3 huge design trends for 2015 you need to know

Get ahead of the crowd as FranklinTill rounds up last year's biggest trends and predicts the aesthetics that will shape 2015.

Each month, experienced London-based creative consultancy FranklinTill Studio curate the Trends section inside Computer Arts magazine. Here, co-founders Kate Franklin and Caroline Till look back on last year's most prominent visual aesthetics and predict the trends that will shape design in 2015…

2014 was the year with a fresh new attitude. It boldly moved away from the saturated 'heritage' aesthetic that's dominated graphics and branding over the last few years.

Like most movements in art and design, advancements in materials and tools go some way in defining the look of new movements, so 2014 was the year in which artwork created in the digital realm really came to the fore as an aesthetic statement in itself.

Digital surrealism

The Foundry’s painting and rendering tool Modo enables illustrators like Anny Wang to create stunning 3D artwork in 2014.

The current obsession with digital media, and the blurring of the physical and virtual fuelled a new surreal movement in 2014, 'digital surrealism' – digitally rendered imagery creating 3D effects for flat surfaces.

Artists such as Anny Wang skilfully mastered the intersection of the digital and the analogue by employing a combination of crafts and 3D technology to create mouthwatering, dreamlike, digital still life.

Gaming artwork

Take a dreamlike day trip to the antipodes of the mind with usTwo's virtual reality game Lands End, which has been specifically created for the Samsung Gear VR/Oculus Rift

With gaming apps proving to be popular for all genders and ages it was no surprise to see gaming aesthetics taking a new direction; more relax-em-up than shoot-em-up. The emergence of games like Lands End by usTwo shows that ethereal, digital dreamlike landscapes are now good enough for real-world application.

Generative design

For their debut collection, creative technologist Paul Ferragut and designer Ann-Kristin Abel of Convivial Project sampled a procedural algorithm known as Fractal Brownian Motion.

Generative design – that is, design created using generative software and computer algorithms – was hot for 2104. Design studios like Convivial Project began using generative technologies to customise patterns based on people's design preferences. Far from deadening creativity, technological innovation is now enabling self-expression and uniqueness.

Op art

New York-based artist Karan Singh is an op artist for the digital generation, who combines pattern and repetition to create spellbinding imagery.

1960s op art has been a huge influence over the past 12 months, the optical illusions naturally lending themselves to the digital realm, especially when bought to life through gifs and short animations.

So what can we look forward to in 2015? Here are our predicitions...

01. Print will be influenced by digital

We anticipate that work created within the digital realm will continue to inspire print.

02. Retro will evolve

Retro will still be a big influence, but rather than all things vintage from the '50s and '60s, influences will be taken from the '80s and '90s – think Windows 95, early computer graphics, bad taste and iconic brand motifs.

03. Space-inspired graphics

And with major sci-fi film launches, we also predict intergalactic space becoming a starting point for designers wanting to capture the awe of the cosmos.

Roll on 2015!

Words: FranklinTill

To stay one step ahead of all the latest design trends, don't miss FranklinTill's exclusive Trends report inside every issue of Computer Arts magazine.

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