One of the hottest design trends predicted for 2019 is 3D design. As 3D design software becomes more accessible and acceptance and demand for augmented reality increases, 3D design looks to be more than yet another trend.

What this means for your marketing efforts

Adobe Dimension gives creative agencies, marketers and businesses, another toy to play with. To dream bigger and visualise ideas once too costly to mockup to get stakeholders excited. Whether adding life to designs or developing new ways brands communicate. In the grand scheme of things, it opens fresh and exciting ways for you to tell a story.

Mockup in 3D to visualise prototypes

 

3D typography for your brand

The strength of 3D design in storytelling is all the more apparent when developing ad campaigns. 3D typography isn’t the newest kid on the block. But take a moment to imagine: The headlines of your next big campaign, composed of abstract 3D-rendered shapes and objects.

Seamless design and copy with 3d typography

Give new meaning to your visuals as it works seamlessly with copy. This, combined with another 2019 trend of bold and loud colours, has the potential to make designs not only pop off the page or screen but adds a level of depth that you’ll want to reach out and touch.

Make your customers’ experience 3D

3D design opens up new avenues to explore when it comes to expressing your brand’s identity and development. Fancy your very own cinematic splash screen? Combine 3D with animation, and you have an animated logo. Specifically, a 3D one that lets your brand express its unique personality. Need another reason to hop on the 3D bandwagon? The hottest social media platforms are exploring 3D formats. Remember that 3D post that had you staring at your phone, spinning around on the spot?

Bridge experiences through multiple touch points

Take it a step further and throw augmented reality into the mix. With tech giants Facebook, Google and Apple developing their own AR Kits, you can now integrate 3D design, both static and animated, across channels. Give customers a seamless journey from digital to print and even on-ground. Want to see it in action? Download Artivive and check out our logo through the app. See first-hand how the many tools at your disposal can be combined to create differentiated experiences.

Compose scenes dreamed up entirely in 3D

With powerful new tools in our toolkit, creatives can dream up compositions rendered entirely in 3D. The tools give us more control during the design process, allowing us to manipulate angles, lighting and placement. Now we can get the perfect shot without having a photoshoot. For startups and small businesses, this could be what you need to produce your next product shot of a prototype to get stakeholders onboard with a new idea. No physical product or prototype yet? Don’t fret. 3D design is the solution you need.

Render 3D kiosks to see them before production

It’s easy to get carried away with all these shiny new toys at our disposal. While they give us new ways to bring your story to life, your story is what engages your consumers. Whatever story your brand wants to tell, add a new dimension to it.

Productive Daydreaming

Zoning out. Flights of fancy. Admit it, you’re guilty of daydreaming at work at one point or another. With tight deadlines always looming, daydreaming implies procrastination, and procrastination means inefficiency. Hence the guilt because inefficiency = bad. But what if I tell you that not all daydreaming is bad? What if you can hack into your staring-blankly-into-space sessions, and daydream DELIBERATELY to leverage on the freedom and creativity of a wandering mind?

Sounds good? Here are 5 steps to help you take your mind for a walk to daydream creatively and productively. Because after all, creativity isn’t always available on tap, it’s more like rain.

 

Setting a schedule to plan your daydreaming session seems counter-intuitive. But even the craziest, most creative of ad campaigns have had tons of planning behind it. A method to the madness if you will. You can also think of this as preparation for your brain into flipping that conscious switch to tune out the noise. Which in turn allows you to more effectively turn your attention inward.

 

Feed your mind

This should come after setting aside time and planning to daydream. You need to take in a project brief, inspiration and other stimulus beforehand, then clear your mind and allow it to settle and ferment. And the richer the sources of inspiration, the better the brew. It can be that really cool animated digital campaign you’ve seen recently, a truly immersive brand experience you enjoyed or even something as random as an R&B playlist that particularly inspired you. Let them all sit and age within your mind first, like aging whiskey. Then when it’s time to daydream, crack the cask and take a swig of that heady brew to let inspiration flow.

 

Sit on the ceramic throne

It doesn’t have to be an actual physical space, though it might help for some. Find a place where you wouldn’t be disturbed in your office building. Take a walk. I’ve heard of some who swear their best ideas come to them while they’re sitting on the ceramic throne. Go ahead, take a crap at it, the point is to take yourself out of your usual physical space for you to mentally space out.

 

Hands busy, mind free

Engage in activity like free writing, doodling or even colouring. Designers generally go through reams and reams of sketching pads just to arrive to a handful of workable logo designs! You’ll also find inspiration always strikes (most of the time anyway) when you’re doing something completely unrelated. Which then makes that pen or colouring pencil you have on hand extremely, well, handy. Perfect to jot down or sketch out that creative idea. If nothing else, studies like this one published by University of California, Santa Barbara’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences – suggest that engaging in such activities while daydreaming improves creative ability.

 

Chill

It is interesting to note that while modern society places a premium on creativity, we are actually hard wired to hate our own creativity. So to make our daydreaming session more creative and productive, we must turn off our inner critic. Or at the very least acknowledge it. This way when we find ourselves cringing at a crazy idea we might’ve had and shutting it down, we can go past it and truly let our minds wander.

There are many other ways to take advantage of daydreaming, so let these serve as a launchpad. At antics@play, we have brown bag sessions and creativity days to shake things up and to expand on our stock of brain fertiliser. Build on this with personal hacks that work for you to propel yourself into a creative and freer mindspace. And, to borrow from Captain Kirk, boldly go where no mind has gone before!

Apple vs Braun

Ask anyone and chances are they have not heard of Dieter Rams. But as one of the most influential designers of the modern age, everyone at some point has owned or, at the very least, used a product he had inspired or designed. In fact, it is quite likely that the device you’re using right now to read this article was designed with Dieter Rams’ principles of good design in mind.

As the chief design officer for Braun for almost 34 years, Dieter Rams’s austere and honest approach to design and his ethos “less but better” birthed a timeless line of products. Characterised by its functional form and user friendliness, his creations continue to inspire designers well into the digital age. A notable example of Rams’s legacy is no less than Apple’s own creative genius, Jony Ive.

Apple vs Braun

 

So what? I’m neither an architect nor an industrial designer

Well, Rams’s design process had led him to formulate his 10 principles of good design; and even though it is heavily based on his background as an architect and product designer, it is the thinking behind the process that transcends design disciplines. Be it web design, branding or advertising, these principles only stand to enrich and inspire the whole design process. And in Dieter Rams’s own words, “Design is in the first instance a thinking process”.

In the dynamic and ever-changing landscape of marketing and design agencies in Singapore today, creativity is in high demand and design thinking, a prized skill. Knowing these principles and applying them to logo design, UI/UX design or even a marketing campaign, can give it that extra “oomph” and make it stand out.

10 design principles:

1. Good design is innovative
Innovative design typically develops in tandem with technology. But while technological advances provide new avenues for creative expression, it should also serve to enrich the brand meaning and customer experience. And this applies not just to software or prototyping tools; innovations can happen outside the realm of digital marketing too. So in practice you should always be aware of advancements in your own fields, for who knows: Perhaps that new printing method could very well make the difference between a good experience and a great one.

Edible Ink

 

2.  Good design makes a product useful
A product’s design should not distract from its intended use. How you can apply this principle is by asking yourself, “Does adding extra elements to the design add to its usefulness or distract from it?” or “Is my core message being overwhelmed and drowned by useless fluff?”. So cut out the noise, and focus on what’s really important: Its utility.

Clean Layout

 

3. Good design is aesthetic
Yes, I know, I know, this is pretty self-explanatory. But let’s take this further, shall we? The aesthetic of a product or design ensures its use because people by nature want to surround themselves with beauty as it gives them a sense of well being. So not only should your design look good, more importantly, it should make the user feel good.

Flatlay Pretty Stuff

 

4. Good design makes a product understandable
Good design does not speak for itself. Rather, it employs the user’s intuition to clearly express its function. This is especially critical in designing UX. For example, if a common gesture is used for navigation like “swipe left” or “pinch to zoom”, incorporating these human-to-interface behaviours in your design will make the user’s navigation not only smoother but intuitive as well.

No Power Button

 

5. Good design is unobtrusive
Products exist to fulfill a purpose. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. How you can apply this outside the realm of product design is to make sure you keep the end user or target audience’s needs in mind. Whatever you design or communicate should fulfill that need and should always relate to them.

Fans

 

6. Good design is honest
Good design does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. In the age of clickbait, fake news and responsibility in advertising, this is more timely than ever. When you design or create content, you must make sure to carry through with what the brand or campaign promises. In other words, build it on authenticity, and be ready to back it up.

Life Changing Banner

 

7. Good design is long lasting
Good design avoids being fashionable, and as a result never appears antiquated. This is especially true when a branding agency develops brands. It is definitely better to create something that lasts rather than something trendy but will look outdated in a year.

Trendy vs Timeless

 

8. Good design is thorough to the last detail
Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. In branding and even in communications in general, each touchpoint or element within a strategy should be backed by meaning and contribute to enriching the whole brand experience. Test each touchpoint by asking the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How questions.

Devil in the details

 

9. Good design is environmentally friendly
Climate change makes this more important than ever. But aside from asking the obvious questions such as, “Is my packaging design environmentally conscious?”, you could also keep this in mind when strategising and determining how a brand, campaign or product is perceived by a target audience that is growing more and more environmentally conscious and demanding more from brands.

Less is Better

 

10. Good design is as little design as possible
Focus on the essential aspects – less, but better. In a world where design is a buzzword and everything is “design”, one way you can ensure your work stands out from other creative agencies is by coming back to the purity and simplicity of form and function. And in the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, “Perfection is achieved not when there’s nothing more to add, but when there’s nothing left to take away”.

Let's Play

 

So there you have it, 10 principles of good design according to one of the most influential designers of our era. And though it may seem counter-productive in this fast-paced consumer society, let’s try to remember, a little less designing, a little more thinking.