Wololo’s Design Trends for 2023

Trends—they’re everywhere. You can’t escape them, they’re in your face all day, every day, telling you what’s cool, what’s not, what’s in, what’s out—whether it’s in fashion, tech, or how people act. It’s important to keep up with them to stay relevant, however, going against the mainstream and subverting trends has never looked better.

It’s all about breaking away from what everyone else is doing and trying something new. It gives one the chance to explore different ideas and express oneself in their own way. By challenging the status quo, one can create something unique and inspiring that’ll make a lasting impact. Plus, going against the norm can help build a loyal following of people who appreciate originality. People dig those who dare to be different and aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo. And by subverting trends, one can bring a fresh perspective to their field and create a more inclusive environment.

And let’s not forget the ripple effect. When one questions trends, others may be inspired to think outside the box and come up with new and better ways of doing things. This leads to more innovation and progress in their industry. Just think about classic movies or books that have stood the test of time because they were different and broke the mould.

Brands are akin to living organisms that are constantly evolving and adapting to their environment. They are flexible and dynamic, rather than rigid and automated, and require fresh and stimulating inputs to thrive. At Wololo, it’s important to prioritise unfettered creativity and ongoing experimentation over sticking to familiar patterns. By daring to deviate from established norms, exploring unconventional ideas, and pushing the boundaries of conventional creativity, brands can spark wonder and awe in their audience, setting themselves apart from the rest. As a young branding studio, these are the digressions we’re making this year.

1. Be serious no more

In 2023, we’re ditching the outdated notion that seriousness makes brands desirable and instead embracing a more playful and inclusive approach to communication. The days of Eurocentric luxury elitism are over, and brands need to cultivate playfulness, irreverence and imagination if they want to establish meaningful connections with their audience. It’s through the practice of humour that true creativity can flourish, so we are prioritising this approach above all else.

2. Minimalism is out

Minimalism has had its day, and is being shelved in favour of maximalism. In today’s oversaturated visual landscape, it’s increasingly challenging to stand out with a minimalistic design. A maximalist approach can help a brand grab the viewer’s attention and create a lasting impression.

3. Neue Eco 

Following up on a previous post on our blog vis-à-vis greenwashing, we are no longer hinging on “earthy” or “organic” colour palettes to fulfil a vague sustainability requirement. Instead, we are taking a more critical approach and asking questions about a company’s actual business practices, and how they are actively minimising their environmental impact in their day-to-day operations. This knowledge informs our design decisions when creating a visual identity for the company, ensuring that it accurately reflects their genuine commitment to sustainability.

4. Embrace Culture

We can’t help but wonder – why should our designs look like they’re straight out of Westernville? There’s a treasure trove of inspiration to be found in our own cultural heritage. A quick look at brands from Latin America or Southeast Asia and it’s apparent—they wave their cultural flags with pride and it shows in their designs. It’s high time for brands to take a cue from them and infuse more cultural references and symbols into their designs, instead of defaulting to bland aesthetics. Not only will this help them celebrate their unique identity, but it’ll also appeal to a wider audience that values diversity and inclusivity.