graphic designer

Cole Sikes, one of our designers, looks at upcoming trends in graphic design.

When it comes to graphic design, just like everything else, trends come and go. We sat down with one of our web designers, Cole Sikes, to get a feel for what he thinks is going to be the top trend of 2012 and what will last for years to come.

Cole (who shamelessly admits, “Frozen dinners are my friend”) is the creator of the gorgeous custom QR Codes we’ve provided recently for our clients. He is known for his clean, minimalistic designs. He draws his inspiration from modern architecture, visits more tha 30 design blogs daily and has a Pinterest account (though he’s quick to say it’s “too girly” for his masculine self). It’s the people he doesn’t even know who bring inspiration to his designs and guide him towards the next big thing.

Trends

In 2011, we saw designs trend towards grungy vintage. Elaborate designs with lots of texture and busy backgrounds became the status quo. Cole thinks people will break away from that and become more mechanical and futuristic. Free-flowing elements will be replaced with strong lines and harsh angles.

However, he adds that there is no definitive rule to follow when you sit down and start designing.

“The thing is, there’s so much out there right now that everyone has their own style,” Cole said. “There’s no rule of what you have to do.”

With this freedom comes a challenge, though. With all the different designs floating through the intricate spaces of the web, it becomes difficult to create original designs.

“There’s so much out there,” he said. “With anything you make, people can be like ‘Oh that looks like this logo or that looks like this website.’ There’s always something that’s going to look like something you’ve done. The key is staying true to yourself.”

So, what does he think will be the sustaining design style for 2012?

“The same style that has lasted through centuries–clean, simple stuff is what’s going to stay around,” he said.

“Some of the first designs by Paul Rand are all clean. Look at the IBM logo. It’s just IBM with lines running through it. The ABC logo is just ABC in a black circle. They’re real simple things, but that’s what people are still wanting.”

And for good reason. The logos he listed are designs that have withstood the test of time. When others have come and gone, they stuck around, stamping their iconic signatures in the design books. What do you think? Do you see futuristic design as the frontrunner for 2012? What about clean design? Let us know your thoughts on the styles that you think will make it to the history books.

Latest work

Here are some examples of Cole’s recent work with his comments about the design, concept and project.

One of Cole's favorite projects is the Pinnacle Energy Consulting website. 'My favorite part of the site is the detailed graphical elements that balance the clean minimalistic design of the site. Also, I enjoyed playing with the reflections of the graphics that gave the site more depth.' This logo from Pinnacle is one part of the design work Cole created. Click on the logo to see more of his designs for this client.

'Another project that I enjoyed designing was the Street Legal Concepts website. The reason I like this project is that it was the first time I had explored different techniques that were emerging within web design. Until recently, there were only about 10 fonts that a web designer could use. Now web designers have more than a hundred fonts to use for the web. This is the first site I was able to explore this new feature.'

Thanks Cole! We love your work.