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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…

Pantone

PANTONE’S COLOURS OF 2016 – ROSE QUARTZ AND SERENITY. 

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.

BABBEY

BARKING ABBEY SCHOOL’S WEBSITE USES A HAMBURGER MENU TO GREAT EFFECT FOR NAVIGATION AROUND THEIR VERY MODERN SITE.

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.

Regent Farm

REGENT FARM FIRST SCHOOL’S PROSPECTUS USES A RANGE OF HANDRAWN STYLE FONTS FOR A FRIENDLY CARING FEEL.

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.

 Stowmarket

STOWMARKET HIGH SCHOOL’S WEBSITE USES LARGE PHOTOS TO CREATE IMPACT.

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 doinclude.

Barnton

BARNTON COMMUNITY NURSERY & PRIMARY SCHOOL’S HOMEPAGE ALL FITS ON ONE SCREEN SO YOU CAN IMMEDIATLEY SEE ALL THE IMPORTANT INFORMATION WITHOUT SCROLLING. 

What’s the trend? Material design
What is it? This is a design style for websites, which we’re being told is going to be the new flat design. Wait a minute - what’s flat design? Well, that’s a style, which uses flat colours, two-dimensional illustrations and crisp edges to give a clean look. Material design is different from flat design as it uses depth and shadow with movement to create designs that seem more realistic to the user.
Why follow the trend? Choosing material design helps to make your site modern, clean and provides great UI and UX across all devices.
Why avoid? It’s very Google. They developed it and have even come up with a set of guidelines for how to use it so you could end up stifling the creativity of your designer (best buy them some cake to cheer them up).


What’s the trend? Minimalist logos
What is it? Logos that have been simplified so no patterns, texture, shadows or gradients just clear lines and colours.
Why follow the trend? They’re easily identifiable and work well on screen and in print. Major brands such as Google and Gumtreehave gone through this process of modernising their identities why not your school too?
Why avoid? Check if your logo needs an update read ‘Your school needs a new logo – the five warning signs’ to find out.

Logos

GOOGLE AND GUMTREE ARE TWO LARGE BRANDS WHO HAVE SIMPLIFIED THEIR LOGOS.

The key to all these trends is to consider what will work best for your school and then select one or two that will update your marketing while still being on message – don’t just follow them for the sake of being on trend!

If you need any advice on how to update your marketing material, so you can stay ahead, then please contact our friendly team at FSE Design for lots of tips and advice.

 

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