Speaking of the Top 12 Current Design Trends…

8 10 2013

Gifts and Decorative Accessories Magazine recently asked retailers to fill out a survey about current trends. Below I’ve listed the top 12 design trends for gift and home decor products in the U.S. While reviewing the themes, it occurred to me that many artists may not actually make a list of trends and then create art for these themes, when and if they fit your art style.  If you don’t, it is something you might want to consider.

  • Americana/Made in the USA
  • Asian
  • Celebrity or Pop Culture
  • Classic
  • Coastal/Cottage
  • Eco-Friendly/Green
  • Lodge/Cabin
  • Modern/Contemporary
  • Retro
  • Traditional
  • Safari/Adventure
  • Spiritual/Religious

If you are excited about the prospect of diversifying your business and creating new collections, why not start by doing some basic sorting to see what you already have in terms of collections and art. Then you can review the list to contemplate the options, and it may expand your thoughts and ideas.

Many themes can be broken down further into sub-categories with a variety of designs developed to appeal to different niche audiences:

  • end users – categorized by sex and/or age (women, men, tweens, kids, boys, girls, infants, etc.)
  • everyday and/or seasons (winter, spring, summer, fall)
  • occasions/life events (birthday, wedding, birth announcement, election year, dating, back-to-school, graduation, dating, etc.)
  • holidays (Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Valentines Day, Mother’s Day, etc.).
  • location of use (the specific location where the product will be used, such as kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, garden, etc.)
  • geographic location (an area of the country, region or city, such as New York City, countryside, lake, coastal/beach, cabin, lodge, tropical, desert, etc.)
  • activities (jogging, yoga, singing, gaming, sports, etc.)

You can add to the above examples; really the sub-categories are quite limitless. Obviously, the more targeted a design or collection is to specific occasions, regions and activities, the smaller the  potential audience of buyers.  This is an important factor that manufacturers and agents will consider.  But, also, if we don’t mix things up, nothing new will be created.

I also like to think about crossing two trends to create a unique ‘cat-dog’ or other composite creation. This can mean mixing unexpected styles with unexpected themes. For example, a Spiritual/Religious theme executed in a tatoo-styled art; or Lodge/Cabin theme created in a modern style.

Just use this as an idea generator to think about new ways to interpret those popular categories and your own general themes.  You may prefer covering one topic in-depth, such as cat images for various ages and occasions. Or you may have the kind of creativity that jumps and scatters widely across a broad segment of themes.  Either way is fine.  Keeping your true interests and passions in mind is what’s most important. Have fun seeing where you fit and what fits you.

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