Four branding trends to keep on your company’s radar in 2023

Looking for branding inspiration for your business? Here are four trends that you need to pay attention to in 2023.

There are two common goals that every company shares: standing out from the crowd and reaching its target audience.

One crucial way of doing both is by creating a strong brand presence, and as social media and online shopping have created more competition than ever for the customer’s attention, branding strategies have evolved to meet these demands.

As 2023 unfolds, you may be wondering what your company can do to step up its brand image and get noticed. To help you get started, the printwear and branding specialists at Custom Planet have shared four key industry trends we’re likely to see this year.

1) Maximalism

Moving away from the clean lines, neutral colours, and minimalism of the 2010s, this year we can expect to see maximalism make a return. Likely trends will be bright colourways, bold geometric shapes, and experimental, custom typography.

All of these maximalist features work together to capture the valuable attention of a potential customer, which has become particularly important in the age of online shopping and social media advertisements.

In this visual age, things like a bold, distinctive logo and coherent branding across all merchandise, packaging, and online platforms are real assets to a business.

2) Nostalgia

In recent years, we have witnessed a huge boom in nostalgic trends across the fashion, beauty, and graphic design industries alike. And while the 90s and Y2K aesthetics are still dominating the fashion world, many of the shapes, colour palettes, and fonts we’ll see brands using this year are more classically ‘retro’ in their design.

This can include bold illustrations inspired by vintage cartoons, as well as a revival of the heavily stylised fonts popular throughout the 1960s and 70s.

When brands engage with these nostalgic trends – be this on their website, packing, or custom merchandise – they demonstrate that they not only have their fingers on the pulse in terms of what’s popular in fashion and design, but also tap into a celebration of the past that much of their customer base wish to see.

3) Human connection

In recent years, advertising agencies have experimented with ‘anti-ad’ campaigns to bring a fresh take to a competitive industry. These campaigns either poke fun at the concept of advertising itself, or even ask consumers not to buy the product being marketed to generate interest via reverse psychology.

What underlies this approach is the idea of cutting through advertising tropes and finding some human connection with the customer. And, as industry research has found, this resonates particularly well with the Gen-Z demographic, who tend to be somewhat sceptical of traditional advertising methods.

It is this idea of human connection that is likely to influence branding techniques in 2023. Logos, merchandise, and design campaigns of course function differently from advertisements, so this might include taking a self-conscious, culturally-engaged approach to your social media presence, or using more real photography in your brand communications.

Alternatively, you may take this approach even further by involving customers in the process of designing custom, branded merchandise, or holding votes and competitions for designing a new company logo.

4) Artificial Intelligence (AI)

While brands may be looking to the past in terms of aesthetics, artificial intelligence will also prove to be a significant influence on the design industry in the year ahead. As shown by the popularity of platforms like Midjourney, AI software is becoming more accessible and widespread.

As a result, while humans still need to provide the original ideas, AI is increasingly being used to inform product and image development across multiple industries.

It is very likely, then, that branding techniques will also be impacted by this latest step in design technology. Whether this plays a part in re-envisioning a company’s logo, website aesthetic, or latest design campaign, we’ll no doubt see more elements like 3D-rendered imagery being used across the mainstream branding industry.

However, as brands also aim to prioritise more human connection in their campaigns, designs, and resources, it will be interesting to see how they reconcile these two growing trends. For instance, AI can be used to create targeted ads, which could help brands offer a more personalised customer experience in the future.

Photo by Steph Wilson