2018 promises to be a very exciting year for graphic design as concepts continually push boundaries. As with all art, influences come from every angle including politics, scientific advancements, sociological upheaval, and popular culture. 2018 will be anything but tame when it comes to visual representations across artistic mediums including t-shirt graphics.
The glitch effect is sizzling hot right now in graphic design. Distortion used to be something that a designer would avoid but an appetite to recreate the glitchy look of 80’s and 90’s VHS tapes has hit the graphic design world by storm. Maybe it’s the desire to celebrate imperfection or maybe it’s a fascination with all things retro. It could also stem from the world of video games and the explosion of eGame spectatorship. Whatever the root of this trend, we think it’s pretty cool if executed right. For t-shirt prints featuring this effect and almost every other design trend we’re outlining in this post, we recommend going for digital t-shirt printing all the way.
Deconstruction is a big part of design aesthetics being experimented with right now. Revealing what lies beneath the skin and breaking out components of a composition to incorporate surprise elements will be seen in full force. Tattered and ripped collage ensembles, paint splashes, the application of doodles or graffiti, or other layers that add interest and depth will be on display across all types of design.
Color channel manipulation is shifting the red, green, or blue channel of an image while leaving the composite channel intact. It can easily be done in Photoshop by making a copy of the original image then double clicking to access the channels and deselecting the R, G, or B channel then selecting all, choosing transform, alt and drag from one of the anchors. The artistry comes from choosing a photo that will translate well using this manipulation.
Double exposure will still be going strong in 2018 and who can doubt the powerful impact this graphic design style has on the viewer. Complex concepts can be translated into imagery using this sophisticated trend.
Duotone double exposure is a heady hybrid incorporated both color channel manipulation and double exposure to create dizzying effects. The effect is reproduced by combining two photos of the same subject or even combining a single subject with an animal.
Typography is just about as old of an art form as it comes. Making the written word in and of itself, art, is a trend that is still going strong in 2018. For this type of manipulation, making the typography style representative of the word it’s spelling out has high impact.
Cropped fonts continue to be intriguing this year requiring the viewer to do a double take to read the message. In minimalist design scenarios, the effect goes a long way to influence the message.
Negative space typography mixes background elements with the text while leaving lots of clean areas around the design to bring the focal point to the message.
Illustrations blended with photographs are going to elevate the look of photography and extend the horizons of how brands communicate concepts and products.
Hand drawn graphics will never really gone out of style but in 2018 rustic throwbacks to classic illustration will be making a big splash.
Geometric design continues in influence this year with bright colors and patterns particularly low poly designs like this colorful squid example.