Depth. Real. Retro. Modern: Graphic Design Trends of 2018

“Visual contrast dominates the digital landscape and designers seek clarity and distinction, both subtle and bold in 2018.” -Jacob Cobb

In 2018 graphic design trends are infusing modern design with older and vintage design. It’s so weird that the ’80s, the era that I came into adulthood, is considered “old.” There are 10 graphic design trends dominating this year.

Depth is being added to flat design, pages are splitting, animation is becoming thoughtful, patterns are splashing backgrounds, there’s modern-retro illustration, isometric is back, 80’s and 90’s color palettes dominate, authentic photography is real, and oh, the shade of gradients!

As you explore these and other trends, stay mindful of your brand. Your creativity unfolds when you discover, incorporate, blend in, and/or mix trends that help communicate your brand. “Brand” is always first and the guiding factor in choosing design, not trends. Remember, you have the power to create trends. So, allow the 10 graphic design trends described below to inspire a refresh, another dimension, or expansion of your brand.

One important trend I hope you will adapt is making your logo responsive. Traditional websites are encountering critical usability issues with the rapid rise of mobile browsing across an endless assortment of devices and screen sizes. Responsive design has become an industry standard. So, why not your logo.

Please, comment below about how you are inspired to incorporate any of these trends. If you are a graphic designer or illustrator, please share your info in the comments.

Responsive Logos 

The modern logo has to work harder than ever before. Today’s logos have to work with a growing plethora of smart devices with varying screen sizes and resolutions. Often logos end up suffering within responsive website design. Many have not been designed with responsive frameworks and variable sizes in mind, and are just resized to fit whatever available space has been provided for them or not. (see responsive logo guide). image: Select examples from “Responsive Logos” via Joe Harris

Split Page Design

As an evolution of the now-stale hero image concept, split design juxtaposes contrasting elements for a striking effect that shows multiplicity. We embrace this fresh change for its great design and usefulness.

Isometric Design

Making a strong comeback, Isometric design, Isometric projection is a method for visually representing three-dimensional objects in two dimensions.

Intersecting Elements: Bold Typography & More Serifs

A version of bold typography that intersects with shapes and graphics giving a strong visual that plays with perspective and shows confidence. It’s a strong visual that plays with perspective and shows confidence.

Duotone & Double Exposure

The duotone look, a recent favorite across many design mediums, reached mass exposure via Spotify and their playlist images. Since duotone’s rise to prominence, further iterations that layer the effect with double exposure are being seen.

Retro-Modern Illustrations – Detailed Vintage

This trend combines the sleek lines of modern vectors with throw-back color palettes. Modern illustrations with retro-respect: the best of both worlds.

Creative Background Patterns

There’s a resurgence of patterned backgrounds. Think of it like the grown-up version of the tiled backgrounds you may have used to trick out your very first online profile. These are often whimsical icons or custom illustrations that take the design to a personal level.

Bright Gradients

A continuing trend that made a strong comeback in 2017 is now diversifying. Designers are having fun experimenting with gradient innovations using bright colors and a variety of textures.

Thoughtful Animations – Cinemagraphs & GIFs

Online animations have come a long way since banner ads circa 1999 that aggressively flashed “Click Me!” Animations can be thoughtful movements built with intention, created to delight and signal interaction. We’re big fans and hope they won’t become overdone.

Extra Depth (with semi-flat design)

Historically, depth has been a valuable tool for helping users determine visual hierarchy, input fields and calls to action on screen. Depth has proven that it can fit within the evolving ethos of flat design by improving usability and simplicity, both of which are core principles of flat design. Going forward you will see shadows become a staple of the “semi-flat” design movement.

80s & 90s Color Palettes & Patterns

Custom Graphics & Illustration

Whether they are whimsical, practical, or purely artistic, the demand for custom graphic art and illustrations will continue to grow in the new year. Custom imagery has always played a major role in print media. When it comes to digital media however (despite being a star player of Flash websites in the 2000’s), custom graphic art and illustration has taken a backseat to cheaper stock imagery alternatives for much of the last decade. |images: Noir Girl Magic™eBiz Travel work for hire completed by Rebekah Jenkins of Innovative Design Style

Authentic Photography

Authentic photography looks and feels real. Whether you’re working with custom photos or selecting stock, look for images that convey emotion, contain action or tell stories.

More info…

Jacob Cobb, Founder of Just™ Creative and Mila Jones Cann of 99 Designs are the sources for this article. Mila gives more in-depth analysis of design trends at


Japanese Designer Reinterprets Sportswear Classics

Japanese producer and designer Nigo has teamed up with adidas Originals on a new men’s clothing collection for autumn/winter 2014. Comprised of sportswear staples such as sweatpants, sweatshirts, track jackets and t-shirts, it sees adidas Originals’ signature trefoil branding mixed with Nigo’s bear head emblem. adidas Originals x Nigo Clothing: AW14 Collection…


MARKETING LESSON: Adidas made a strategic move in its efforts to make the brand relevant to new younger loyal audiences. Attractors: Anime * Hip Hop * Industry Influences – DJs * A New Line within the Classic Adidas Brand * Still Reflects the Adidas Brand – Clean, Simple


3 things that drew me to this article:


1. I had followed guys-fashion-deals on tumblr and was drawn in this morning by my love for classic Adidas.


2. "Nigo" – I saw the above design on a white tee on the blog and was curious about this name / word. I was hoping it wasn’t something derogatory. Well, I found out it was a Japanese designer who partnered with Adidas on a line. Now, I want to see the line and curious about how this partnership came about.


3. While considering to scoop this article for our IMPACC NOW magazine, I realized this is good opportunity to imprint our re-branding as your "Lifestyle Marketing Brand."


P.S. I love Adidas, but not as much a fan of anime, but I do understand Adidas choice and I think its brilliant!


#culture #fashion #generations #classic #timeless


From Cure for the Common Soul, here’s Hezekiah’s remix of CLASSIC feat. Kanye West, Nas, and KRS One



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13 Ways To Know If Your LinkedIn Summary Is A Winner Or A Snoozer

First impressions have gone digital. People are learning about you online before they ever shake your hand. Your LinkedIn summary has a huge impact on your success. Does yours make people want to get to know you or does it bore them to tears? Learn how to evaluate your summary by asking yourself these questions.


Aren’t you happy you saw this article?! Isn’t it good to get insight into how you are being perceived? The best aspect of this article is that it’s more than information, it’s an exercise to that will help you construct a winning resume summary which will not only help you on LinkedIn, but on any resume platform on and offline. contributor William Arruda advises, “This makes your virtual brand more important than ever. And it means you must be able to tell your story online in 3D, creating a dazzling, complete picture of who you are and what makes you great.

The best place to do this is in LinkedIn…Once they click on your LinkedIn page, your summary is the most prominent zone. It’s the ultimate place to showcase your story.”

Now go forth, LEARN and GROW and have a Phenomenal Day in the process!


Exclusive Savings: #STRATEGIC It’s strategic to do business with TaylorAdams Marketing via its Do Business Online Store. So use code STRATEGIC and save 15% when you check out on orders of only $25 or more!


commentary by Jacqueline Taylor-Adams, Business & Marketing Strategist with TaylorAdams Marketing & MgMt

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3 Super-Actionable Keyword Research Tips | SEJ

“Today, I just want to share three quick tips inspired by Larry Kim and Will Critchlow from Distilled great webinar revealing all their personal keyword research strategies. If you’re looking to accomplish something beyond just dumping a seed term into a keyword tool, these clever tricks should jump-start your next keyword research session.”


Don’t you love when you find articles with strategies, actions, and/or tools that you can immediately use or implement? Well, fall in love again! Elisa Gabbert of Search Engine Journal (SEJ) shares three actionable keyword research tips she discovered after attending Larry Kim and Will Critchlow’s webinar, “Everything You Need to Know About Keywords for Search Engine Success.”

Elisa has also shared the slideshare and recorded webinar. Read on, take action, then come back for more in-depth study.


A special thanks to Demodia – Inbound Marketing for sharing such great content on Google Plus. Commentary by Marketing Strategist, Jacqueline Taylor-Adams. Learn more about and network with Jacqueline on LinkedIn.

IAMPROFIT – TaylorAdams Marketing & MgMt has extended its online store special. Save 15% on your total purchase of $25 or more when you enter code IAMPROFIT!

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The 3Ps of Great Connected Marketing | Project Reconnect

As part of our work with the World Federation of Advertisers, we’ve been exploring the factors that define best practice marketing in today’s connected age.

Last month, we shared the marketing activities that the world’s top marketers believe are setting today’s gold standard, and what those particular brands do to succeed and stand out…


Must Read. If you feel you are engaging all the right marketing tactics, but are not generating the leads, conversions, and/or loyalty that you desire, then maybe your off your Ps.

What drew me in? “Connected” in the headline.  Beyond being digitally connected, many times one may not feel connected to the audience. Then, an entire mind shift happened when I read the words on the image, “WE NEED TO THINK OF PEOPLE AS PART OF OUR BRANDS, NOT AS OUR ‘CONSUMERS.”

Minakshi presents The 3Ps of Great Connected Marketing across Purpose, Principles, and Participation in a three minute read that goes in depth with a great SlideShare and video. Here’s some wisdom I that connected with me:

  • Making a profit isn’t compelling to anyone outside of your company
  • For your customers… products and services are simply a means to an end
  • As a result, our role as marketers isn’t to make better things; rather, it’s to make things better – to make valuable contributions to people’s lives
  • Top marketers consistently highlight traits like transparency, sincerity and integrity
  • In a ‘media’ environment that is increasingly dominated by user-controlled devices…something more interesting, compelling and valuable than your advert is only a quick finger movement away.
  • Above all, brands need to demonstrate empathy
  • We need to replace interruption with interaction.

Well, I’m pretty sure I’ve wet your appetite for details! So, go forth and learn. (imagine me doing Dr. Spok’s Romulan gesture! lol)


commentary by Marketing Strategist, Jacqueline Taylor-Adams

#breakingnews IAMPROFIT discount has been extended! Save 15% off your entire purchase* of great deals at the Do Business Online Store (they have just what you need to effectively do business online)

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Pinterest Secrets: Images that Receive the Best Engagement

There are some types of images that lead to more engagement, clicks, and purchases than others. Here are some Pinterest secrets for image sharing.


If you ever felt you were floating on Pinterest without a specific strategy than sharing gorgeous dynamic images, then this article by Annie Pilon on Small Business Trends will give you clear strategic direction in two minutes or less.

We all have a limited amount of time, funds, and energy to do business and manage our lives that’s why strategy and planning are so important. A strategic plans allows us to maximize our existing resources while achieving the best quality and outcomes for the least cost expending the least amount of energy. So, Annie, thank you for making our lives just a little more strategic!

Read complete article Pinterest Images that Receive the Best Engagement


commentary by Jacqueline Taylor-Adams, Marketing Strategist. Enjoy a complimentary 30 minute marketing consultation. Call 1 (877) 552-7012, ext. 1111 or email

P.S. SAVE 15% on your entire order* when you use code IAMPROFIT at our Do Business Online Store. Save Now thru Aug 31, 2015

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Lesson from @ElonMusk: The Power of Innovating Together

We have a not-so-secret mancrush on Elon Musk, so we all swooned when he announced that Tesla Motors had open-sourced its electric vehicle technology patents.


Wow, talk about on point. At the Urban Tech Fair, through the adversity of its Founder, Executive Producer Jim Neusom, we are emerging with a new level of commitment to produce, a new level of clarity, and are being gifted to collaborate with some of the greatest minds in tech who all have a loving commitment to raise the level of living in our communities.

This article reiterates four key points that have evolved and been discussed as the Urban Tech Fair collaborates to help develop what we collectively call The Ecosystem, an innovation and tech ecosystem within our community. 

  1. we truly have exceptional talent and innovators that exist in our communities; recognized and unsung, developed and under developed
  2. collaboration is key to our collective success – we have to stop being scared and distrustful of one another – betterment over profit, the profitability will come
  3. build solid businesses – you don’t bring a knife to a gun fight. we can’t expect to attract funding, investment and produce long term success if our businesses are not solid and thought through. at the same time we have the opportunity to build solid, profitable businesses via collective mentoring, support, and development
  4. go big or go home – Jim’s brain cancer survival reminds us that we have limited time, we have been brought into the company of one another on purpose for a purpose, and we must come together and produce

It’s been two and half years of gathering in the company of some of the best hearts, minds and innovators of our community and within the last three weeks we have had shaping conversations with

  • Scale Up America’s Co-Founder, Mike Green
  • Goddess of All Things Tech and Systematic, Technology Adoption Consultant and Advocate, Bonnie Sandy
  • Community and Small Business Strategist and Advocate, Lazone Grays, Jr., 
  • EduTech and Hines Media Group CEO, Jaymes Hines, and
  • Joseph Saulter, Musician, Actor, Video Game Designer, Co-founder of The Urban Video Game Academy, and CEO Entertainment Arts Research which is the first African American-owned 3D video-game development company in the United States. 
  • Check out our Give-A-Thon and SolutionCast pages to experience some of the wisdom and genius from our community including Cairo Qween, Shimon Warden, Jason Moore, Leo Sullivan, Curlen Phipps, Paul Jackson, Ty McDuffie , Jonathan Sinclair, and many more.

Our hope is after reading this commentary and the article above, you will be reinvigorated, motivated, will have gained knowledge and strategy, and then ask how you may help develop and shape The Ecosystem.


commentary by Jacqueline Taylor-Adams, Chairperson / CMO, Urban Tech Fair. To learn more about the Urban Tech Fair visit

See on Scoop.itURBAN TECH FAIR: Access . Education . Commerce

10 Reasons Why You Should Use Vine to Build Your Brand

Vine’s looping six-second videos can help marketers spread their messages across social media in innovative, powerful ways. Here are 10 reasons to use Vine for your next campaign.


“Vine is much more than a shiny, new social toy. It’s got a lot more going for it than novelty. Vine presents brands with an innovative, surprisingly powerful way to take advantage of the fact that visual content performs well on social media.”

  1. It’s Easy to Use
  2. It’s Quick to Digest
  3. It’s Spur of the Moment
  4. It’s Convenient
  5. It’s Instructional
  6. It’s Entertaining
  7. It’s Engaging
  8. It’s a Creative Medium
  9. It’s Promotional
  10. It’s Measurable

Read on for more detail and strategy. Please, take this opportunity if you are not on Vine, to register with Vine and run a test campaign. Please, come back and report your results.


commentary provided by Marketing Strategist Jacqueline Taylor-Adams

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RT @tayloradams4me: “Like a first date,

RT @tayloradams4me: “Like a first date, you need something more to talk about other than just your work.” -Jon Morrow. Marketing is like dating, you must provide a myriad of experiences to get someone to fall in love with you. You need to LISTEN to and ask questions of your audience. Find out what’s important to them and use that to create compelling experiences and content.