Talking Trends with Designer Kate Huot BruzziKristin Crane
Kate Huot Bruzzi is a graphic designer based in East Providence, Rhode Island. Throughout her career, she has designed for companies with a focus on branding and marketing. She has skills in packaging design and most recently works building digital marketing packages for businesses. When she’s not working at her day job (or running a half marathon), she designs logos and branding on a freelance basis for local nonprofits and independent artists.
What types of trends does Kate Huot Bruzzi see right now in the graphic design world?
Kate sees a lot of work in graphic design right now focusing on accessibility. Our worlds were already moving more and more online, and the global pandemic only accelerated that. And people are doing more than just working from home and shopping online. They are getting critical information about public health guidance, researching pandemic benefits, and fostering personal relationships. As a result, there is a big push to have information be as straightforward as possible. Design is focused more on being user-friendly than being artful. On social media, brands know they are competing for people to stop scrolling. With little time to attract people, colors are bright, friendly, and eye-catching. Words are clear and direct.
Where does Kate do her research?
Kate doesn’t necessarily go out and purposely research trends, the way designers in other industries such as fashion or textiles might. For her work, it’s less about a color being popular but more about what a project and client needs. She lets that guide her. She often uses Pinterest and Instagram as a resource to research what is happening in different industries.
For example, if she is working on a project for a food-focused business, she’ll spend a lot of time researching trends in the food world, as opposed to the graphic design world. She’ll look at food influencers on Instagram and flip through food magazines. Recently, she completed a branding project for a local woodworker and spent a lot of time diving into that world. She brought a sketchbook into his woodshop to look at the tools and materials he uses. She let that guide her work in creating his brand identity.
What trends are happening in typography?
Typography is a crucial part of graphic design. Lately, Kate sees more tall, serif fonts, similar to those popular in the 80s. Trends in type, and graphic design in general, move much more slowly than trends in other industries such as fashion or interiors. “It’s rare to see flash in the pan fads in graphic design.” Serious brands and businesses want their branding to stand the test of time.
Having said that, the popularity of DIY tools such as the Cricut has popularized more decorative typefaces such as those that give a farmhouse or handmade aesthetic. The type used for those kinds of tools and projects does change more quickly.
Thanks so much to Kate Huot Bruzzi for taking the time to talk trends with us. If you’d like to see more of Kate’s work, visit her website.