes a design work. If it is able to convey more than this, and the consumer is able to pick up on a deeper message, it becomes much more special. This is why negative space will continue to lure many to explore its strengths.

Negative Space Logos

The ability to communicate “more” to the consumer without adding extra elements is a challenge to a designer. To the public, it’s a welcome visual “egg hunt.”

2016 Logo Design Forecast 5: Letterstacking

Letterstacking will continue to hold ground. This trend has been around for quite a while but is it not losing popularity. Perhaps it is because it draws in the consumer and challenges them to make sense out of it.

Letterstacking Logos

There’s a nagging suspicion that our tendency to break down things and discover how we can rearrange them better is not the reason for this continuing trend. It may be because it offers a creative solution for logo designers to be able to present long “text” in visual bytes. It offers them a creative way to break down long messages. Whatever the reason may be, the style seems to work and has gained a foothold in logo design.

2016 Logo Design Forecast 6: MonoLines

Thin Lines/Mono Weight will present itself as “the fresh, clean look”. This is the use of a line, unchanging in thickness, to design and compose the entire logo in something akin to “wire”. At first glance, this logo design style seems to run against the idea of “simplification” because of the “intricacy” of the execution.

Monoweight Logos

A deeper look, however, will result in an appreciation of its ability to present something clean, clear and outrightly “honest”, with a hint of craft (handmade). This makes it more in line with the above mentioned forecasts rather than against them.

Monoweight Logos

True, it offers so much, and yet, the clean thin lines do strike you with an “honesty” that is quite refreshing. It presents a welcome break from seeing so many gradients and colours in the last few months, if not years. The use of thin lines, or lines with a consistent thickness in mono scripts, mono icons and mono crests, is a lively progression of just how strong this design style has been growing over the past few years.

Trends for Toppings

Trends Topping

The frequent and more personal interaction between brands and their markets has resulted in greater challenges on the part of the companies behind them to continuously and effectively communicate their messages uniquely and creatively.

Changes in the design of logos are common. As the company grows, as its interests diversify, as its personality and values change, so too must its logo. It is for that purpose it was created – to visually communicate the company and its values.

Trends are like the sprinkles you put on top of an ice cream sundae. You already know how your ice cream will taste like because you picked the flavour. You can opt to add sprinkles. These will make it more exciting to the eye and probably add a bit of texture or crunch, but they will not change the flavor of your ice cream. If your ice cream is Vanilla, it will still taste of Vanilla. If it’s Rocky Road, it will still have the chocolate flavour and the nuts. Adding sprinkles on top does not change the ice cream. It will simply make consuming it a bit more “interesting”.

That is how it is with trends. They can add a touch of visual excitement, of freshness, or “now” in your logo. It must still have something to say. Something about the company that must ring true. Adding a trendy design element is like topping your ice cream with sprinkles. It simply won’t make a difference if you happen to choose a flavour you don’t like.  It’s the same with design trends. Adding something trendy to your logo will not help if your logo is poorly designed, if the message your logo must convey is not well communicated or understood, or simply and sadly, does not exist.

But wouldn’t it be great though, if you could have the perfect ice cream flavour and have everything on it?!

Chandra is a graphic designer and content writer at welogodesigner – a creative logo and graphic design team. Connect with him viaTwitter.reative logo and graphic design team.

Original Article Link: Just Creative

2015 Logo Design Trends & Inspiration

Logo Lounge for the past twelve years, have posted annual logo design trend reports and they have just released the 2015 logo design trends report. I would love to hear your thoughts on the showcased trends.

Do these identity / branding trends affect you or your process? Do you agree with these suggestions? Have you noticed any other trends?


On this topic of trends, one should not follow trends for the sake of following them. As Bill Gardner points out:

Every year, it’s worth noting that this is a report on trends, not a recipe book of styles. It is also not a finite list: There are other valid trends out there that are not mentioned here.

The report should serve you as an ongoing view of where logo design is headed. The word “trends” in itself can have a very negative cast, but in truth, trends aren’t bad. They reveal our growth. It’s our take on them that allows us to move even further forward.


Dot Tip Logo Trend


Contours Logo Trend


Concentrak Logo Trend


Sparkle Logo Trend


Pick-Up Sticks Logo Trend


Coloring Logo Trend


Circle Break Logo Trend


Trixelate Logo Trends


Photo Logo Trend


Rays Logo Trend


Naive Logo Trend


Coded Logo Trend


Chroma Coaster


Detailed Logo Trend


Shaded Logo Trend

Do these identity / branding trends effect you or your process? Do you agree with these suggestions? Have you noticed any other trends?’

© Artwork shown is copyright of their respective owners. Designer’s names & clients are below each logo. Original compilation by Bill Gardner.

Original Article Link: Just Creative