Trend spotting at HOW Design Live in Atlanta

A few weeks ago Paradigm had the opportunity to visit the industry-leading design event, HOW Design Live in Atlanta. After five days of inspirational workshops and thought-provoking talks from more than a hundred designer icons, creative trailblazers and daring entrepreneurs, it’s apparent that design to create real difference is a force to be reckoned with. Here are some of the more noteworthy moments and trends. 

Make money – and change the world

At some level, most people want to help make the world a better place. Most of us settle for monthly donations to different charities and organizations. Others, like Justin Ahrens, make doing good an essential part of a company culture. Justin is the force behind Rule29, a successful creative strategic firm where staff allocates 20 percent of their time to causes that help create a more equitable world. More on how they deliver on their powerful brand promise, “Make creative matter”, here.

The Empowerment Plan

Another example of someone making a significant difference with design is Veronica Scott. Challenged by here college professor to design something to fill a real need, she came up with a self-heating coat for homeless people that could be turned into a sleeping bag. But she didn’t stop there. Next she established the Empowerment Plan, a non-profit organization that hires homeless individuals to help manufacture the coats. And as an added bonus, the people she hires get their lives back on track. 


A completely different trend is premiumization and customization of non-luxury brands. You’ve probably come across a Coca Cola bottle with your name on it. Or one of the four million uniquely spray-painted Absolut bottles. Smart manufacturing brings the added value of personalized designs and high-end experiences to more people.

Keep it simple – again

According to the LogoLounge trend report 2016, simplicity is back in style. And so is more austere typography. Other logotype trends include circles, curls and slices as well as colors that shade into each other and logotypes that create a continuous pathway.


Presentation is everything

Finally, for those who want to make a lasting impression with their PowerPoint presentations. Check out the Swedish creative agency Snask. They brought a rock band that improvised to each chapter slide during their presentation. The result? A high-energy presentation that blew the audience away. Perhaps worth a try at the next board meeting?

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