Monday, January 19, 2015

Top creative trends in 2015

After a holiday break we find it difficult to get back into the routine of what we are use doing. A new year offers the opportunity to shift focus — whether you are out there looking for new trends and styles or just focusing on the present, letting it take your creativity wherever it might lead.

Designers and artists usually just stick to their skills to push their style even further creating unique new styles. This creative thinking should be encouraged more all the time. Though the majority of us hop onto that trend wave, which is not necessarily a bad thing. As we enter 2015 creatives are rummaging the net trying to find new trends for the year.

Fear not as I’ve compiled a list of what is to be expected this year to get your creative juices flowing. Note that the list mentioned below is not set in stone but simply a summary of what I’ve been reading up on the past couple of weeks. By all means, be creative and start your own trend! Who knows? Maybe your new style might hit the mainstream by mid year!

Think mobile
We live in a digital age and relay on our smartphones to do pretty much anything these days. 80% of internet users own a smartphone to browse the web (latest survey done in 2015 by SmartInsights). According to a survey by Google mobile-web users found that 48% of all websites globally did not support smart-phones. So bear in mind when you either design new websites, market your clients products or just upload an image to Facebook to design and optimise it for mobile web standard. In my opinion mobiles are the replacement for desktops. Today the majority of us is constantly on the move still needing to stay connected via a mobile device.

Reinvention of websites
As discussed above the one most important step for upgrading or designing a new website is to apply the #1 which is a mobile-first approach. The way people are consuming online content up until today is to through a mobile screen. This goes hand-in-hand with the second most important trend which is #2 single page vertical scrolling sites. Infinite scrolling on a single page site helps with loading time and all the content is presented instantly at your fingertips.

Interactive scrolling is probably the most important aspect of websites today. This cool style is popping up more and more with each new website. This includes parallax scrolling, infinite scrolling, and live content. Having a parallax scrolling background can help create depth and catch the eye of website visitors keeping them occupied a few seconds longer. With infinite scrolling websites your content becomes alive and also engages your viewers to interact with your website. This gets a massive thumbs up because the best part of it all is it being 100% mobile and tablet friendly. 

Clean simple layout with flat designs
Whether this is a trend or just simply a design rule, there is much debate between creatives to why keeping designs clean. It’s a fact that 90% of all information transmitted to the brain is visual and 40% of people will respond better to visuals rather than text. As a content designer I found polished minimalistic designs to be more ‘clean’ can create a bigger response from your consumers. It is also easier to remember because there is less clutter.

Releasing the confidence with colour
As you all know each year the Pantone Color Institute announces the colour of the year. This year the 2015 colour is Pantone Marsala 18-1438. This colour will enrich your mind, body and soul releasing the confidence and stability within said Leatrice Eiseman who is the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. Now don’t go all mad and use this colour everywhere, see where it will fit within your color palette when designing. By all means the trends currently state to use neutral colours and mix it up with a bit of old school airbrushing, you know the Art Deco kind of airbrush. Adding a bit of texture with an amazing colour selection can make for good designs/artworks.

Gradient making a comeback
Can this be true? People actually thinks this style could work? My answer: Absolutely yes! Bare with me, gradients started out as a horrible point to point colour fade. This technique, which was still in it’s early stages, was used very flamboyantly and got pushed aside by all creatives and made a rule not to be used. Well, since end 2013 the trend started to pick up again where creatives started using it more subtly. The use of gradients are more smoother and less flashy, even when being used in bright colours. It suggest either a change in light or giving depth to objects. This technique can also make flat designs stand out more.

The type of Type
Typographic does not really have a set trend. Fonts works with only certain designs layouts and themes. For a while now creatives made use of more sophisticated typography with cleaner lines portraying more of a corporate look and feel, which is great because it is very legible. During 2014 some more hand written typography appeared, now defined as modern-style calligraphy, and will continue to become more mainstream in 2015. Grungy, paint-like brush styled typography is being used on posters, invites and even websites. So keep an eye out and have nice thick brush stroke of type filling the headings of your designs. (Font licensed by Ramandhani Nugraha)

Connect consumers with designs
Even though you have a great design does not necessarily mean that everyone will appreciate the art and thinking behind it. The problem today is that consumers do not know what they want and they need ‘creative’ help. So the trick will be to create a design to not only look great but to engage your viewers. Online content is booming right now but clients are scared to take the risk to market their business. That is why us creatives have the ability to gain our clients trust persuading them to take the leap. This allow for more creative thinking brining value to the business or brand.

So this conclude a small list of what me (and a few other creative professionals) are predicting to be the top creative trends in 2015. As I mentioned before, you don’t have to run with these trends — try to make your own or maybe use this as a guideline to kick of 2015. During the course of the year we will see new technologies, more great entertainment, and weird fashion senses which will drive the trend wave into a whole different direction. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Introducing NEW Desktop Calendars

So we are at the second day of 2015 and many of you are probably heading back home from the holidays. It's time to start preparing yourself for the busy year that lies ahead, planning the month of January. I thought of making your life a bit easier!

Many of us stare at a screen most of the day whether you are at work, maybe at home or even
on the go with a laptop. You change your wallpaper once in a while to keep you from staring at that same picture everyday, right? Why not change it to something that is useful but still looks good?

Introducing January 2015 Desktop Calendar

I've kept is really simple as we all just want to see which day of the month it is. The weekends are highlighted to not only remind you that it is Friday but to create a break between the weeks. I was inspired by this year's fireworks which spiralled into awesome shapes. The spiral design also creates a sense of movement as the days rotates like the hours on a clock. As it is summer here in South Africa I wanted to create a beach-summer-swim vibe with the picture of a wave crushing from above.

There are two types of calendars which you can choose from to set as your desktop wallpaper. First one is a standard static image which can easily be set as a wallpaper. The second one is what I call a sequence wallpaper which updates on a daily basis and indicates which day it is. Here is my list of instructions to help you apply the wallpaper. If you struggle to figure it out send me an email to so I can help you.

This calendar will benefit each and everyone that works on a desktop computer daily. I am always looking to find a calendar in a hurry when I need to organise things ahead of time.

Here are the download links (also available on my site):

 HD Desktop Screen (1980 pixels x 1080 pixels)
Static Calendar
Sequence Calendar
Sequence Calendar - Zip folder

Standard Laptop Screen (1440 pixels x 785 pixels)
Static Calendar
Sequence Calendar
Sequence Calendar - Zip folder

Enjoy the new wallpaper and tell me what you think. Like it? don't like it? Let me know, I want to make improvements where I can. If you have any ideas for another image also let me know. I will be running a small poll on my Facebook Page later this month, to see what everyone would like for February's calendar.


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy 2015!

Today I don't only celebrate a new year, I am also celebrating the 4th birthday of my blog! Can't believe it's been 4 years already!

Thanks for all the continued support during the years. Up until now I had 22 800 post views, a bunch of followers, features on other websites and multiple fan emails from all around the globe. Thanks guys!

For my new year's resolution I am going to create and share more designs, blog about the latest tech news to current trends and just make it fun for everyone to read. You might have noticed some here-and-there posts during the course of last year, showcasing my current work and some fun desktop wallpapers you could download to keep track of 2014. Well I am proud to announce that I will be keeping that going, as I received a lot of positive feedback from fans wanting a wider variety of wallpapers.

So what is 2015 looking like for my blog?
As I am focusing much more on my website I will be showcasing my projects there because the space is more flexible. For 3 years my blog acted as a website, but those days are over. You might have noticed the tabs at the top vanished, don't be alarmed! You can still access all of the links on the left-hand side bar of the blog under "Find out what's been said."

I am launching my photography page on my website soon! :-D So be sure you keep an eye out for that announcement. There will definitely be some popular photographs you guys have seen, but I can assure you it's going to look so much better to view it on the photography page! A lot of behind the scenes and never seen before photographs that will blow your mind!

The website is officially in full swing, but there is a very long list of things that needs to be added and improved. I need all the feedback I can get, so please check it out and let me know if there is any problems or glitches so I can address it and sort out the problems. Send feedback on my contact page from my website.

So where does this blog then still fit in? Well seeing as my blog have been running for about 4 years I don't want to lose all my fans! Seriously, it's because of you that I doing all of this. This space will still act as a main source of communication. All new projects, photography uploads, special announcements, etc. will be done right here on FrancoCreations Blog. So whether you need a download link or want to stay updated with the latest news, you can always find it right here.

2015 is going to be awesome! Again thanks for your continued support. Feel free to drop me a message if  you are interested in seeing more projects or any other suggestions to improve your viewing/reading experience.