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The ultimate guide to design trends

Love them or hate them, design trends are an international phenomenon that can spread incredibly quickly, and can be hugely influential on style and creative practice across the board. Whether you choose to follow them or avoid them is up to you.

Some are small, and relatively short-lived; others evolve into major global design movements that span many disciplines. Some of the biggest design movements of the 20th century, lasted years or even decades; others are still relevant now.

Global design movements

Significant design movements of this millennium so far include embracing failure; striving for authenticity; paring things back to basics; the DIY 'hacker' economy; the blend between physical and digital worlds; and the rise of experience culture.

Of course, some of these have become design trend buzzwords and designers are all-too-often jumping on the bandwagon without fully understanding their significance, or applying them to their own unique practice.

Read on for our essential guide to the biggest design trends of the moment. We will continue to add to this post with up-to-date examples.

Nick Carson
Nick Carson is a content strategist and copywriter, and former editor of Computer Arts. He is also chair of judges for the Brand Impact Awards.