Bold and minimal are two sides of the coin. While different, they are both emerging trends in design for 2017.
Heads versus tails
On one hand, bold, bright colors are making a splash in the advertising world. In the employee communication world, these pops of color can make communication materials more playful and exciting, reducing the daunting feeling that many employees get when faced with understanding complicated information.
Pantone’s color of the year confirmed this trend. A bold color in itself, we’ll be seeing more of it and it will continue to influence design throughout the year.
On the flip side, minimalism continues to be a popular platform for design. Brands such as Apple and Google are focusing on simpler designs. At times, employees can feel overwhelmed with the information being communicated to them, especially with unfamiliar topics. Going with the “less is more” route by creating white space and letting infographics, charts and tables take the place of words can help employees pay attention and feel less stressed when trying to make the best benefits decisions for themselves and their families.
A lot of companies, such as Kodak, Spotify and Instagram are integrating bold and minimalistic styles into logos. The use of bold colors with simple lines is prevalent among companies targeting a younger demographic. Employee communication pieces often reflect this trend by using bold colors to capture the attention of the employee, while utilizing a minimalistic design to communicate employee benefits information.
The big picture
Boldness will also be conveyed through photography. According to Graphic Stock, companies that embody adventure and activity often use bold photography to communicate key messages. Bold photography “works well for an audience with a short attention span as it gets straight to the point.”
Employee communication materials often work with this trend. A benefits enrollment postcard with a strong photo and minimal copy can effectively inform employees about open enrollment dates. A unique hero image on a benefits enrollment website can capture an employee’s attention and invite them to explore the site. These are just two of many examples in which statement photography can make an impact in how employee information is received.
Not only will the bold theme pop up with color and photography, but we’ll also see more daring, dramatic fonts. A strong font grabs the eye and helps the information flow. For example, when creating a benefits enrollment guide, playful, whimsical fonts or bold, blocky fonts can be used as headlines and sub-headlines to guide the reader through the information.
Negative is positive
When it comes to minimalism, using negative space is a great design tactic. Design School notes that “used strategically, negative space can be a clever way to add deeper or double meaning to your designs, particularly for logo and branding projects. Or it can simply help give your composition a more minimal look.” This is a positive movement for employee communication. When employees open a mailer or go to their company’s benefits website, they don’t want to see a lot of text. If they do, they tend to turn away and not read all of the information. By using negative space, the information can be broken into smaller bits and pieces to keep the employee engaged.