DogHaus Design Co.
Handcrafted Branding and Creative from Austin, TX


A place for us to wax poetic about things that inspire us, make us feel more creative or are just plain cool. And probably a few dog pics too.

Design Trends 2017: What We're Watching

What can I say about 2016 that hasn’t already been said? Why look backward anyway? I like to tell our clients – Don’t look back unless you want to go that way. In that spirit, I’m looking forward to these design trends to make a big impact in 2017.


The “Less is more” approach has always been popular with designers. By allowing more white space, it is easier to draw attention to a focal point. Think about how much easier Where’s Waldo would be if it was only Waldo on the page. Google used many minimalist principles in it’s ‘material design’ guidelines, and giants like Apple and Nike have been using it for years. I predict, and hope, to see these trends continue into 2017 and beyond and designers push the boundaries on what minimalist design can be.

Bold Photography/Sleek Type

As attention spans get shorter, and we consume media in smaller increments, It’s no wonder the Bold Photography/Sleek Type trend is taking over. By design, it’s short, to-the-point and attention getting, makes it perfect for applications like social media and display ads, where space is precious and getting your message across quickly is paramount. It's not for every brand, but if it fits, it can be very effective. 


Flat design might still be king, but I, for one, am glad to see gradients coming back in a big way, affording some subtle depth in a flat world. Popular in image overlay effects, or as stand-alone backgrounds, designers have made good use of an old technique by popularizing brighter colors and smoother transitions. While more suitable for web based applications, modern printing has made gradients easier to implement in print formats as well. 

Custom Illustration & Photography

As companies continue to adopt a brand first mentality, reliance on stock imagery should start to wane. Stock imagery has, and always will have, a place in design, but nothing will replace the impact custom imagery can do for your brand. There is a misconception that custom illustrations and photography are too expensive, and while the initial costs can be high, considering the longevity of the imagery, the amount of different images you get and the fact that they are the exact image you need, over time, the cost can actually be less expensive per image than stock.

“Heavy” & “Bright” Colors

We saw a reassurgence of “brighter colors in 2016, and I think that trend will continue with an emphasis on “heavy” colors. What does that mean? It means heavily saturated and true to life colors. Pantone has set the scene by proclaiming Greenery as the pantone color of the year for 2017. Signifying hope and a return to nature, expect to see more color inspired, or directly sampled, from nature itself.

Trends Come and Go

A lot of these trends have their roots in early 2016 and continue to be popular today. But these too will change. We never recommend following trends just for the sake of being trendy. It can be an expensive and brand damaging undertaking to try to do so. Most of the time trends don't lend themselves well to your brand, project or audience. So before jumping on trend or thinking your brand is looking stale, talk to a professional and take a deeper look at what might make the most sense for you.

Contact us for a free consultation today and let's talk about if any of these trends can help you reach your goals and rise your brand above the competition.