Design Highlights of 2015

I wanted to do a highlight post about the design, products and experiences that stuck out to me this year, or that I came across this year. There are so many, but I narrowed it down to the five that I’ve noticed the most. 


1. Google’s new logo

What an update! Google ditched the san serif and went to the digital side. Being such an innovative and exciting company, their old logo was stuck in space and time. Now the google logo better reflects what Google does and who they are by it’s sleek, bright and minimal design, AND it’s animated feature.  Also, if the google doodle ever goes away, I will stage a protest!

If you want to read more about the new Google logo, check out Fast Company’s Article.

2. FitBit’s new design and partnering with Tory Burch

I got a Fitbit One in 2012 and used it for that entire year, so excited about how innovative it was. Then one day I forgot to move it from my pjs to my work clothes and I missed an entire day of steps. After that, I got a little relaxed about it and forgot it several days in a row, then it ended up in my nightstand drawer for 2 years! This year Caleb got the Fitbit Surge and my mom got the Flex, so I broke out my ole’ Fitbit One to get in on the daily challenges. The Surge, Flex and Charge are great. They are sleek, well designed, customizable and are easier to remember to put on. Now that Tory Burch partnered with the fitbit flex, to bring some bling and fashion, I think they are onto something.

3. Netflix’s new look

I will be honest, when they released the new logo, I was not very wow’d. It had an arch to it….great. But now that they have released the entire brand that goes along with that logo, I see the vision and am a believer. They have come up with a brand that works on a global scale. It works in print, social media, and digital, and it works on various scales. The Gretel team came up with three core cards that are called “the Stack”. Check out the article below, and the next time you sink into the couch to watch your show on netflix, look a little closer at the brand.

You can check out the Fast Company article or the agency’s case study about the new look.

4. Popularity of Hand Lettering

This year it’s become more and more apparent that hand lettering and calligraphy are making a huge comeback! I think they have been for awhile, but social media is now catching on. I am getting more and more of the impression that consumers no longer want the same mass-produced item that everyone else has, they want something uniquely theres, something that only they have, or something that they can customize to make their own. This is where hand lettering comes in. It brings personality, customization, and one-of-a-kind-ness back to design, products and brands. Take a look at the change between the before and after of the British Columbia Destination logo.

5. Spotify’s new Look

I didn’t have a big problem with the black and green of the original spotify logo. It was one of those designs that felt expected and done before, but because I loved the service so much, I ignored the colors and enjoyed my music. At SXSW, the design firm Collins launched the new identity and it was wildly successful. They have simplified the logo, and added color and effects. They now look as vibrant and colorful as the music they provide. 

Check out the Fast Company Article to read more.

Pantone Colors of the Year: 2016

Pantone has announced it’s color for 2016, and for the first time they are blending two colors (no they didn’t!?): Serenity and Rose Quartz. 

Being the first time to ever announce two colors, they are also using very soft colors, in contrast with the bold colors that were picked over the past several years.

So what does this mean for you?

You’ll probably be seeing more of these two colors and the combination of them in fashion, home decor, textiles and graphics. These colors are likely to set the stage for trends in 2016.

I also try to take the Pantone color of the year as a challenge (like learning a new word each day) to incorporate and play with a new color in my work, clothes and decor for the year.

Even though, a lot of the feedback about these colors is that they look a lot like a nursery/baby, I have seen more and more blending of blues and pinks lately, especially in home decor, and I’ve been really fond of what I’ve seen. I do think that in certain situations these color will be hard to combine and not look like a giant confused baby, but being careful and minimal with them can bring a nice peaceful and calm feeling. 

Here’s what Pantone had to say about the picking of the two colors:

“As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent. Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.

Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.”