A few months ago, the very first edition of the FutureBrand Factory came to a close.
The idea behind this innovative initiative was to take our co-creation methodologies a step further and work hand-in-hand with design students to imagine the future, together. For the launch of this event that will be held every year, we teamed up with ECV, one of the top design schools in France, and their final year corporate design students. The objective? Redefine the future of urban mobility brands and services.
In just three weeks, a group of 40 students imagined and created 20 branded experiences that embody their idea of what mobility should be in the future. On top of the quality and professionalism of the work, the exercise provided key insight into the profile of tomorrow’s brands. Because with every new generation of designers, a new set of brand codes and design trends is born ...
If you look back to the 1980’s, you’ll remember the first designers from 'Generation X' (born between 1960 and 1980) and how they made the air-brush their tool of reference. Brand identities with acidulated colours and neon effects emerged from everywhere. Approaching the millennium, 'Generation Y' designers got to work on a new style using an innovative approach to logo designs with dynamic shapes and volumes.
With the FutureBrand Factory, we saw the last batch of designers from Gen Y at work. From the identities they created, we identified 4 underlying traits that will surely shape what we see from brand design in coming years.
1. Minimalism as a statement
Typography is sans serifs, shapes are kept simple and the graphical systems are stripped down to keep the result as minimalistic as possible. Simple, yet powerful.
2. Accessible design
Lower case and rounded type families are very strongly represented to portray brands that are close to their consumers and understand their way of living.
3. Experience is fundamental
Almost all of the projects were imagined as service brands rather than products. The general trend was to bring a new meaning to mobility by optimising the time we spend in transport or making it more interesting for commuters.
4. Digital first
Tightly linked to all previous points, the identities conceived by the designers of Gen. Y are digital! Simplified logotypes, avatars, RGB colour palettes and photography styles stand as the foundations of brand identities in the era of Instagram and Snapchat.
Minimal, accessible, experiential and digital: four key words we’ll need to remember because this is what the brands of the future will look like. When Gen Z hits the design scene we can easily bet on another digital leap being made in brand design. Printing issues play an important part in today's decisions for logo design and colour choices, and we still present work on mock-up business cards and printed documents such as leaflets.. But when brand design becomes a play area for Gen Z, won’t they just brush aside all of our old habits?