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A chat with an Art Director about inspiration and trends

Teofan Gavriliu, shares with us about the creative design process, the role of references during it and suggests 5 design trends to inspire you and your projects. Especially since we’re sure to start seeing them more and more often!


Inspiration is one of the stages of a design process. However, inspiration should not only be seen as a one-off, per project (although this is also a very important stage), but also as part of the overall visual perspective.


Inspiration can come from many areas, for example for me it very often comes from photography and music. I like to study the graphics used on albums or the tracks themselves, concert posters, band logos, etc. As for photography, I’m interested in the use of light and shadow, perspective and composition itself.


Inspiration can be used in all regions of design, but I use it most often in branding, logo design, animation and UI  (especially the last two) because I find it more visually permissive, with that wow component – you have to wow the viewer in a way or another, even if it’s a bank or dentistry website.


One of the most important and often used inspirations both general and punctual on the project are design trends. Of course, a very good resource of design trends used by myself and many designers is muzli, which offers a very wide range of inspiration.

I’ve looked at a few top sites and I’ll give you here a little summary of the most important design trends that are returning or debuting this yea

By Hiroshy – Link

Okay, I want to know who’s not super excited about this. We’re witnessing the return of retro-pop-vaporwave design, with elements slightly approaching even kitsch. Slightly bulky, big, in-your-face compositions. Very cool. I saw this article on 99designs and liked it. Also, for designs and vaporwave style in case you’re into it, I’ll leave this blog page right here from Adobe.

As you can see though, it’s not a throwback to the 90s quite yet. It’s more the composition and the elements used in such a way to give the impression of retro. It’s kind of modern retro. I like it. It also goes towards font design, where the fonts are more bulky, inspired either from bitmap or stencil design, or web HTML, that kind of internet explorer aesthetic. You can also find something similar here on at number 7, which is part of that retro orientation. Cool. Next.

Bottled Up DRIBBLE by GRAMM                                                                                                                                                 Stay Home, Stay Positive by GRAMM

Okaaaay, for the entertainers in the hall, it’s time to shine!!! On the podium now is the 3D and 2D mix. I know, it’s a bit complicated and laborious, even I feel I work a bit too hard on an animation sometimes, but the result is quite spectacular. I’ve found a few examples of this kind of trend here. What I find really cool about this visual approach is that it somehow borrows from the naturalness of movement and the frame-by-frame look so typical of 2D animations, while the 3D part gives them more validity and vibrancy. I like the fact that this contrast can be used to accentuate certain things. In itself, 3D animation has as much validity as 2D animation does, given the context. But through contrast, either style can be much better received and would have a very cool impact to the viewer.

By KisaDesign – Link                                                                                                                                                               Example by Luka Marr – Link

As a typography enthusiast, I can say that I like this trend the most. In this article on and on 99designs we have pretty much the same thing. Custom made type, or at least type design apart. Display fonts have always been something that fascinated me, and now it finally seems to me that people are ready to appreciate this kind of design. Everyone talks at length about the power of the word, well it also matters what kerning the word has, and especially how the “a” is made.

I mostly use custom type design when I’m doing a logo, and I think I speak for a lot of designers out there here. Logotypes are some of the most commonly used logo types. They express minimalism, they express something special, smart, etc. Very cool. I use it mostly in UI as well, for the page header, which I find has a lot in common with classic style poster design, both compositionally and functionally.

Another really cool thing I found on this topic on, is kinetic typography. The topic kinetic type seems to me to be a black hole from which a lot of really good stuff can come out. I use kinetic typography a lot in logo design, because, by the way, the stuff that will now break will be logo animations. Here, if you already have a good logo and it needs to be animated, we’re talking kinetic type. This is where I think it’s going to be used most often, but I’ve also seen interactive posters with kinetic typography that I think are really cool because they basically introduce a new way of relating to information, a way in which information communicates to you even more how to relate to it.

Animated Logo for SlingShot by Anastasiia AndriichukLink

Okay I know we’ve already talked about this a bit in the type design topic, but not all logos have typography. A lot of them are just symbols and that’s it. Logo animation is coming into the trend mostly because it gives legitimacy to the brand, yes, but very very important to me is something else. The logo is the most important element of a brand, along with the tagline (I never forget copywriters) and what makes people buy a product? Vibe. The vibe is something hard to explain or communicate in words, but basically it’s how that brand becomes personal to each person.

The consumer who identifies with the product’s vibe is more likely to buy the product because it’s part of their everyday life – the product is like a good friend. I know, I’m saying pretty basic stuff here, but here’s the key: the logo animation gives the official vibe of the brand. The brand takes on a more human feel, closer to the consumer. It’s an opportunity for the epicenter of a brand to become human at once, by being the originator of the vibe. That’s why it’s so important. Here are some examples from

Image source: Cam💥 – Link                                                                                                                                         By Marija Tiurina via Behance – Link

The last thing I come up with here is something I found everywhere I looked for design trends. Both on 99designs and justcreative and graphicmama I found the same things in different forms: personal hand style. Even if it’s a different print technique, or different animation techniques or different mediums, they all have this part in common: the hand illustration, the unique things, the personal visuals, that part of uniqueness matters a lot. You can see that right on justcreative. Very cool, and rightly highly appreciated, because it’s hard to find. Somehow I find it interesting how even this trend is somehow a throwback to when a certain painter had a certain style.

These are the most important issues I decided to focus on. I invite you to take a look at the links from which I have extracted – I think – the most important points. I wish you good luck with your creativity and I hope what I have written here helps you.