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


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.



Want to discuss this with us further? Please feel free to email us on 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.