It’s always important to acknowledge design trends when working with your graphic designer to create your marketing materials. Let me repeat, acknowledge. I’m not telling you to copy other designs, but you should be aware of what successful brands are doing to showcase their products.

It’s essential for your company’s image to be current with design trends so that you always appear fresh and new. Even if you’re selling the same, great product you were ten years ago, your customers don’t want to buy a product that looks dated. If you keep up with popular design, you’ll always remain relevant to your target audience.

Don’t go jumping on every trend-wagon either. It’s also important to understand the difference between an overdone fad and a long-lasting, popular design style.


This week’s design trend has emerged out of the “flat design” craze that’s been prevalent the past few years. While flat design is still quite prominent, dramatic gradients are becoming more popular in app development, web design, and packaging. Gradients are showing up as the updated and better option for these categories because they’re eye-catching yet extremely simple. And let’s be honest — Apple is doing it — so it must be good.

Gradient Trend in AppsWorld design on Adorn Design Co.'s Blog

The AppsWorld wordpress theme from CodexCoder is designed to be a landing page for an app, and beautifully aligns with the current gradient trend. I love the color combination of the deep purple hue and mid-toned blue. The web developer also gets an A+ in design for carrying the colorful gradient through to the icons.

Gradient Trend Spotted in Urban Outfitter Branding on Adorn Design Co.'s Blog

This design is from one of Urban Outfitters’ email campaigns. I love how the blue fades to pink, following the true dramatic style at the top, but is also separated by a hard line toward the bottom. The background colors match the clothing and accessories perfectly to really show off the products, which makes this an even prettier compilation.

Gradient design trend from Virgin American on Adorn Design Co.'s Blog

I’m also very impressed with Virgin America’s ad campaign that’s currently running on Spotify. It has a modern take on the classic airplane-in-the-sky photo that appeals to a younger audience. The white and red Virgin America plane really pops on top of the colorful gradient that’s applied over the clouds and sky.

Geometric Crystal Advent Calendar with Gradient Trend from Mr. Printables on Adorn Design Co.'s Blog

If you’re anything like me, Christmas can’t exist without an advent calendar. The Icy Crystal Advent Calendar from Mr. Printables is perfect for celebrating the season and is cool year-round. The subtle color change coming from the tip of each crystal is absolutely lovely and on-trend.

Gradient type trend from Cocorrina on Adorn Design Co. Blog

This design from CoCorrina’s blog post on the Freelance Life depicts gradients in a different type of light — typography. Instead of using a dramatic gradient as a background, CoCorrina created a gorgeous gradient to display large type in a black and white image at the top of her blog post.

Creative Calendar from Jonathan Davies Designed with Gradients from Adorn Design Co.'s Blog

Creative Calendar from Jonathan Davies Designed with Gradients from Adorn Design Co.'s Blog

My first love will always be print design (okay, maybe my first love is actually drawing). However, this creative, folding calendar by Jonathan Davies is an inspiration and perfectly depicts the seasons through gradient color on paper. Thumbs up for this design, Jonathan Davies.
Gradient Trend on InvisionApp from Adorn Design Co. Blog

Here’s a gorgeous prototype for an app interface from the team at InVision. I like how the developer uses a strong, dramatic gradient for the mail icon on top of a flat background. This Sign In page melds the flat design trend with a more updated look.

Design Trend: Dramatic Gradients from Adorn Design Co. Blog

Lastly — and also pictured at the top of this blog post — is an annual report by Albert Ibanyez. He uses a dramatic gradient as the only decoration on the covers for his client Can Xalant. The gradients, paired with simple typography, really make this annual report stand out from the competition.


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Emily Milligan, Creative Director & Owner of Adorn Design Co. Blog Signature