Design, Color and Social Trends for 2017


Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.

Simplicity is key for 2017. So to honor simplicity, and to spare you from a TLDR post 😏, my blog can be boiled down to this:

  1. I am old (but still evolving)
  2. Earthy colors
  3. Simple design
  4. Video, video, video

But for those of you prefer meat and potatoes to an amuse bouche, I’ll take you back before we look forward.

Personal growth is always a sure-fire resolution. Evolution may mean different things to different people. One thing is for sure, I have evolved.

evolution-jsI was born in the mid 70’s. I grew up watching the Smurfs in the 80’s. I graduated from high school and college in the 90’s. I started my career as a graphic designer in the year 2000. Today, the freshmen students I pass on campus were only 2-years-old when I started designing for a paycheck. Dang, reading this on a screen makes me feel old. I’ve evolved from a tomboy, to a professional athlete, to a graphic designer, to a digital media specialist. I’ve evolved from Jennifer, to Jenny, to Jen. Pretty soon I’ll probably just be J.

It’s not easy to evolve and stay relevant in an ever-changing industry like graphic design or social media. At the ripe age of 40 (cringe), I often joke about being the oldest member of #CSUSocial. But in all honesty, I am proud of where I am. I’m proud of where I came from. I am proud of my journey and the winding road I endured to get here. I’m proud of my evolution. But there’s so much more evolving ahead. So, for one of my resolutions for 2017, I will continue to do what I’ve done for the past 40 years – I will resolve to do my best to keep evolving as a person, a partner, a communicator, a designer and a leader. And today, my professional evolution begins with staying on top of the newest trends in graphic design, color, and social media. Here’s what I expect to see more of in 2017.


Color Trends – Earthy, earthy, earthy

A good place to start is the Pantone website. Each year, Pantone announces their Color of the Year. This year, the hot Pantone color for 2017 is “Greenery.” Get ready to see a lot of bright, leafy greens in home decoration trends, magazine ads and on the runway.


But hang on. 2017 will also be filled with lots of deep, rich, earthy hues found in minerals and materials. Colors like brick reds, charcoal grays, khakis and olive greens. Even paint companies, like Sherwin-Williams, have announced their own popular colors for 2017 including…


Graphic Design Trends – Simple, simple, simple


In 2017, you can count on seeing a lot of simplicity and functionality in design. Whether it’s white space or negative space, the correct (or incorrect) use of space can make or break a design. Get ready for simple designs with an exaggerated use of space.



It’s hard to scroll past an eye-catching Cinemagraph in your Twitter feed. These still photographs, created with minor movements, are a simple and effective way to grab the attention of your audience.  Here are 10 easy steps to creating your own spellbinding Cinemagraph.


Hand-Drawn Images

Want to add a human element to your design? Get out your pad and pencil and start sketching! Simple illustrated images are becoming more popular and can not only be used to explain complex problems and instructions, they also evoke a childlike, nostalgic feeling.



Brands are also getting on board with the simplification movement. Take a look at these logo improvements from Mastercard and USA Soccer. The clean, sleek new designs are still representative of their respective brands, but are more streamlined and simplified. I dig it.

mastercard_logo_before_after-640x266 us-soccer-federation-by-nike

Social Media Trends – Video, video, video

Live-Streaming Video

We saw the rise and fall of the first attempt at live streaming from Meercat. I guess someone had to fail before Snapchat and Facebook swooped in and made it work. Plus with Instagram Stories and YouTube Live, creating the right real-time video experience for your followers has more options than ever. Live-streaming video gives users a sense of authenticity, especially in an age where fake news is infecting the internet. Get ready to see a lot more cleverly-crafted live video posts in 2017. Click the image below to watch CSU’s first Facebook Live video.


360 Video

The release of 360-degree video on Facebook ushered in a new era of virtual reality. This new technology makes the impossible seem possible. I still recall one of the comments we received on CSU’s first panoramic photo where a fan said, “What is this crazy witchcraft!? How can I do this?” Along with more interactive panoramics around campus, we are excited about introducing 360-video to CSU’s arsenal in 2017. After all, it’s a highly interactive way to give your audience life-like, behind-the-scenes experiences. And we’re all about that.


More video, video, video, video

Video presents the opportunity to create more candid experiences for your followers. It’s a super-authentic way to connect with fans, and users appreciate this new way of consuming big events in snackable, yummy little video clips. So, if you have the resources to create video, do it! Click HERE to see some of the videos created by #CSUSocial.

I wish you the very best, most successful, most on-trend year of your career! Thanks for following the #CSUSocial blog.