Apple laptop on a wooden desk with an image of salad on its screen.
We are an incredibly visually-oriented culture.

About 90% of the information that we retain is visual. Most of the media we consume, from television and YouTube to social media and billboards, is visual. When we see a colorful image, GIF or infographic between walls of text, we’re more likely to stop and check things out.

Ninety percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual

Source: IGW: The State of Infographics

If you want to attract attention to your business or a specific offer, having good graphic design is a must.

Let’s say you’ve just started a business and you’re building (or upgrading) your website. You know visitors will make a decision about your site quickly—often before reading a single word you’ve written.

One study shows that you only have about 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression. Moreover, most people’s initial opinions are decided by a site’s design, not its content.

Attractive visual design is key to retain viewers, and you want your design to be current since an outdated design will likely drive customers away. As such, keeping track of visual design trends should be a priority if you want to stay on top in your industry.

First, What Makes a Good Design?

There are a LOT of things to think about when it comes to graphic design. And being a talented artist doesn’t always translate into compelling, engaging visual designs for a website.

Thankfully, Hubspot breaks down several tips on good web design.

Simple and elegant website design viewed on laptop screen

  • Simplicity. Keep everything clean, choosing only a few important design elements. Most users come with a specific purpose in mind and a chaotic site is only going to make finding what they need more difficult.
  • Visual Hierarchy. Basically, how the information is presented on the page. The more important information should be towards the top so it’s easy-to-see. It’s also a good idea to give your main points or primary offers a unique design to help draw the eye.
  • Navigability. You don’t want users to get lost while moving around your site. Easy navigation makes the experience more enjoyable for visitors while encouraging them to view more content.
  • Mobile-Friendly Design. Many people are using their mobile devices to access everything online. This means that having a web design that looks squished together or that becomes hard to read and navigate on mobile devices reflects poorly on your site as a whole. Check to make sure your site is as appealing to mobile users as it is to others. Tip: you can quickly check if your site is mobile-friendly by loading it on your computer and reducing the size of the window. If your website shifts to accommodate the smaller window size, you’re mobile-friendly!
  • Good User Experience. Keep things simple and easy to use. Include interactive elements, such as infographics, GIFs and scroll-over effects, in suitable places. Make sure you’re keeping in mind how user-friendly your site is for new users who may not be familiar with the layout or information you provide.

Most importantly, you want your design choices to be tied to your brand identity.

If you’re a camping supply company, you might stick with primarily nature images. If your average customer is a 30-40 year old male, try to include that demographic in photos you use.

Combining the above tips with your brand identity will give you a design that is both visually appealing and uniquely your own.

What Trends in Visual Design Are Emerging in 2018?

All of the above elements make for a great design, but you’ll want to make sure you’re staying up-to-date on current trends.

There are a few major design trends you should know about in 2018:

Colorfully painted face with intense eyes

  • Color is a major part of graphic design. It affects the way we feel and think about a subject. Unsurprisingly, popular colors change depending on the times. So what’s the popular choice this year? Purple—specifically, ultra violet, or a purple closer to the shade of blue. Pantone labeled purple the ‘color of the year,’ since it represents imagination and innovation.
  • Typography is a great way to incorporate both text and visuals. One rather interesting trend in typography is variable fonts. Other popular trends include handwritten fonts and large, bold letters.
  • Images help draw the eye and break up long blocks of text, and there are a few image trends to keep an eye on through 2018. Adobe has noted an increased demand for images that display “silence and solitude.” In other words, we’re looking for images that allow us to break from our hectic everyday life. And Shutterstock has released trend data from their most searched-for images; some of the top examples are fantasy, space and new minimalism.

By keeping these 2018 visual design trends in mind, you can keep your web page relevant and engaging while highlighting your unique brand image.

Woman happily viewing attention-grabbing webpage on mobile device

Make Your Design Pop

Visual design plays a major role in attracting and keeping users. It’s what will give visitors their first impression about your site.

A good design will engage users; a current one will keep them.

Keep in mind the major trends, and you’ll perpetually be able to stand out in the crowd.