As an artist and designer, I learned early on that creativity is subjective and that product trends won’t always resonate with everyone. Trends are much like this, either well loved or cautiously avoided, but you can’t discredit the impact trends have on us. Love them or hate them, let’s face it—understanding and identifying trends is decidedly important and relevant for brands that want to stay top of mind with customers.
I’ve always viewed trending product and design as a way to recognize moments in today’s ever-changing society, and I avidly follow top cultural producers and retail innovators–from industry “disruptors” to the easily accessible—to see what’s fresh and attracting attention. I’m thrilled to see that products in our promotional space are adopting retail trends and offering products that are elevating branded merchandise. Inspired by major retail trends, I’ve created the 2019 Trending Lookbook with product collections to help guide your promotions. So with that in mind, here are 4 key trends to infuse into your branded merchandise in 2019.
Product color has been a proven influence on consumer choice, affecting people on emotional, psychological, and even physical levels. Every year, color trends shift in ways that are dependent on relational associations and consumer desire, and these new color stories just continue to promote increased expression through branding and product. Embrace emotive natural hues with Spiced Sunset and Jungle Gems, punch up the vibrancy with Pantone Color of the Year’s Living Coral, or embrace the whimsy and sparkle of “Unicorn Vibes” with holographics and shine. Expect these new color collections to continue hitting the shelves and saturating the 2019 market.
Let your brand further connect to your stakeholders through emotional and tangible sensory experiences! The need to actually feel is real and more tactile properties are being incorporated into product design. From simple juxtapositions in texture to more overall use of luxury fabrics (i.e. leather and velvet), texture mix and play is on trend. Consumers are now able to touch the future with looks inspired by machinery (like die-cut, sandblasted, and artificial materials that mimic nature)… or peel back the plastic for a revival of time-defying classic textures like raised jacquards, velvet, and leather. We’re feeling this trend.
For a dose of the past, ride the nostalgia wave with vintage and classically tailored patterns that rely on miniature scale and micro-detail. The mini-pattern trend embraces attention to tiny detailing and revives classical small-scale prints (i.e. houndstooth, checks, and tartans) to create an all-over vintage chic look. A heritage of refined tailoring is being translated into modern product, and the historical purity of these time-tested patterns will be attractive to consumers who gravitate towards the nostalgia trend that has been prevalent in the last few years.
For a taste of the future, make way for products with multi-functional and hybridized features, as well as intuitive smart technology. With a consumer culture that fosters the relationship between humanity and technology as well as an increase in responsive multi-sensory experiences, these societal changes are leaving their mark on product design. As a result, products have become increasingly personalized and perfectly nuanced for each individual human experience.
We hope you are as inspired as we are by these contemporary trends and product selections. Branded products are much more than just a logo on a product; they are truly about making a poignant impact by giving away items that forever associate your brand with that warm fuzzy feeling (we call that Brand Love!). Here’s to 2019!