An Art Director’s take on design trends – and the importance of good branding | The Giles Agency

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Trends come, go, and often come back around again in all sectors – including design. It’s always fascinating to unpick the trends we see in incoming client requests, to gauge what’s hot and what’s not at any given moment, and get a feeling for what might crop up next.

At the moment, both digital and printed newsletters are becoming increasingly popular – we have both one-off pitches and regular client work coming from this area. We may work on these relatively often, but each one is unique. For each brief I adapt the newsletter to the branding of the specific client, create a concise, clear, on-trend layout that fits their tone, personality, image and needs, and ensure that each one is professional and ready to send.

 

 

Newsletters themselves – printed, emailed, distributed via social media – are a great bit of comms. A good newsletter allows companies to send news, offers, and other messages directly to their clients, adds value to the reader, and improves the professional reputation of the company itself. It’s a cost-effective, customisable, controllable way to communicate with your target market.

One example of a successful newsletter in Hong Kong is Metropop, which will be a familiar sight for anyone who lives in Hong Kong. This is a bulletin-style news update that’s available for free every Thursday on the MTR.

We’re also seeing more Hong Kong requests for app design and content surrounding interactive exhibitions – one example of such an exhibition is the one currently viewable at PMQ (Central) – and trends are shifting from print to digital (but that doesn’t mean print is dead – far from it!).

However, the type of work I like best is branding – branding and packaging are both loves of mine. A brand could be a name, term, symbol, or any other feature that distinguishes one seller’s goods or services from those of others. For me, branding is everything. You can see branding in a fork in an elegant cake shop, or the signage in a shopping mall. Good branding design can make you feel connected – it creates a connection between client and company.

Likewise, packaging design brings similar benefits. It brings fun and joy to the user, helps a product to stand out from the market and attract more sales, and adds to a company’s reputation (as shown in the example below).

 

 

 

From my perspective, it’s very creative work, and applies to physical things we can feel, touch, experience – it’s tactile, and its structure and aesthetic can change entirely depending on the design. Sometimes it also offers the opportunity to work on more than one product, and design a cohesive range. Branding and packaging design is a large part of what draws people to their favourite or nostalgic products, and can be an incredibly powerful form of design.

 

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Want to discuss this with us further? Please feel free to email us on enquiries.hk@gilesagency.com for any enquiries or queries you may have – or if you’d like to work together. You can sign up to our free monthly newsletter here.