10 Design Trends That Will Shape 2018

Dan Hon


1. Augmented reality

Facebook’s VR and augmented reality projects have already been used in disaster areas.

Augmented (and mixed) reality will be a big hit in 2018 as nuclear war survivors look for any useful techniques to find water, food and medicine while on the move.

One to watch: Pokémon GO’s new “real weather” feature, will be invaluable when post-Attack winter comes.

2. Branding goes bold, simple

Clear, simple branding is expected to be a lifesaver this summer when survivor collectives will be on the look-out for Red Cross supply depots.

Consider a design refresh for easy recognizability for malnourished, radiation poisoned users.

3. Digital vs physical experiences

“San Junipero”, a digital respite experience that launched in 2016

When most of the physical world becomes poisonous to people, digital experiences will be all that humanity has left.

“Instagrammable moments” in the physical world will rapidly lose all value, so invest in creating DREs (Digital Respite Experiences) that will be attractive as coping mechanisms.

4. Redefining value

Digital currencies are expected to become worthless post-Attack

What value means to consumers and brands will change quickly as news of the first ICBM launches spreads.

Monetary and perceived brand value will flatline in favor of the necessities for survival. Digital cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin will become meaningless. Premium value may exist in items like potassium iodide, but potentially only to an elite, educated audience.

5. Braver Colors

Follow Dropbox’s lead and experiment with more vibrant colors in 2018.

Post-Attack, consumers will latch on to bold, timeless designs like the yellow/black radiation trefoil, the red cross and simple green for medicines.

6. Hyper Brand Distillation

Get simpler.

Silicon Valley’s elite are already on this with “raw water”, now expected to be the source of armed conflict by the tenth day after the Attack.

FMCG brands should begin preparing for their “raw water” scavengable equivalents.

Design brief: what is your brand’s equivalent of a survivor Mac & Cheese ready meal (home, health, heartiness, comfort) that can be assembled from scavenged material?

Be prepared: learn more about hyper brand distillation

7. The Hand-Drawn Trend Continues

Early hand-drawn aesthetic

With most digital infrastructure destroyed or rendered inoperative, hand-drawn design elements will come to the fore as a superior survivor wayfinding aesthetic.

Ignore “warchalking”, though: think simple, understandable iconography for terms like “river”, “shelter”, “no one home” or “do not enter, diseased”.

Wired: “Hobo” symbols

Be prepared: learn more about the hand-drawn trend

8. Accessiblity means inclusivity

After the Attack, brands will finally get the message that accessibility means inclusivity.

With hundreds of millions suffering from acute radiation syndrome, rapidly deteriorating dexterity and impaired cognition, accessible design will be the only way brands can capture a meaningful audience.

9. Storytelling Goes Back To Basics

Forget cinema-quality VR: literal campfire gatherings and oral storytelling will make a massive comeback in 2018.

As bands of survivors yearn for a reliable moment’s respite from an unceasing struggle for continued existence, those with masterful oral storytelling skills will find themselves in high demand.

Be prepared: learn about the magical beginning of mystery in oral storytelling

10. Brutalism

This is not a place of honor

No-one will ask for it, but it will be there anyway.

Be prepared: learn about why sending this message was important to us.

Dan Hon

Written by

Dan Hon

I come from the internet and I can type.

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