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I?m not a psychic. But I?m decent at detecting trends.

One thing is certain: Design has changed over the years and will continue to change significantly. Technology has been one of key reasons design techniques have changed so quickly. Believe it or not, clipart used to be cutting edge. So did drop shadows and bevels. So did flash animations.

But eventually, either through overuse or a change in culture, certain design techniques become pass? and are replaced by newer methods.

While I don?t think we need to be chasing trends, I do think it?s important to be aware of what?s coming next. It can help us design from a forward-thinking perspective and keep our work from becoming quickly dated.

So here are three things I see happening in the future of design. See if you agree.

A decline in 3D or more realistic 3D

I?ve noticed shortly after technology or software makes it easy for everybody to design using a certain technique, the technique becomes outdated or despised by designers.

When Photoshop adds a feature to its software to make designers? jobs easier, the style changes. And 3D is becoming easy. At least, basic 3D is becoming easy.[quote]When Photoshop adds a feature to its software to make designers? jobs easier, the style changes.[/quote]

So my prediction is that people will either demand more realistic 3D, or no 3D at all. The only exception to this prediction is the third prediction. But you can wait a little bit for that.

More math involved in design

Sorry artists, but I predict math will play a bigger role in the future of design. We?re already seeing quite a bit of this in responsive website design. It?s no longer about static images and layouts; instead it?s about designs that adapt to different screen sizes or orientations.[quote]It?s no longer about static images and layouts; instead it?s about designs that adapt to different screen sizes or orientations.[/quote]

I only see this trend increasing, since more and more of the media we consume is on mobile devices such as smartphones and smart watches.

This future turns design into puzzle-solving as much as it is about making something beautiful. I see this as an exciting thing, though, because it will require even more creativity. New challenges always offer new opportunities for people to do new things and push design forward even further.

Design for 3D printing

3D printers are becoming more inexpensive. And the applications for their use are becoming broader and further-reaching. This means it?ll be easier for companies and churches to print their designs in 3D.[quote]It?ll be easier for companies and churches to print their designs in 3D.[/quote]

Designers are already using 3D printers for clothing design, architectural design, and all sorts of other applications. It?s only a matter of time until the technology becomes inexpensive and accessible enough to get in the hands of churches.

That means every designer will need to become more acquainted with 3D design and CAD software. Sorry, folks, more math. And initially, this will become frustrating for designers. But once traditional and 3D printing merge to become one, the excitement will be back for designers.

Learn the process now, and you?ll be ready to go when the two worlds merge.

So those are my predictions. Do they scare you? Excite you?

Don?t worry; there will always be a place for great designers, no matter what those online magazines tell you. It just might look a little different over the years. Choose to be flexible, and you?ll always find exciting work.

Now I?d love to hear your predictions, designers. Where do you see the future of design going? Share in a comment below.

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