student-run marketing firm at Stephens College, Columbia, MO


Graphic Design Trends of 2018


As a student-run marketing firm we strive to provide our clients with professional-level materials that go above and beyond their expectations. Before beginning the design process on any project, thorough research in assessing the clients’ industry market and competitors is critical.

Trends, trends, trends! Just like the Fashion Industry, the Marketing and Graphic Design field features a new line of captivating trends yearly. With an ever-evolving industry, understanding and staying on top of current trends is a must, to provide our clients with designs that are fresh and current.

The following is a list of our favorite graphic design trends of 2018 along with examples of companies who have implemented the new wave of designs in addition to designs produced by Creative Ink members.


Gradient Effects

Emerging from the vault of retired graphic design trends, gradient effects, now commonly referred to as “Color Transitions” or “Flat 2.0” is making a strong comeback. This time around, designers are taking a more redefined modernized approach when it comes to creating this effect. By combining “flat designs” and bright, bold color palettes this newly redefined trend creates simple yet, eye-catching designs. The beauty of the gradient effect is its ability to bring depth into any design piece. Companies transitioning their way into this trend include Apple, Spotify, Pandora Radio, and Instagram.





Apple Advertisement                                                                                                         

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Stephanie LeBlanc, Stephens Film 2018


Bright Color Combinations

In a world filled with constant content and information, standing out from the crowd requires utilizing the right colors and combinations. With the rise in the re-design of the gradient effect, bright color combinations are making bold statements in both print and online materials. Drawing inspiration from the eye-popping colors of the 80s and early 90s, the bright color combination trend is here to stay.


Stephanie LeBlanc, Creative Ink 2018












Maddiel Lopez,


Creative/Experimental Typography

Thinking outside the lines of general typography is KEY when it comes to implementing “Creative/Experimental Typography” in graphic design materials. This trend merges design and type into one. Creating a unique visual experience for viewers. Not to mention this trend is a fantastic way to get your hands dirty and to push your creative juices.


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Stephanie LeBlanc, Creative Ink 2018


Into The Woods











Ella Shirk, Creative Ink 2018

Negative Space

Negative space in design can be defined as, “the empty or open space around an object that defines it.” Embracing the negative space in typography is a huge positive for the graphic design world this year. Suitable for both print and web, this design trend is a great way to elevate design materials by using the negative space as a way to draw in the viewers’ attention to focus on what matters most.












Brittany Stanfield, Harbinger 2018

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Ella Shirk, Creative Ink 2018

Photo/Illustrations Combinations

Drawing inspiration from the hand-drawn effect, this graphic design trend merges the digital and print world as one. Illustrations give design work a personalized touch while the photos keep things fresh and current. Other trends such as gradient effects, creative/experimental typography, bright color combinations, and negative space can be used in in this trend combo to elevate your design work.


Creative Ink Spring 2018      











Brittany Stanfield, Creative Ink 2018














Graphic Created by Brittany Stanfield 

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