How I Scope Out Trends in Design

Happy Tuesday!

Monday's over, so let's celebrate! :) I've been wanting to write this post for quite some time now, this is a fun subject for me...let's get TRENDY!

Ok, while I don't always think it's a great idea to be obsessed with trendiness, I think if you're a creative entrepreneur - it is part of your job. Your clients want design that is fresh and new, and possibly something they've seen elsewhere - whether it be an interesting texture, script font or color. And I want to let you in a few secrets of mine, where I get my inspiration on current trends...Oh! And stay tuned for a pretty printable worksheet that you can download for FREE.




  1. HomeGoods - OK I miss this little beauty of a store from back in my Twin Cities livin' Minnesota days. I would hit it up on many a night after work to get my shopping fix on a budget. Combined with TJ Maxx, it is a trendy girl's dream! But, even though I'm living in a town-that-doesn't-have-TJMaxx in North Dakota, I can still get the current styles delivered right to my inbox! Just subscribe to their email list, and you can see all that is trending in home design and decor. Home design, you say? I thought we were talking graphic design? Well, that is my little tip (which, you may have already figured out on your own). Many textures, backgrounds and color schemes used in web and print design actually trend from home design. Think - that new Quatrefoil patterned throw, or that chic gold metallic sculpture. These translate into a quatrefoil background texture in a social media graphic, with a classic gold script font. Getting an email from HomeGoods in my inbox with their current trendy photos gives me a wealth of ideas as a graphic designer. And their photo styling is just. plain. cute!
  2. Etsy - I think we all know we love Etsy, and all the stylish goodies and design inspiration that comes from it. As an Etsy Store Shop Owner, I am on their email list, and frequently get an email with their top picks. I find this is also a great source of inspiration, because a beautiful printed texture on a handbag or an amazing jade colored ring can spark something I could translate into a web or print layout.
  3. HGTV - I am a self-proclaimed HGTV junkie, and have been watching this show for a looooong time. And, while this may be off-topic, have they picked the 2016 Dream Home winner yet? Because I entered twice a day every day and I haven't got a phone call yet! Anywho, I have a love affair with this program because it is a constant source of new ideas. Follow them on Facebook and you can get a nice stream of photos with the current home design trends from Joanna at Fixer Upper, or Nicole at Rehab Addict. And don't forget the Property Brothers or Jillian from Love it or List it Too! I look for curtain fabric textures, throw pillows, colors and metals for my graphic design inspiration.
  4. Pantone Color of the Year - Another great resource for color inspiration is the Pantone Color of the Year. This year the colors are Rose Quartz & Serenity. Rose Quartz being a slightly nude-ish pink, and Serenity is more of a lavender/periwinkle color. The two colors complement each other well, and can be incorporated into a design together, or with the "Color Pairings" that Pantone suggests. The color pairings are helpful, because if you are at a loss for a color scheme for a new project, or just are looking to try something new and different - this is a good place to start. It shows last year's colors as well. Once you find the right color you'd like to use, just open your Adobe Creative Cloud program of choice, and go to your Swatches Menu. Create a "New Color Swatch" and from there you can choose your Color Mode. There will be a dropdown menu where you can find your specific Pantone color by it's name/number.
  5. Style Me Pretty - I recently found this site when I was setting up an Instagram account for a local florist and added it for her so she could follow current trends in wedding floral design. But, I feel this site is really helpful for any designer or business owner scoping out trends. Their website is pretty too. They have fresh photos, and include a color palette for each wedding theme that they showcase. Wedding trends are great to follow because it is yet another source of design inspiration to draw from. Flower trends are great to watch because flowers are incorporated a lot in graphic design. Watercolor flower illustrations, or using photos of popular flowers like hydrangeas or plants like succulents all are trends that carry over from the floral design world. And, bonus if you are a wedding event planner, or an invitation designer because it is really helpful source of on-trend information to follow sites like Style Me Pretty.

Are you looking to inject some trendiness into your own small business? I have the guide for you! When design inspiration grows stagnant, it is nice to have a resource that helps you through it and get "un-stuck." Download this free printable worksheet and get those trendy creative juices flowing again!


How do you like to find design inspiration? Do you have any great websites or resources that help you with your design, or give you fresh ideas? I'd love to hear about them!

Erin F.Comment