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Design Trends: Embrace the ‘future nostalgia’ for your brand activations

You want to make a bold statement with your upcoming Spring and Summer 2023 activations and at DisplayWise, we know the key to success lies in staying ahead of the trends and pushing the boundaries of design. 

From ’90s throwbacks, vibrant colours and captivating textures, get your Pinterest and Canva boards ready because we’ve got the latest design aesthetics, tools and trending materials to help get more eyes on your brand campaigns and maximise seasonal sales for your custom displays.

Future Nostalgia

Why not start your mood board by tapping into the aesthetics of decades past and seasonal classics to influence your campaign approach? Think about arches and alcoves through to tunnels and curved silhouettes for your brand activations or custom retail displays.

This curvaceous interior style revival brings effortless drama to your display’s overall look and feel. Try experimenting with curved shapes and sweeping lines to weave a beautiful brand story and visual appeal for your customers. From counters and walls through to seating and product displays, DisplayWise can help you create a comfortable and welcoming environment that encourages shopper dwell time. Of course, traditional geometric and lineal shapes have their structural place too and we can help you find the right balance for your campaign.

Y2K aesthetics is another huge trend that’s gaining traction as the decade marked an era of design experimentation and breaking free from traditional rules. Being familiar with this period, you’ll remember it was characterised by vibrant colours, futuristic graphics, pixelated images and a mix of retro elements. The nineties to noughties trend continues to evoke a sense of nostalgia for the digital and pop culture and we envisage this will ramp up as we enter the SS23 season.

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C’mon colour (let’s go party)

According to Pantone Color Institute experts, this season’s colours integrate tradition and innovation, marrying our need for brightness and vibrant positivity with soft tinted tones. Essentially, don’t limit yourself when combining colours. From Cherry Tomato, Persimmon and Pink Cosmos through to core classic such as Tender Peach and Mocha Mousse, you’ve got a great palette to start building your mood board. Why not try out a candy combination or mix bold palettes to add a sense of excitement and energy to the overall design?

We also cannot talk about colour without mentioning the global phenomenon that is ‘Barbiecore’. For Pantone, ‘Viva Magenta’ is not only the colour of the year, the Barbie magenta-pink shade is also having its time in the spotlight. Admittedly, this colour may not be in your current brand guidelines, however, you can’t deny the impact and alluring sensation that this colour and just about every brand has weaved into their marketing campaigns. From Gymshark, Glasshouse, NYX Cosmetics and Superga through to Grill’d, Zara and ChaTime, there’s never been a better time to try out a hue of pink (or something different) for colour combinations in your SS23 campaign.

Graphics and print

Forget Arial, Calibri and Times New Roman. Font creation software applications such as Glyphs, Adobe Illustrator, Calligraphr, FontLab and Fontself are just some of the tools your team can leverage to make a big statement when creating typography and rebel against traditional styles (but only if this fits your brand and campaign approach).

However, its not just about what looks good. Be sure to consider the experience of visually impaired or colour-blind audiences in your demographics too. Your font and typography selections are crucial to ensure accessibility for all customers and improved overall campaign metrics.

Why not delve into retro inspired graphics and prints and discover how your brand can effortlessly recycle nostalgic trends that are sure to resonate emotionally and visually with your target audience. From pop art to optical art through to neon and Memphis-Milano styles, you can start to open up a new world of striking colour combinations, asymmetry and maximalism.

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Let’s talk about texture

During the pandemic, we learned to be minimalistic and restrained, but for the upcoming SS23 season, we’re embracing opulence and lavish textures as a key trend in formulating custom display brand stories. Think tactile fabrics, distressed finishes or textured timbers. These surfaces encourage shoppers to lean into your space and be immersed in a full sensory experience of your brand and products.

Conversely, there’s also the organic and reclaimed aesthetic that lends itself to sustainability. Be bold with marble (consider a graphic print if you don’t have the budget) or experiment with natural elements such as woodgrains, jute, seagrass, rattan or hemp textures in your mood board layout. 

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Escape reality  

This year is all about escapism after being restricted these past few years and for those shoppers who can’t take the Capri-vaycay, this is the perfect opportunity to transcend space and time. Why not bring the Mediterranean back home and transport your customers to a world of tropical, energised or vibrant appeal? Be sure to throw in an Aperol spritz cocktail (or mocktail) activation drinks cart too which will get everyone Instagramming your brand quicker than you can say TikTok.

DisplayWise can also help you determine ways to create a space within a space by using walling, greenery, vibrant graphics or panelling to help guide your brand journey to the right altitude. If you’ve been nervous about augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR), this is your invitation to dive in and make your brand campaign a truly memorable adventure for your customers.

Fast vs. Sustainable

Fast displays are just like fast fashion – they may seem appealing, low cost and trendy in the moment, but ultimately they lack the quality and longevity of its more sustainable counterparts. This season, sustainability continues to transcend trend status and is instead being positioned as an essential by customers and brands alike. During the briefing process, we conduct a thorough lifecycle analysis and examine every aspect of your custom display journey. This design approach ensures your display elements can be adapted for multiple campaigns and reduces the need for constant reinvestment in new materials, which can also be cost efficient in the long run.

Think about post campaign disposal too. Consider embracing eco-friendly materials like bamboo, recycled glass or repurposed wood along with sustainable furniture crafted from recycled or reclaimed elements. These considerations will not only make your activation campaign truly impactful but also environmentally conscious throughout the entire lifespan. To learn more about taking a sustainable design approach, check out our latest insight article  on why a Sustainable Design Strategy Is Worth The Investment.

At DisplayWise, we’re master story-tellers and take the time to collaborate and develop ideas until they are signed off and ready to go. From roadshows to sponsorship activations, pop up booths to retail displays, we can work with you to develop a great space for your next SS23 campaign that’s on trend, visually stunning and strategically aligned with your campaign goals.

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