- The Top 20 Motion Graphic Trends of 2018
- 10 items you are wearing to work that are making you look older than you are
- 1. Completely black attire
- 2. Oversized blazers
- 3. Un-tailored suits
- 4. Skirts too long
- 5. Baggy jeans
- 6. Jersey fabrics
- 7. Retro pieces without a modern twist
- 8. Wire-rimmed eyeglasses
- 9. Outdated shoes
- 10. Sweater sets
- Tile Trends: Choices Abound
- Size Matters
- Styling with Tile in the Kitchen
- Bathrooms as Personal Spas
- Beyond Kitchens and Baths
- From blue tea to avocado coffee: AI tool to help firms launch new products ‘ahead of trend’
- APAC trends
- Trendspotting challenges
The Top 20 Motion Graphic Trends of 2018
Motion graphics trends are created and impacted by the pop culture zeitgeist and the latest technological innovations.
While it is not recommended to blindly jump on the bandwagon of any and all trends, it is a vital practice for all of you motion design ninjas to be well informed of what is hip and on the cutting-edge in the motion graphics industry as a source of creative inspiration and also to be able to best cater to the needs of your clientele. Nobody wants a project with an out-of-date look!
So what are the major trends and design patterns of motion design that have emerged in the design scene and will continue to grow throughout 2018?
Let’s explore it all in this trend-spotting post where we have identified the top 20 motion graphic trends of 2018 and will present all the trend insight you need to add some contemporary flair to your motion design projects.
The glitch distortion effect — think pixelated off-register images or the visual crackle of a video stream evoking the scratchy static of an old TV — has been used by a number of big brands recently.
No other trend has garnered quite as much ubiquitous traction as the glitch effect.
Adweek & Shutterstock report that glitch design has permeated almost every aspect of culture, from fashion to marketing, branding, packaging, to TV, film and motion design.
As a trend that manages the paradoxical feat of having a vibe that is both futuristic and retro — glitch is inspired by an overall move in design towards celebrating the eerie beauty of controlled imperfection.
If you’d to explore this fun and interesting major trend, you can now create your own glitch distortion in After Effects with our Glitch Toolkit.
Glitch Builder by Motion Factory
Glitch Builder by Motion Factory
The trend of morphing shape layers — morphing between shapes, objects, or icons — is one that has been around for a good few years but we continue to see a lot of this morphing trend in contemporary motion graphics and it is by now an established trend that continues to gain momentum and popularity. The morphing trend is particularly prevalent in logo animations.
Numeral Morph by Sara Farnsworth
Super Bowl Sunday by R A D I O
The capabilities of 3D allow creative opportunities that otherwise would be almost impossible to reach. It is very safe to say that we will continue to see more 3D throughout 2018 in not just the motion design sector but all industries and sectors for everything from small to big-budget productions and commercials, product shots, marketing campaigns and game design.
A hot emerging trend in the motion design industry is that designers are exploring new ways to mix 2D with 3D animation and graphics to achieve a more graphic, stylized look and create complex visuals. This leads to a variety of new and interesting experiences to offer the viewer. Experts predict that the trend of mixing 3D and 2D in motion design will solidly continue to gain in popularity.
The Sphere by Aslan A.
Liquid motion — animations in which organic shapes transform in a liquid way — is a trend that (just the morphing trend) has stuck around for awhile but continues to enjoy enduring popularity. After Effects allowed smooth fluid transitions between scenes or images which catapulted liquid motion as a trend to a whole new level and has secured its popularity in the advertising world.
Liquid shape by Grégory Villien
OK by Eduard Mykhailov
Bright, bold, brave colors and hues are surging in popularity this year and making a prominent impact in the digital design world. Utilized and praised for their visual prowess, the trend is to use colors to “Make it pop!” Given the growing demand for designs that stand out, the trend of bright bold colors will continue their trend in 2018.
Digital media designers have witnessed vibrant violets become a popular color choice in recent years, especially in web and mobile app design. Pantone affirmed this trend by naming ‘Ultraviolet’ as Pantone Color of the Year 2018. With its official “Color of the Year” status, we can expect this trend to gain steam in 2018.
Pantone Color of the Year! The bright bold ultra violet.
The soft & lulling candy colors of a pastel palette remind most of us our childhood. Driven perhaps by the wave of nostalgic vintage vibe that is on the rise right now, the retro pastel palette as interpreted with a modern eye that punches up the saturation of the sweet candy colors and infuses them with an undeniable kick is now very much on trend.
Gradients — or ‘Gradient 2.0’ or “color transitions” as they are increasingly called nowadays — reigned supreme in the design world until they were dethroned by flat design but now are making their modern-day comeback as a semi-flat design enhancement.
The reappearance of gradients in iOS and adoption by industry leaders Stripe, Spotify and Instagram have solidified their popularity.
Considered as one of the biggest graphic design trends of the year, right now, the world is obsessed by the transition of one hue to another, and the gradient trend is ly to be fueled by the onset of Virtual & Augmented reality as websites and designers try to incorporate more realism, immersion & 3-dimensional elements in the design and we will be seeing more of them not just in the foreground but in the form of vibrant UI, branding, backgrounds, illustrations and overlays and eventually a natural element of design, bringing more depth and dimension to compositions.
Gradient Posters by Studio–JQ
Gradient Posters by Studio–JQ
Gradient Posters by Studio–JQ
The use of typography in motion design is a classic trend.
We think that David Fincher’s Se7en directed all the way back in the dark ages of 1995, is a film that has withstood the time not just for its acting and plot but also for its sublime use of kinetic typography in its title sequence but let’s look at the motion graphics typographic trends of 2018 and how motion designers are practicing typography artistry in 2018 to bring fonts to life in animation, TV, Film, Videos, Title Sequences.
Masking visuals inside the lettering itself. The technique of embedding visuals inside the text alluringly references the content and draws the viewer’s attention. This catchy typography trend of 2018 has been used in titles sequences of shows and films such as Top Gear, Stranger Things, and The Deuce.
Using extra-large font sizes and huge and bold text graphics in different font styles is very much in vogue right now in web design animations and also as eye-popping title sequences in films — as successfully used to establish menacing unsettling vibes in shows and films such as Mindhunter and Split. When it comes to typography in 2018 you’ll find that size matters! The bigger and the bolder: the better!
As used in films such as Thor Ragnarok and Downsizing, this is the trendy typography style where typography and title graphics are layered with 3D elements to establish the mood of what viewers are about to watch.
Kinetic typography, the technical name for “moving texts” is an animation technique mixing motion and text. Text that moves across the screen it’s being typed or revealed in real time creates a visual effect with immediate impact as it pops up and writes out word for word. Kinetic typography is essentially motion typography and it is a big trend that is overtaking video text graphics today.
Using animated Fonts and Titles is a trendy way for gaining attention and keeping the audience invested while also conveying them a message, two birds with one stone! The designs range from simple moving characters all the way to paying homage to social heroes.
Major players in the digital sector are increasing their resources towards building fluid user experiences. Interactions have proven to be a capable form of improving the users’ experience and lately, there’s a lot of buzz about “micro-interactions.” But what exactly are micro-interactions?
Micro-interactions are very subtle animations that enhance user experience and allow the user to engage with an interface in a single moment. For example, it is the mouse cursor that changes from a black arrow when moving, to an insert bar when it hovers over a text field, to a finger when it moves over a button.
Micro-interactions are possibly one of the biggest UX trends to date — they are everywhere and will only grow in use and popularity.
Web Interaction by InVision
App Interaction by Leo Leuong
Interaction test by Riccardo Agostinelli
UI Interaction by John Oates
According to various creative trends reports, from Behance to Shutterstock, the overall trend is more animations and video on the Internet and an ever more increasing demand for GIFs by companies looking to market themselves in the digital space, especially on social media.
Funny, clever and appealing, GIFs entertain and engage users and fit in fabulously with the very short modern attention span, and are thus valuable tools for reaching customers and communicating ideas. Let’s face it, it is an emoji and GIF world and we only live in it.
Animated GIF logos, in turn, have become a super hot trend of their own. Distinctive and unique, animated logos captivate and draw the users attention and are popping up in interesting and creative ways.
Behance Logo by Igor Pavlinski
Flickr Logo Animation by YaroFlasher
One of the emerging motion graphic trends of 2018, cinemagraphs, is animated images that are essentially still photos with a minor and repeating movement video loop for only a selection of the image. Think a photo portrait of a woman with tresses of her hair blowing in the wind. The juxtaposition and contrast of movement on extreme stillness is surreal, eerie and hypnotically striking.
Virtual reality has evolved into a new phase with great potential as a medium that all industries and sectors from around the world will inevitably use for various purposes. According to experts, the virtual reality trend will continue to gain in popularity throughout 2018.
Virtual reality lends itself to depicting complex surreal scenes, To wit, in one of her latest videos appropriately titled “Notget VR”, Bjork used utilized virtual reality to create high-quality surreal effects and vibe. (It is interesting to note that in this technically ambitious Bjork video you see a lot of 2018 motion design trends combined: virtual reality, surreal themes, fantasy, and sci-fi.)
Utilizing virtual reality to create surreal effects is an aesthetic that we predict will be an emerging hot trend in motion design.
Fantasy, New Minimalism, and Space are the top three style vibes that influence design and visual production in 2018 — as reported by Shutterstock’s Seventh Creative Trends Report. Retro is also another genre with a strong presence and influence across the spectrum of popular culture and visual design.
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. That’s what the bible says! This is very apt to capture the retro vibe of motion design right now as everything old is new gain and the creation of the retro look through animation and motion graphics is becoming quite popular.
With the recently announced Lord of the Rings TV series looming on the horizon; the everlasting popularity of Harry Potter; and the dominating global popularity of Game of Thrones it is not too fantastic a surprise that Fantasy makes Shutterstock’s list as its top design influence.
We already saw fantasy mixed with surreal and virtual reality in Bjork’s video and from mythical beasts to magical landscapes, can expect to see the symbols and styles of the fantasy genre to penetrate the motion design storytelling field.
The Daily Oddity by Dixon Jong
The Daily Oddity by Dixon Jong
The Daily Oddity by Dixon Jong
Minimalism in 2018 is still a major trend but it is evolving for modern times.
The new minimalism challenges the concept of bare-minimum “stripped down” with added texture and concentrated vibrant colors and even loopable sounds and goes beyond crisp, clean lines to feature bold fluid styles that re-imagine this consistently popular art form. It is absolutely on trend to make a statement with the uncomplicated yet bold style of New Minimalism.
Channel Branding by PALIS – Paula Vidal
With the revitalization of Star Wars, Star Trek, and several Marvel cosmic films, as well as TV, in popular series Stranger Things, Dark, and The Orville; not to mention the surging trend of virtual reality, the space and sci-fi genres continues to infiltrate the popular culture and psyche and in turn pose as major influences in the creative world. Expect to see increasing use of the images, symbols, and styles of space and sci-fi by motion designers.
everydays by beeple
Callisto by Aldo Pulella
everydays by beeple
Avengers Age of Altrun –HUD-MONITOR DESIGN
If these elements of Sci-Fi and Space are appealing to you and want to use them in your projects, you can easily access them using our HUD builder toolkit for Adobe After Effects.
10 items you are wearing to work that are making you look older than you are
Putting your best foot forward when it comes to what you wear to work can have a huge impact on your career. A 2018 research study by staffing firm OfficeTeam found that 80% of managers said that they believe that what you wear to work can impact your chances of getting a promotion.
Another study in the Journal of Human Performance found that people who are more physically attractive are treated better at work. Looking older than you are (and possibly less attractive because of it) can distract potential employers and superiors from seeing the youthful exuberance behind your work ethic.
Fashion trends may come and go, but the clothes you wear to work shouldn’t make you look older than you are. You can dress fashionably at work and avoid dating yourself by passing on the 10 items below.
1. Completely black attire
Black may feel a safe color to wear to work, but when you dress in the dark hue head-to-toe, Marie Claire reported the color can make you look “ill, washed out and considerably older” especially when worn near the face.
You can still wear black, but opt for pops of color to balance out its aging abilities. Wearing shades of red-violet can provide a youthful appearance — especially for women over 40. If the trends of 2020 fashion week are any indicator, you will see successful people in the office wearing pops of red, green, and saffron yellow in order to emote confidence, growth, and
2. Oversized blazers
Trendy blazers can be a fashionable way to flaunt fashion in the office, but an ill-fitting blazer can date your style and make you look older. Even though oversized power suits can be fashion-forward, if it’s too baggy, it can add unwarranted years to your age.
New York Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2020 provided several updated blazers to freshen up your work wardrobe with less dated looks, including professional designs from PH5. Founder Wei Lin told Vogue.
com the brand wanted to create women’s workwear pieces that “didn’t feel old.”
The oversized blazer trend may not be as popular with men, but wearing a baggy blazer can leave a man looking disheveled and older than they actually are. To create a more polished look, men can opt for tailored jackets that accentuate their frame.
3. Un-tailored suits
Speaking of tailored jackets, a well-fitted suit can do wonders for any person’s work attire. Regardless of how much your suit costs, to begin with, going the extra mile and having the suit tailored to fit your exact frame can shave years off of your look.
According to Real Men Real Style, “extreme tightness or looseness shouldn’t be felt since these bring down your confidence.” In addition to not looking older than you are, confidence is an absolute necessity in the workplace.
4. Skirts too long
The skirt is a mainstay of business attire for women, but if your skirt is too long, it can make you look even older than you actually are. Inside Out Style reported that while a midi-length skirt can look lady when worn with heels, it can age older women unnecessarily. Going longer than a midi skirt? That’s a definite don’t for business attire.
If you still want to wear a skirt, aim for a knee-length pencil style. There are also ways to rock a miniskirt in your office over the summer if you find the right skirt and pair it with a tailored blazer or collared shirt tucked in.
5. Baggy jeans
Wearing jeans is a reality for many professionals today. A One Poll survey pointed out that only one in five office environments actually still upholds a formal dress code. For one-third of workers in a Ranstad USA survey, they would rather have a casual dress code ( one that allows jeans) than an extra $5000 per year.)
If your office allows a more laid back look — or even if they just have casual Fridays— jeans may be your go-to pant. However, if your jeans hang off of your figure, leaving them too loose, it can make you look older than you are. Not to mention, you will appear less professional overall.
6. Jersey fabrics
Jersey material clings to the body and accentuates areas that you might not want to be highlighted in an unflattering way, making you appear older. Instead, opt for stiffer fabrics that hold their shape instead of conforming to yours.
If you just can’t live without the breathability and flexibility of jersey fabric, Oprah.com recommended the denser double-knit jersey in a tailored, structured shape a sheath dress for the most flattering look.
7. Retro pieces without a modern twist
Wearing a vintage scarf around your neck may feel a throwback to your favorite point in fashion history — and it can look great at work when done correctly. However, when retro styles are worn without contemporary pieces to round out the look, StyleCasterhttps://www.whowhatwear.com/most-aging-shoe-styles/slide2 warned that you can appear dated.
Head-to-toe vintage is also an office don’t. You want to flaunt your ability to mix current and classic styles by pairing the old with the new, lest you lead co-workers to believe you’re stuck in the past, or 10 years older than you actually are.
8. Wire-rimmed eyeglasses
The importance of eye contact in the workplace cannot be overstated. It can help establish rapport with others and make you appear more likable, according to a Harvard psychiatrist. In general, store-bought readers with thin, metal frames ( you typically see resting on the end of a person’s nose) can date your look.
Instead, choose eyeglass frames that are bold and modern in shape and material. Verywell
Health reported that berry and jewel tones are flattering eyeglass frame choices for women, while men should opt for blues, burgundies, and greens.
9. Outdated shoes
Round-toed heels can look “frumpy” and age women in the workplace, according to Who What Wear. The site also noted that the time to wear peep-toe heels on the job has passed and to avoid this look in order to avoid a dated look.
Men should also be careful to avoid shoes that make them look older. Square-toed shoes are back in style for men — well, almost. Pair them carefully with a straight-leg trouser or jeans to avoid looking too dated.
10. Sweater sets
Wearing a sweater set can significantly age a woman over 20, according to Harper’s Bazaar. They might seem sensible, but in reality, the combo of a cardigan over a matching shell just screams little old lady, even when you don’t mean for it to. Find your youthfulness again by opting instead for a longer, trendy cardigan belted at the waist.
When done well, cardigans can be an office do for men, too. For men, you’ll want to stick with a fitted, button-up cardigan paired with slacks and a button-down shirt with dress shoes in a neutral color palette per The Trend Spotter to look smart, yet avoid looking dated.
Tile Trends: Choices Abound
With new colors and finishes in a range of sizes and materials, today’s tile offers many design options for clients. That’s where you come in.
authors Chuck Ross
Brand new to the market, the Mirandela Series from Ege Seramik shows how tile designers are adding in intricate dimensional patterning, with roots going back to the turn of the last century. Shown here in Cream, it also can be ordered in 10 other finishes.
Ceramic and more recently porcelain tile was once thought of in purely functional terms. The colors might change, but the format generally remained the same.
Product options were similarly limited, with sheets of rectangular mosaics for kitchen backsplashes and 4-inch squares for the bathroom.
Those days have passed to the pleasure of many designers, and now homeowners have a sometimes-overwhelming range of options to choose from.
For at least one trend spotter, in fact, today’s broad range of products is making it difficult to actually spot trends. “It used to be very definite, what was in and what was out.
What we’re seeing now is a lot of available choices, and sometimes it makes it difficult to identify current trends,” says Lindsey Waldrup, marketing vice president for Crossville Tile.
But she sees millennial home buyers relishing all the available choices.
“I think the younger generations purchasing their first homes now were raised with an attitude that rules were just suggestions when it comes to design,” she says. And today’s broad product lineup is offering up many suggestions to consider.
The Code line from Emser Tile features hexagon, wedge and trapezoid shapes, along with a range of finishes from marble to metallic. Varying dimensionality and textures also available, providing a range of options for unique installations.
The rapid entry of porcelain products into the U.S. market has only added to homeowners’ design decisions. While the material was originally promoted over ceramic tiles for its low water-absorption rate and through-body finishes, designers say these differences rarely come into play in wall applications. And, in the end, most buyers are most interested in appearance.
“People are very familiar now with the term ‘porcelain,’ but they’re really looking for something that’s going to look great and fit their budget,” says Emily Holle, trend and design director for MSI Surfaces. “Porcelain tends to be at a higher price, so often people will end up using ceramic on the wall because of that.”
Waldrup agrees with Holle’s assessment. “I see more questions being asked about floors because consumers are more concerned about chipping and breaking, [and] because of the wear and tear on a floor versus a wall,” she says. And in some wall locations, ceramic remains the material of choice. “You’re going to see a lot more ceramic on backsplashes than you are porcelain, and that’s fine.”
However, DeeDee Gundberg, director of product development and design for Ann Sacks, has one caveat when it comes to the choice of one material over the other.
“In general, there is no difference in performance for a backsplash,” she says, noting this isn’t always the case in bathroom projects.
“In a shower application, one should confirm that the ceramic tile has a glaze that is not crackled, as water can penetrate through the cracks in the tile and discolor the body.”
While material might not matter much to today’s tile buyers, size is beginning to make a big difference. Consumers are moving toward larger formats for both kitchen and bathroom installations. Burhan Ozturk, Ege Seramik’s sales manager, says his company’s Euro-influenced lines are expanding to meet growing demand for larger formats.
Creating a signature, ceiling-high feature wall here, Daltile’s Marble Attaché Lavish tile brings the beauty of marble to a porcelain product. The inset was created using mosaics from the line. Field tile is available in large format sizes up to 24 by 48.
“In our portfolio, small-size 3 by 6 and 4 by 13 glossy-finished wall tiles are high-selling lines, but we also added new sizes such as 3 by 9 and 3 by 12 to provide more options for our customers,” he says, noting that there’s room for preferences to shift to even larger dimensions. “Though we are able to sell 10 by 30 or 13 by 39 wall tiles in Turkey or Europe, those styles are still too early for the U.S. residential market.”
Melanie Towey, regional sales manager with Emser Tile, says her company also sees a shift to larger formats. “You have 12 by 24 and 12 by 12, and now larger format and different sizes in both rooms,” she says. “Matte and texture also are big, along with a lot of the geometric shapes.”
While also noting a trend toward larger sizes, Shelley Halbert, Marazzi’s lead designer, says off-white tones are moving up in popularity, though white remains the most popular color.
“The taupe and the ‘greige,’” she says, using the term for today’s trending neutral shade that falls between gray and beige. As for texture, “Satin is kind of the finish we’re leaning to now.
We’ve also seen people doing a combination of gloss and matte for more of a 3D feel,” she says.
The Materika family from Marazzi is glazed porcelain tile finished in muted, powdery hues that suggest concrete. The minimalist appearance can be offset with options for wavy or combed surfaces.
MSI’s Holle says she sees a reaction against “white fatigue” in homeowners’ current color choices. “They’re still going to be married to their white countertop, but also a lot of blue tiles—navies, pale blue and emerald green. We’re even seeing encaustic patterns with black and white, with some blues and grays.”
Bolder color choices also are on Waldrup’s radar. “Whether in the kitchen or bath, we’re seeing a lot more color,” she says. “I’m seeing more black and matte black in the kitchen, and sandstone looks cut larger, floor-style tile.”
Styling with Tile in the Kitchen
In kitchen applications subway tile still rules, though tile designers are making some changes with this longtime favorite.
“The traditional 3 by 6 subway is evolving to 4 by 12 or 6 by 12,” says Laura Grilli, Daltile’s lead designer.
Homeowners are stepping away from simple running-bond patterns toward more interesting fish-scale and chevron approaches. She adds that backsplashes are getting more attention.
“The kitchen is now an important part of the house, and sometimes the backsplash can really be the focal point of the design,” she says. “Now encaustic patterns are very popular, and the new Moroccan style is popular.”
Ege Seramik’s Ozturk also is seeing new subway-style options breaking into the market. “Subway tiles are getting larger with different color options and finish alternatives,” he says. “We decided to add new sizes for our small-format wall tile offerings. In addition, we came up with crackle-look glazed wall tiles with several color options.”
Illustrating just how bold today’s offerings for the bath can be, this installation pairs two new offerings from Ann Sacks. The Crackle Collection wall tile (not recommended for showers) is available in a palette of deep jewel tones (Emerald is shown here). The sink and wall are clad in the richly veined Scala marble.
Crossville Tile’s Waldrup sees new finish and format preferences emerging. “I’m seeing more natural looking materials—sandstone and things that look concrete but without the maintenance,” she says.
“And I didn’t think I’d see the day penny-rounds would come back, but they have. Also large format pieces, so it looks slab stone, but you you’ve got low, low maintenance.
And with that slab look, I’ve seen a lot of counters of the same material, so visually it just continues.”
Towey, who notes Emser Tile has added a subtle wave to standard subway designs with its Craft line, agrees that industrial concrete looks are taking off. “The cement tile looka has been wildly popular for us in the 9 by 9 format,” she says. “It’s getting an aesthetic that’s popular, with added durability. We’ve seen it continue to grow as a trend.”
As to the use of colors, Waldrup sees two different design approaches now taking hold. “I see a lot of bold colors, and heavily veined stones are back in,” she says. “So I think if you’re going to be subtle, you’re going to be really subtle; and if you’re going to do color, you’re going to be really bold.”
Holle also sees divergent trends. “White and gray are still king, and marble looks are very important, but color is coming on strong,” she says. “Glass is a big part of that, and we’re seeing crackled finishes are becoming important.”
And, she adds, tile as a material is simply becoming more important in homeowners’ kitchen planning. “I think one of the big things is the way people are incorporating more tile,” she says. “They’re running it all the way around the window, or all the way up the hood wall.”
Bathrooms as Personal Spas
The trend toward larger formats is also playing out in a big way with bathroom showers, according to our experts. One advantage of bigger tile is it leads to fewer grout lines—an important plus for those who might have had issues with mold in the past. Larger tiles also can help create a more luxe appearance.
MSI Surface’s Kenzzi Porcelain Tile Collection features Moroccan-style patterning that’s durable enough for floors and countertops. Here the Paloma pattern stands out against oversized white subway tile to create a vivid bath feature wall.
“The wall tiles are closer to 5 or 6 inches,” says Marazzi’s Halbert. “It gives you a little more pattern and it gives you a high-end look, but it’s not as expensive as stone.”
Daltile’s Grilli sees classic grand hotel looks showing up in bathroom plans, with Victorian-style encaustic floor tiles paired with walls clad in tiles mimicking the look of polished marble. “Bigger sizes are showing up—even 10 by 30 or 12 by 36—to recreate the hotel spa looks,” she says. “But with 3D, with texture, so you have different levels in the style of the tile face.”
Crossville’s Handwritten line is offered in a range of shapes and finishes, all offering the appearance of retro, handcrafted tile. Shown here is the Diamond Mosaic pattern, coordinated with chair rail and liner trim pieces.
Emser’s Towey also is seeing increasing interest in high-end, large-format stone looks. “The natural stone lookas with the veining are big sellers; it’s the porcelain and ceramic being able to take on that look with added durability,” she says. In fact, some are starting to create shower surrounds clad in single slab-style porcelain panels. “We’re seeing that pick up across the market.”
Waldrup draws a distinction between powder rooms and bathrooms when discussing these design trends. “In powder rooms, you’re always going to have a lot more fun with the design,” she says, incorporating more color and metallic finishes. “If you used a blue-glazed tile in your kitchen, you might bring it in as an accent.”
Bathrooms, especially master baths, she says, face differing demands. In these spaces lighter, less-distracting finishes serve a functional purpose. “Bathrooms where people are preparing themselves for outside viewing tend to be softer.”
But regardless of location or finish preference, Waldrup says she is seeing an increasing interest in tile that has the look of being handcrafted. “I think it’s just an extension of the maker’s movement, which we began talking about a few years ago.”
Examples of such handmade designs could include the retro-looking mosaic tiles mentioned by several of these designers, including Marazzi’s Halbert. “Hexagon mosaics have been very popular for shower floors and as accents on the wall,” she says.
Beyond Kitchens and Baths
While kitchens and baths are certainly the most important rooms for tile in most homeowners’ plans, the material is showing up in both accent and full-wall applications in other areas as well. “Typically, it’s a very small area where you can make a big impact,” Waldrup says. “It’s a quick and easy change.”
And Grilli says such use can help set the tone for a home’s visitors. “I see creating an accent wall, for instance in the entryway,” she says. “It’s sort of a business card. I see a lot of shape and three-dimensionals here, in a real stone or cement. Metal is also a very strong trend now.”
Others see fireplace surrounds as a common application for tile in common living spaces. “Tiling the fireplace is very common, and a great way to bring tile into the living spaces,” says Ann Sacks’ Gundberg. “This can be a simple tile that blends into the background, or a stunning focal point of the room.” QR
From blue tea to avocado coffee: AI tool to help firms launch new products ‘ahead of trend’
According to Kerry Vice President Marketing & Strategy APMEA Parth Patel, Trendspotter was developed in order to both launch F&B products ahead of trend as well as to reduce the lead time for innovation by up to seven months.
“Imagine, if as a branded food and beverage player you are able to launch a new product ahead of its trend. Basically, you are creating a runway for yourself and most probably you are going to be the only player, hence chances of success are high,” he told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“We aim to reduce the lead time for innovation and the chances of failure of new product launches, while increasing the probability of success by focusing on those trends which are emerging and not yet mainstream.”
The need here comes from high rates of recorded failures – a recent Nielsen study found that 85% of new product launches fail within 18 to 24 months, driving high burdens in terms of cost, time, and effort for all major F&B companies.
“[This] AI-enabled tool [aims to tackle this] as it can predict, with a high degree of probability, soon-to-be popular flavors and ingredients across 60 countries,” Patel said.
“Trendspotter took close to two years to develop together with IBM Watson, and is the premise that most innovation happens outside-in – it starts from the fringes (local bars, pubs, cafes, restaurants, street side stalls), moves inwards to food service and finally into the retail packaged sector.”
In accordance with this, the tool works by capturing data from various sources such as Instagram, Google, Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) menus and other social forums, then making predictions it’s the proprietarily developed AI algorithm to determine the trends.
A Chinese version of Trendspotter is on its way with a focus on Chinese firms so as to better capture the APAC market as a whole, as is an updated version dubbed Trendspotter 3.0.
Although Patel declined to reveal full details of product brands launched in APAC using this tool due to existing confidentiality agreements, he said that savoury snacks had been one of the major areas of focus so far.
“As a case study example, we recently collaborated with a very large snacks player in South East Asia using this tool, [who] wanted to launch a flavour extension of an existing popular snacks (crisps or chips) brand,” he said.
“We leveraged insights from Trendspotter to identify emerging flavours and suggested those for further exploration. A typical process such as this one might take four to six weeks, but with the help of Trendspotter we were able to revert back with product concepts within just five days.”
“The entire process from ideation to commercialisation took less than two months, [up to seven months faster than normal, as the] typical time for such projects could take six to nine months. [One of the main benefits of moving at lightning speed here] was that it helped them to gain market share with the new launch.”
Other major trends that have been identified in the APAC region using Trendspotter revolve around a ‘multisensorial’ aspect, going beyond taste to cover all senses including sight and touch.
“Major trends we have identified in the APAC region include beverages that indulge all five senses, for example avocado coffee, blue tea and nitro cold brews,” said Patel.
Blue tea undoubtedly appeals to the visual sense for its bright colouration, whereas avocado coffee – one of the most popular variants being a vegan avocado latte dubbed ‘avolatte’ which is served in an avocado shell – appears to call to both sight and touch, and is gaining exceptional popularity in Australia.
“Asia is increasingly seen as a trendsetter and there are many innovations that are now going west from here. Think of fermented drinks kombucha, cheese tea, bubble tea, the entire Korean food revolution,” he added.
Patel added that this tool is targeted to intelligently spot trends across all F&B categories, both in packaged goods and food service, and highlighted that in doing this, one of the major challenges the team faced was to train the AI and develop the right algorithm.
“[It was key to develop the algorithm and train the AI so it produced consistent and highly reliable predictions, [and] patience is key in working with any AI,” he said.
“You have to teach it to be intelligent and aligned with your expected outcomes; AI learns really fast so when you teach it the right things you move along quickly, but it moves equally fast when you teach it the wrong things.”
Other areas requiring much focus included data management and UI design – all of which carry monumental importance as Kerry’s Trendspotter is not the only AI-based tool in town with this focus.
Singapore-based start-up AI Palette also does essentially the same thing, predicting F&B trends using AI, but has the supposed advantage of being ‘language agnostic’, and so works with all sorts of non-English languages.
Though currently running on a smaller scale, AI Palette recently secured US$1.05mn in funding and has plans to scale up, so time will tell whether this will give Trendspotter a run for its money.