Image credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com
Fashion and graphic design have always been closely linked. They're both visual expressions that communicate a message or style. In many cases, designers use fashion trends as inspiration, and fashion designers utilize graphic design in their branding and marketing efforts.
Colour of the Year
One significant way fashion influences graphic design is through colour trends. Every year, the Pantone Colour Institute announces the "Colour of the Year," which serves as a guide for designers in many fields, including fashion and graphic design. The colour of the year has a significant impact on design trends in both industries, and it often inspires designers to create new colour palettes that reflect the latest fashion trends. For instance, Colour of the Year for 2023 is Viva Magenta 18-750, Pantone explains it as “a bold and vibrant shade that will turn heads and make a statement. This electric hue is a powerful and energetic color that evokes feelings of excitement and passion and is sure to bring a touch of boldness to any project.” This colour has been seen in fashion collections, as well as in graphic design projects, where it is used to convey a sense of excitement and passion.
Image Credits left to right: Issey Miyake AW22, Blumarine AW22, Prabal Gurung SS23, all via Catwalkpictures.com
“Design and fashion are inherently connected; they are both about communicating an idea, a story, an emotion, or an identity." – Richard Wilde, Designer and Art Director
Another way in which fashion influences graphic design is through typography trends. Fashion brands often use typography in their logos and branding materials to convey a particular style or aesthetic. For example, luxury fashion brands often use serif fonts in their logos to convey a sense of sophistication and elegance, while streetwear brands often use bold, sans-serif fonts to convey a sense of energy and edginess. These typography trends often spill over into graphic design, where designers use similar fonts to create a particular mood or style. For example, a designer might use a serif font in a branding project to convey a sense of timelessness and elegance.
Image credit: Toa Heftiba via unsplash.com
Print & Pattern
Patterns and textures are another way fashion influences graphic design. Many fashion designers incorporate patterns and textures into their clothing designs, and these elements can also be used in graphic design to create items for retail – like bags, stationery, paper craft and many other products. Trends like geometric and floral styles are spotted by buyers at the large retailers, who will brief graphic designers to create items incorporating these trends as inspiration.
Patterns can also be used to create a cohesive brand image. For example, a brand that specialises in flowers might use a floral pattern design on their website and marketing materials. This creates a consistent brand image and helps to reinforce the brand's style and aesthetic.
Image credit: Savannah Wakefield via unsplash.com
Fashion and graphic design are closely intertwined and by staying up-to-date with the latest fashion trends, graphic designers can create designs that are both visually striking and on-trend, while also conveying a certain message or aesthetic to the audience.
About the Author
Gemma is a logo and branding designer at Emotion Brands and enjoys working across strategy and design. During her 20 year career she has worked with global brands, such as Davines, Secret Escapes, Wella Professionals and L'Oréal. She's constantly evolving her skills and enjoys taking a holistic approach to branding, with a particular interest in sustainability and eco print practices.
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