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Tell us the next trend in design. It doesn’t have to be about typography—-like a prediction that Scala will replace Mrs. Eaves in popularity. You can even hate this new trend. Make it a movement, look, wave, style, -ism, media, client base, or firm. State your claim and tell us why this will happen. The trend should come to fruition in 2004 and last until 2005.

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PUBLISHED ON Dec.15.2003 BY Jason A. Tselentis
ian’s comment is:

all the fashion trends i happen to think are exploitative (or ironic, which is just another kind of exploitation) will simply melt away.

no more trucker chic, no more heroin chic, no more urban chic, no more extremely pointed shoes, no more leather or fur...

i think i'm honestly satisfied that trucker chic is actually on it's way out. not fast enough that i never spotted a kid at a club in a trucker hat, beat-up jean jacket and an ascot and cigarette in cigarette holder. but nonetheless.

forgive for the silly post, armin and friends, its finals, i am 5 pages away from finishing my second to last paper and 36.5 hours away from the last time i slept. and my dream is to rid the world forever of irony.

On Dec.15.2003 at 10:33 PM
ian’s comment is:

woah. i was first. thats a bigger repsonsibility than i think i was ready for.

On Dec.15.2003 at 10:34 PM
daniel’s comment is:

well said...

On Dec.15.2003 at 11:01 PM
Andrew’s comment is:

36.5 hours

wow....makes me glad I'm just a first year college student (I'm assuming you're an upperclassmen?). my finals are cake.

On Dec.16.2003 at 12:12 AM
E. Johnston’s comment is:

The ubiquitous glowing orb logos.

Hate 'em. Just hate 'em.

On Dec.16.2003 at 08:15 AM
Armin’s comment is:

WIth the "success" of the UPS logo, and the bevelization of Hershey's (sorry Debbie) we will see more and more logos go faux 3d — beveled, shadowed and highlighted.

I also feel a rebirth of web fever approaching. Maybe not, not sure.

Not sure either who the hot firms will be this year. KarlssonWilker will definitely get to Sagmeister levels within the design community. CSA Design will be big next year. Who else? I dunno, it's hard to predict the future.

On Dec.16.2003 at 09:17 AM
jonsel’s comment is:

I predict small shops located in the NJ suburbs will be huge next year.

And Frutiger.

On Dec.16.2003 at 10:05 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

More interest in re-use/green design.

Not sure if it'll happen, but I'd like to think it will.

On Dec.16.2003 at 10:10 AM
Kevin Steele’s comment is:

Aye, Armin, the bevelling will continue, reminiscent of the mid 1990s as Photoshop spread, all part of a wave of 1990s nostalgia. Pixel pushers everywhere will dig out their copies of Kai's Power Tools and will compete with each other for most ironic and strangely beautiful use of the 'Page Curl' filter.

Meanwhile, others will counter this with a revival of the 1890s, digging through our reproductions of Morris and his peers -- true pioneers of revival -- further exploring devices such as decorative borders and hand crafted details. As the web has evolved from a text medium to being also a typographic medium we are seeing signs in sites like Speak Up and various designerly blogs.

And somewhere, these ideas will mix willy-nilly and produce artifacts of naive beauty and stunning ugliness.

On Dec.16.2003 at 10:28 AM
sosa’s comment is:

With all the hype about the 'standards compliant style' I bet for some kind of neoclasicist (is that a word? my english is so bad) style. Straight Lines squareish borders, avoiding of curves... and ornamented with glowing orbs and beveled type.

Techno-futurist or grunge styles will no be trendy anymore :(

On Dec.16.2003 at 10:44 AM
Andrew Pollak’s comment is:

logos with swooshes around them.

just kiddin'

On Dec.16.2003 at 10:45 AM
Christopher Johnston’s comment is:

Nostromo Predicts:

  • Strong patterns born out of nostalgia for the past and a hatred for the term "clean-lines".
  • Offbeat color combinations that would have made the "trashy 80's" cringe.
  • A push towards craftsmanship over commercialism.
  • Hopefully: A movement that shows that straight men aren't design illiterate.
  • *c

    On Dec.16.2003 at 10:59 AM
    graham’s comment is:

    there will be a strong cornish influence commencing 07.02.04 ceasing 24.08.04. flock will predominate. tufting (or crenellation) will continue as expected until early 2005, gradually giving way to pluming (perhaps quacking).

    there will be (as now) an eerie sense of hot wind.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 11:02 AM
    Sam’s comment is:

    In the early months of 2004, I expect we'll starting to see a creeping Neo-Newism, which will develop simultaneously with its counterpart, Post-Bogusism. Both will be backlashes against each other. A few weeks later, exhausted, we'll hail the return of "The Return to Pre-Sick-of-It-Allism," which will be a blessed moment of New Purity that will look a lot like the work of the Old Purity , but it'll feel a whole lot better. After the dust settles, the summer is a blur of Renaissance Grunge (Carson meets Kis), Unpronounceable Revivals (Tschichhold meets Chwast), Classic Snarkism (in which every one of Sagmeister's former interns becomes mind-biggling famous for an afternoon), and Late Industrial Lameousness. Meanwhile the AIGA will be drafting its masterwork, a single sentence encompassing all possible definitions of "graphic design." It will be 35 pages and be available in PowerPoint only. As the saying goes, the future's all so freaking bright, I gotta wear shades.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 11:08 AM
    surts’s comment is:

    The energy at Wooster is quite inspiring. I can't see it really being appropriate to the corporate work I do, but the idealism it represents is worth thinking about.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 11:11 AM
    Adrian’s comment is:

    I don't care what the next trend is, but someone please create a new advertising campaign for Captian Morgan that burries the "Captain was here" once and for all.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 11:25 AM
    Tan’s comment is:

    Man, this thread is getting sarcastic. I'm lovin' it. (hey, it's kinda catchy...)

    Ok, some of Tan's prophecies. Btw, do we get any cash if our predictions come true?

    1. Cool Grey 7 (like Corbis's) will become the new orange -- ie. the hip, trendy color.

    2. Orange will be the new teal for car paint (replacing taxicab yellow)

    3. Helvetica Neue will continue to be mispronounced by millions who use it

    4. More and more classic logos will continue to be butchered and turned into 3D monstrosities -- guaranteeing the unrelenting, prosperous growth of SU

    5. Stock illustrations will continue to be ripoff derivatives of Frazier, Baseman, Bustamante, Holland, and Bleck's work.

    6. AIGA will continue doing what they think is best for our profession despite massive amounts of smart-ass comments and useless criticisms from us.

    7. I will continue to not quite understand Graham's postings. (lovya though, me china)

    8. Movie titling will revert, and go retro. Basic type and flat illustrations will be the rage (like Catch Me If You Can's). Kyle Cooper will have to reinvent himself.

    9. I will be further disappointed by the next Tim Burton movie.

    10. Apple will start building and selling household appliances.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 11:41 AM
    Jason A. Tselentis’s comment is:

    Tan, are you sure you're seeing into the future? Most of what I see in your list is already upon us (except Big Fish hasn't opened yet).

    On Dec.16.2003 at 11:53 AM
    marian’s comment is:

    I predict for 2004 an overall increase in hubris, including claims to hubris, references to hubris and accusations of hubris, resulting in a massive, top-level down-explosion of ego to reveal the trend for 2005, a yeasty rise of faux humbleness and self-effacement.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 11:55 AM
    KM’s comment is:

    Not so much as a prediction but just wishful thinking:

    1. Graphic design will be taken seriously.

    2. Graphic designers will not take themselves so seriously.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 12:03 PM
    Tan’s comment is:

    > Tan, are you sure you're seeing into the future?

    sure, some of my bold predictions are upon us already. But if you had started this thread a couple of months ago -- you would've seen how prophetic they really are.

    Besides, I'm also validating the longevity and validity of these things I hold to be true. You said trends, not outright change...

    hey, waitaminute. You're giving me grief when Adrian predicted that a Captain Morgan billboard campaign needed changing? Come'on.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 12:03 PM
    Jason A. Tselentis’s comment is:

    Well, Tan, I wasn't chastising your prophecies. In fact, they're very close to being trends right now. Frankly, you've spotted things before they hit the mainstream, becoming "overused" or "over-popularized." No harm. No foul. In all, I'm impressed with what I've read above... it'll be an exciting year.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 12:10 PM
    graham’s comment is:

    tan: imagine the spirits of arthur askey, charles hawtrey and criswell speaking with one unearthly voice. actually, that could be another trend-prediculation.

    i am the future.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 12:12 PM
    Tan’s comment is:

    Cool -- no sweat. You're the gatekeeper to your thread -- so you can set the rules or question whoever you choose. (Btw, if you back-off too easily, Armin will send you his dreaded "Wuss" email offline.)

    Btw, welcome to the neighborhood Jason.

    ...I predict I'll be hungry in a couple of hours, and will seek Thai for lunch.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 12:15 PM
    vos b.’s comment is:

    I think and hope that more illustrators will become aware of the typographic responsibility they have as much as we do. Too often i see beautiful illustrations with crap type. I fear there will be more useless print than ever before.�

    On Dec.16.2003 at 12:16 PM
    M Kingsley’s comment is:

    I will continue to not quite understand Graham's postings.

    From what I understand, he's simply claiming that In is the way of the Inner and Out is the way of the Outer. The way of the Inner In is sometimes the Outer Out.

    This will happen in the next year.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 12:19 PM
    pk’s comment is:

    WIth the "success" of the UPS logo, and the bevelization of Hershey's (sorry Debbie) we will see more and more logos go faux 3d — beveled, shadowed and highlighted.

    look for something like this from general electric soon...their internal marketing department said as much in a meeting recently. fyi, they call their logo "the meatball." ick.


    1) a continued abuse of black/white/red as a default "i couldn't think of anything" combination.

    2) first quarter '04: lavender/black/pale orange is the new black.

    3) second quarter '04: color becomes unfashionable again. taupe is the new black.

    4) third quarter '04: taupe quickly becomes outré again when everyone realizes it's just boring. black becomes the new black. designers react with the same amount of glee as a child on christmas morning.

    5) fourth quarter '04: everyone on the planet marvels at my seemingly effortless ability to remain stylish while changing nothing but my eyeshadow palette. i do not wear black, sending shockwaves through the international design community.

    6) as indian culture becomes more and more nauseatingly hip in urban centers, colors get brighter by the week until audiences are blinded on a daily basis. class action suits sure to follow, millions of designers across the country caught in the crossfilre and rendered jobless.

    7) trucker caps and stilettos: as over in the rest of the country as they are in manhattan. finally.

    8) modernism continues its march towards the grave as some clever child finds yet another way to appropriate its surfaces into snotty, design-driven money porn. someone has to now that tyler brulée's out of wallpaper* magazine.

    9) someone will finally acknowledge that the deconstructivist/designer-as-author kids from the nineties have turned out to be a total yawn.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 12:37 PM
    Andrew Pollak’s comment is:

    The NEW YORK TImes will list Graphic Design as an occupation when you sign up.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 12:54 PM
    davek’s comment is:

    Recontextualization will become accepted and popular, all the rage, as long as the word stealing or biting isn't used.*

    Lil Kim will get her own sitcom based on the "You in the hood now, baby" phrase that pays from the Old Navy TV ads.

    *Recontextualization, the combining of several stolen, discarded, or crusty-old visuals along with a smidge of original.**

    **Original, ha?***

    Legal type will continue to get smaller and smaller until it is completely invisible to the naked eye.

    I will sell-out.

    ***Yeah, ha!

    On Dec.16.2003 at 01:08 PM
    Rick’s comment is:

    Sam, your post made me laugh out loud and caused some cubicle meerkatting here.

    Helvetica Neue - I'm a "noya" nazi. I send this link out all the time.

    Movie titling will revert, and go retro - See also: Monsters, Inc

    Recontextualization - is my favorite word.

    I predict (or hope, at least) that people will finally realize that everything should be monochromatic - one-color will be the new 4c


    On Dec.16.2003 at 01:43 PM
    Jeff G’s comment is:

    Speak Up will change from a forum to a family: Papa Armin, Mother Tan, and Debbie Millman will the the sophisticated aunt from the Big City. Everyone else, find your place. I shall be one of Rabbit's smaller friends-and-relations, perhaps Alexander Beetle or Henry Rush.

    Also, some wise leader will lock the word Solutions away and not let it out for at least 50 years.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 02:10 PM
    Armin’s comment is:

    > i am the future.

    Graham, I thought you were the wind.

    > 8. Movie titling will revert, and go retro. Basic type and flat illustrations will be the rage (like Catch Me If You Can's)

    Movie titles have been going retro forever, just look at any Woody Allen movie for yearly examples. I agree though that movie titles will just go flatter.

    > Speak Up will change from a forum to a family: Papa Armin, Mother Tan, and Debbie Millman will the the sophisticated aunt from the Big City.

    Hahahaha. Mother Tan, that's awesome.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 02:14 PM
    Mark’s comment is:

    spam will overpower (more than it already does) rendering email useless and people will revert to using - heaven forbid - a phone.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 02:39 PM
    Armin’s comment is:

    A phone Mark? Now you are just talking crazy.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 02:44 PM
    Michael B.’s comment is:

    Green. Not the movement, the color.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 02:45 PM
    Jeff G’s comment is:


    has been all the rage in children's book illustration (one of the finest examples)

    for years. In fact, I'm rather tired of it.

    I predict children's book illustrators will be the heroes of avant garde design in 04.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 03:00 PM
    griff’s comment is:

    Prepare for the "post millennium technological disappointment" movement.

    It is now 4 years beyond the scientist's promise of flying cars, robot maids, and the orgasmatron. None of which has been delivered yet, mind you.

    Monumental disappointment and frustration will soon be reflected in all visual design. Designers will design for technology that has not yet been invented to apply more pressure to the lazy ass scientists that promised all that cool stuff. So the design trends will actually be indescribable, since there is no technology to support them. Trends that will never see the light of day.

    I encourage you to join me in designing for the future. Design things that don't exist. Currently, I am comping potential layouts for a edible magazine that can not be read, but must be digested (literally) to absorb the content.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 03:07 PM
    ian’s comment is:

    pk, perhaps on the strength of our anti-trucker cap fixation we could lead an army?

    On Dec.16.2003 at 03:13 PM
    Tan’s comment is:

    > Mother Tan

    I've been called a "mutha" before, but not quite in this context. So thanks....though Bryony would probably have an issue being THE wife and all...

    I can be the black sheep.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 03:21 PM
    graham’s comment is:

    >Graham, I thought you were the wind.

    yes. i am the future wind that blows through things and . . . places . . . that changes where it blows . . . the present from the past into the future . . . wind. both the future and also the wind. the whole thing. at once.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 03:23 PM
    Sam’s comment is:

    there will be (as now) an eerie sense of hot wind.

    somehow, i thought "hot wind" meant the stanky kind.

    also, is irony dead, back, or the new irony? is sincerity the new irony (cf. mcsweeney's "the believer")?

    oh it could go on and on.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 03:35 PM
    Mr. Jones’s comment is:

    The wind Graham? Is this in relation to a high-fiber diet or hot air? Come to think of it maybe I don't want to know.


    1. The late 80s early 90s will make a big, albeit brief, comeback (punk, prep, grunge, mod). Actually, prep just came and went since I started this.

    2. Universal advertising (like that annoyingly memorable McDonald’s commercial “I’m luvin’ it...duh duh duh duh duh”) will become the number one priority of Marketeers everywhere and then disappear completely

    3. Video billboards (Bladerunner)

    4. More car accidents because of video billboards.

    5. White is the new black. Green is the new orange.

    6. Everything will be shiny! ugh.

    7. Airbrushed models will be replaced with naturally attractive people in advertising. People will look their age. Plastic surgery backlash.

    8. Clean is in. No more dirty designs, scuffed type, bad color photography.

    9. Destijl will inspire designers everywhere.

    10 Speak up will start charging a membership fee. (I am kidding Armin...don't get any ideas.)

    On Dec.16.2003 at 05:14 PM
    Gayla’s comment is:

    Did frutiger ever go out? Not around here.

    Banana clips will come back into vogue, inspiring feathery manes of hair and signalling the first sign of the apocalypse.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 05:52 PM
    Tom’s comment is:

    Can I be a Hufalump?

    Hope will be the new trend, I hope!

    On Dec.16.2003 at 06:27 PM
    Al-Insan Lashley’s comment is:

    OK, so it may not be design, but it will be a cultural trend, esp. in the US.

    Celebrity will no longer be of interest . The following will be unemployed in 2004:

    - Ashton Kutcher

    -people who hawk stuff on talk shows

    -blond women named Hilton

    In short, anyone who is famous for the sake of being so will no longer find it profitable. Pray it comes true.

    On Dec.16.2003 at 08:57 PM
    Armin’s comment is:

    On the contrary Al-Insan, in 2004 Ashton Kutcher will punk* a Hilton.

    *Punk as in his show punk'd, not as a sleazy way of saying� you know� that.

    On Dec.17.2003 at 08:26 AM
    surts’s comment is:

    On the contrary Al-Insan, in 2004 Ashton Kutcher will punk* a Hilton.

    Armin, I like don't follow that kind of stuff you know, but I like think it might have already happend like. According to RollingStone that is - I'm just saying...

    On Dec.17.2003 at 08:38 AM
    Armin’s comment is:

    Like, totally? I need to catch some Punk'd re-runs then.

    On Dec.17.2003 at 09:09 AM
    THE wife’s comment is:

    > Speak Up will change from a forum to a family: Papa Armin, Mother Tan, and Debbie Millman will the the sophisticated aunt from the Big City.

    That it will: Papa Armin, THE mama Bryony, Debbie Millman the sophisticated aunt from the Big City, and Live-in Grandpa Tan (who, by the way, likes to spoon with his children).

    On Dec.17.2003 at 09:11 AM
    Ginny ’s comment is:

    * I'm waiting for laid paper to become the new dull-coated (not because I like it, but because it's still around and I never spec it and either does any other designer I know) Maybe 2004 will be the year.

    * Norman Jean Roy, the photographer on the IBM annual or his rep will realize that a $15,000. per day, Day Rate to shoot corporate portraits is a bit high in today's economy! (OK. More power to him if he can make that. I'm a little bitter about it, obviously)

    * Company's will continue to cut design and marketing budgets.

    * Illustration makes a come-back.

    On Dec.17.2003 at 09:36 AM
    Al-Insan Lashley’s comment is:

    surts: I like don't follow that kind of stuff you know, but I like think it might have already happend like. According to RollingStone that is

    Oops. my rating on the clairvoyence meter: -3.

    Well, I say my predictions may still run true- as long as the celebrity thing runs its course. You know, the blond sisters two will run jointly for the presidency next election, soundly beating both Mrs. Clinton and Bush*, only to be impeached for not technically being American citizens, having been born in the snowy hills of a Zurich ski resort,** as has been tradition for many generations.

    Immediately afterward and for a period of two months, celebrity will be panned as pariah in the press. At least, until Madonna molests the next Brittany Spears on stage (why do I know this stuff?)

    *Clinton in the primaries, and Bush in the nat'l election. No wait, Clinton in the nat'l election, and Bush in the primaries. Aah, who cares.

    **Hey it could be true...

    On Dec.17.2003 at 09:54 AM
    Brent’s comment is:

    * Illustration makes a come-back.


    On Dec.17.2003 at 09:59 AM
    Al-Insan Lashley’s comment is:

    * I'm waiting for laid paper to become the new dull-coated

    I beat you to it. My business cards last year were on laid. And for a bonus, I may try using Mrs. Eaves on them- just to tie two SU threads together.

    * Company's will continue to cut design and marketing budgets.

    Well, in a serious prediction, I think the large corporate budgets may shrink, or stay flat, but that smaller or mid size business will continue to grow, if only slightly. Corporate culture may have lost hope, but I don't think the wide cross-section of American businesspersons have- and let's really hope that that is true.

    On Dec.17.2003 at 10:04 AM
    Tan’s comment is:

    > Live-in Grandpa Tan (who, by the way, likes to spoon with his children)

    hey, I'm not that much older than Armin. How did I become Gramps? And besides, Vit's the one who likes to spoon, just for the record...

    how do I step off this crazy Jackson family tree?

    On Dec.17.2003 at 10:25 AM
    Scott d’s comment is:

    *Also, some wise leader will lock the word Solutions away and not let it out for at least 50 years.

    I'm sick of everyone saying they provide solutions. If everyone provides solutions how come there are still so many problems? Or maybe the problem is that everyone claims they offer solutions.

    On Dec.17.2003 at 12:27 PM
    Kleid’s comment is:

    Starbucks will start selling graphic design as art.

    On Dec.17.2003 at 01:15 PM
    freelix’s comment is:

    I predict small shops located in the NJ suburbs will be huge next year.

    THanks jonsel. See you at Home de Pot happy hour.

    On Dec.17.2003 at 04:26 PM
    David’s comment is:

    * Illustration makes a come-back.

    I thought it already had. Everything on VH 1 today is very illustrative, and I've noticed it more elsewhere. (One good thing about the new VH 1 logo is that it is easily interwoven into the network's animations.)

    On Dec.17.2003 at 05:17 PM
    Jacques’s comment is:

    2004: Cars will finally fly.

    On Dec.17.2003 at 07:42 PM
    freelix’s comment is:

    2004: new VH1 logo

    On Dec.17.2003 at 09:04 PM
    Gerald Lange’s comment is:

    Terrorists will destroy the web and we will be done with all this nonsense.

    On Dec.23.2003 at 10:45 PM
    Tan’s comment is:

    > I will be further disappointed by the next Tim Burton movie

    I predicted wrong. I just saw Big Fish last night, and loved it. It was a bit slow, a bit sentimental -- but the story was poignant and unexpectedly thoughtful and moving. It has the feel of a dark fable like Edward Scissorhands, mixed with the bittersweet life lessons of The World According to Garp. Not really a date movie though -- it's a bit of a downer.

    Burton did good.

    On Dec.28.2003 at 04:44 PM
    Armin’s comment is:

    Darn it Tan. I had my money running on Gerald's premonition being the incorrect one. I guess robots will kill the internet� or is it terrorists that are supposed to do that? Oh well, I guess I don't have to worry about it now.

    On Dec.28.2003 at 08:04 PM