In our second article on predictions for 2016, we take a look at what our design and branding team have to say about what they think will be the major trends in the coming year.




Responsive first


“In time gone by websites would be designed primarily with the intention of being viewed on computer or laptop screens and then rendered down to fit mobiles afterwards. More and more however we have seen design change to adapt to consumer usage and consider responsive smartphone design first and larger screens second. The incorporation of flat design (an interface design that is particularly useful and effective across multiple devices) has therefore been extremely popular in recent times among web designers and developers, and I predict will continue to be so into 2016.


I predict that the responsive first emphasis will continue to play a part in determining the functionality, navigation and general look and feel of websites in 2016. An example of responsive first thinking would be the introduction of the burger icon taken from mobile and now used across tablets, laptops and desktops as well. Due to the use of smartphones day-to-day icons such as this become more and more a part of the digital vocabulary of the user and can therefore be placed in the design or navigation of a website without too much worry about user understanding.”


Media Rich


“I, like many designers, expected perhaps more of a movement towards media rich design than we have seen in 2015. This would include more video or image based backgrounds. As bandwidth increases however I expect to see more design that takes advantage of media such as this in 2016.”






“I expect brands to continue to attempt to connect with consumers on some level beyond simply what the brand is selling. Whatever the format or platform brands will want to display their human side and this will be reflected in their branding and design.”


We predicted this time last year in our blog Design trends for 2015 that as digital becomes more and more a part of our everyday lives (something that is inevitable if we are physically carrying around devices that can connect us instantly to the internet) it would become more influenced by the “real world” and vice versa. We therefore expected more human elements – specifically hand-drawn (or apparently hand drawn) design – to become more prevalent. This is no different as we head into 2016. We expect to see brands continue to attempt to connect with consumers on a human level whether this be via hand-drawn design, video content or high quality full page photography.




As we explained in our media predictions post for 2016 it is impossible (for good or for bad) to get away from the far reaching implications that smartphones have had on our lives and the culture in general in recent years. From a design and media perspective this not only influences the way we expect to receive information online but also the way in which we expect that information to be presented to us. As we explained in our media predictions article, the way in which we access online media has a huge impact on the kind of expectations we have for when we land at our destination page, platform or website, and this is no different to the way in which we expect this information to look visually.


It is fair to say that both our media and design prediction articles have been heavily biased towards digital, and more specifically smartphone, media. This is not necessarily because print media such as magazines and newspapers, radio, television or out of home advertising spaces will not be as prevalent as ever before (quite the contrary), but that – along with the huge quantity of media that is now being consumed online – digital really is shaping the way we view media both online, and across all these other areas too.


Whether it be accessing your favourite magazine or newspaper online rather than in print, or engaging with television shows via your smartphone, it is digital media that is shaping the way we interact with the world. While this is of course not a ground breaking statement, it is the way in which digital should be used to connect with consumers rather than simply using digital itself that brands must keep pace with.


As our design man Andy was keen to point out, “design trends mean nothing unless they are tailored to the individual brand or message”. Any design or branding project must think first how it communicates most effectively the identity, ideals and point of the brand.


If you want to find out more about our approach and guiding principles to Design & Branding why not get in touch with the office, or take a look over the Design and Branding section of our website. Our design team are very friendly and would love to talk to you about any design queries you may have.


By Team HS