15 Nov 2016
sell BrandingDesign
What design trends should your school follow?

As you re-visit your school’s marketing materials for the coming 12 months it’s worth considering what the current design trends are and how they can work for you. Here at FSE Design towers we’ve put together a list of trends, which are with us at the moment, as well as some up and coming ones, that we think will help bring added energy to your school’s designs. Read on to see what could work for you…

What’s the trend? Black and white photography

What is it? The use of black and white photos is being seen more in the wider world of advertising and design.

Why follow the trend? There’s something about a black and white photo that adds authenticity and power to an image. Depending on how you choose to use them, they can give a traditional academic tone or a modern fresh look to your designs. When used creatively they can really make colour and type pop from the page or screen.

Why avoid? They could give an impression of your school that is a bit too serious, for instance, if you’re a small friendly primary school you might prefer the warmth and brightness that colour photos offer. 

What’s the trend? Colours of 2016

What are they? Pantone have picked a pastel blue and pink as their colours for the year as they’re meant to be optimistic while being calm and stable. There is also a trend towards the colours of the eighties with rich bold colours.

Why follow the trend? Adding one of the ‘chosen’ colours of the year to work alongside your existing school colour can instantly add relevancy to your marketing material.

Why avoid? Pastels just don’t look right with your colour guidelines and the eighties bring on the flashbacks so let’s move on to the next trend…

What’s the trend? Hamburger menu

What is it? Surely it’s not a new dietary requirement for your school? Nope, it’s a symbol consisting of three (or more) parallel horizontal lines that you’ll have seen at the top of some websites.Simply click on it to see the menu for that site and to navigate to other pages.

Why follow the trend? The immediate bonus to the hamburger menu is that it works brilliantly on all devices whether it’s a mobile or your laptop. It’s also great for avoiding a sometimes-clunky navigation bar across your site and allowing more design possibilities for your other content.

Why avoid? Although increased use of the hamburger menu across the web means that it’s more easily recognisable for most users it could still be confusing to some less web-savvy users. At the end of the day, a traditional navigation bar is very clear and obvious for anyone logging on.

What’s the trend? Handwritten fonts

What is it? Typefaces that look like they’ve been drawn by hand.

Why follow the trend? Picking one of these for your school motto or as a secondary font to your main font can immediately give the impression of fun or energy.

Why avoid? This trend has been around for a while and might not fit in with the image you wish to portray of your school. Our designers are all font obsessed, so if you need any advice on choosing something different and don’t know where to begin, why not give us a call for some inspirational ideas or have a look at our What Font Infographic.

What’s the trend? Large background images or video

What is it? Big background photos or video on your website that take up the whole screen.

Why follow the trend? They help grab the user’s attention very quickly and they create a big impact.

Why avoid? If you’re images aren’t up to scratch this will draw attention to their faults rather than how amazing your school is.

What’s the trend? Loading animations

What is it? When you first enter your school’s site an animation introduces you to the school and the site.

Why follow the trend? It keeps users entertained while your site loads as well as giving a great introduction to your school with the possibility of showing some personality and added wow.

Why avoid? Needs to be interesting and not too long otherwise users might get bored or irritated with it.

What’s the trend? Long scroll vs. no-scroll

What is it? Two styles of websites that are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Long scroll are long home pages where there’s lots of information that you scroll to while no-scroll homepages require, er, no scrolling!

Why go long scroll? Thanks to mobile devices almost all users are now accustomed to long sites. They feel natural and easy to use while allowing you to have lots of interesting features on your home page without any clicks required.

Why go no-scroll? Creates great impact. Everything you want is right there straight away so no repetitive strain for your scrolling finger.

Why avoid? Long scroll can make your home page harder to scan to find information but,on the other hand, with a no-scroll you have to be very selective on what content you do include.