‘Practical optimism’ and the trends that will define creativity in 2024

‘Practical optimism’ and the trends that will define creativity in 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of design and branding, staying ahead of the curve is crucial for businesses seeking to make a lasting impact.

As we approach 2024, a new wave of trends is set to redefine the visual and strategic aspects of how brands connect with their audiences.

Shaping the creative sphere, we anticipate shifting brand dynamics and a call for practical optimism. Brands that pay attention to these possibilities and tap into the opportunities they present will be the ones who chart the course for a captivating and dynamic future.

The pandemic impact: a shift in brand dynamics

While it may be difficult to remember, the years preceding the pandemic were marked by global energy and activism. This was exemplified by movements like Black Lives Matter and #metoo, as well as heightened concerns about data privacy.

Brands that aligned themselves with these societal values garnered attention. For example, SoftBank, United Health, Shopify, Tommy Hilfiger, Lyft and Bodyform each contributed to this progressive narrative and reaped the benefits.

The pandemic swiftly altered brand expectations. Post-covid, brands must be practical and honest, and guide consumers through challenging eras, while offering innovative solutions and finding ways to continue with life. For example, during the pandemic Nike created the slogan ‘Play Inside, Play for the World’ and Lego created daily challenges for kids stuck at home during lockdown.

While it’s now clear that life isn’t going to bounce back, brands increasingly have to demonstrate an understanding of caution and compassion. Playing it safe over flashy confidence will be key for brands to master the right tone.

The post-pandemic landscape: a call for practical optimism

As we look ahead to 2024, a new tone emerges in brand language - one of practical optimism. Brands which resonate will be those that tune in with societal needs. 

By projecting a forward-thinking attitude that goes beyond mere survival, brands can avoid ‘quiet quitting’ and seem ahead of the curve. 

Industries that embrace innovation and positive actions, stepping up in areas like the ‘circular economy’, or promoting sustainable practices, are poised to thrive.

Practical optimism in 2024 signals a shift from the anger directed at incompetent institutions to a proactive, roll-up-the-sleeve approach. Being ambitious and stable will help brands radically grow in 2024 and beyond. The brands that stand out are those that anticipate needs, support emerging trends and contribute to positive change.

How to succeed in 2024

In 2024, success will stem from the unexpected value of diversification. The more widely spread a brand is, and the more innovative the design, the more likely it will succeed. The future calls for a departure from a conservative approach and an embrace of the new, the emerging and the positive. 

Success in 2024 belongs to brands and designers that navigate the delicate balance between acknowledging reality, while maintaining ambitious optimism - a mindset that positions them as the fortunate ones in the ever-evolving landscape of design and branding.

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