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2021’s designs on creativity
By Erwin Busselot, Business Innovation & Solutions Director, Commercial and Industrial Printing Group, Ricoh Europe
12 Feb 2021
Fedrigoni on its 2021 calendar which I discussed here and here.

At Ricoh we are always exploring what is possible and ways to extend the creativity of print by considering the infinite combinations of ink, paper and data to deliver powerful, engaging results.

One of the ways we do that is by drawing on the latest trends that are inspiring designers and brands. I have had a look at those being highlighted for 2021 and here is my pick:

1. Monochrome with a twist

There is a simplicity in black and white and it always sends a powerful message in a colourful world. But in 2021 the addition of a pop of colour – red, orange, yellow – will add a new dimension and inject a vibrant spirit. Referred to as colour-less design here it lets the colour seep out into the design.

2. Mood boosting colour

The far-reaching influence colour can have is highlighted by the mood boosting colour trend. According to Adobe bright, highly saturated colours have a positive psychological impact and make us feel more awake and alive. They lift our mood and energise. This is something we talked about here. Colour resonates. It is no coincidence that the rainbow has been adopted as an expression of LGBTQ+ Pride, diversity, and self-expression. It also became a symbol of unity for all ages during the pandemic – particularly in Great Britain.

Careful colour choice effectively communicates playfulness. It easily appeals and connects with any age but especially during difficult times. The creation of a panacea of vibrant colours is made possible by the fifth colour capabilities of the Ricoh Pro C7200x. Its production possibilities are supported the Touch7 Extended Colour Gamut system which has over 1500 colours to choose from.

3. Vintage vapourwave

Described as a visual love letter to the 1990s internet it mixes pop art and outlined sticker graphics, bright pastels matched with neutral tones, and lo-fi design elements. Designs feature checks, grids, random tiling of pattern elements, and cartoons. Its softer colour palette helps differentiate this trend and it features a sense of humour, with tongue in cheek, playful graphics, and nods to old school, obsolete technologies mixed with offline, analogue elements.

4. Disharmony

One of the trends I think offers the greatest scope for creativity is disharmony with unharmonised design. Designers can freely contrast colours, use outsized typography, feature optical illusions and add colour-less design. The avant garde approach to art and graphic design is more daring and quirky. The Ricoh Pro C7200x’s print and substrate versatility can match this creative approach to ensure real life expectations meet imagined designs.

5. Sustainability

Ways to reduce the environmental impact of any production process is increasingly underpinning all conversations. Digitally printing short run highly targeted print produces only what is needed and supports local production. This is particularly so for Direct To Garment (DTG) systems such as the Ricoh Ri 2000. Ricoh’s DTG inks also hold the Oeko-Tex Eco-Passport.

But it is not just the production process where positive choices can be made. Paper manufacturers such as Favini have developed grades that use waste wool, cotton, fruit, leather, and algae from the lagoons of Venice.

Ricoh is also committed to making positive choices throughout its global operations. Its leadership in corporate sustainability has received considerable recognition. We secured a position on this year's climate change “A List” by CDP as a global leader that has demonstrated excellent results for actions and strategies in response to climate change. It won the Grand Prix award at the 2nd Annual Nikkei SDGs Management Grand Prix for its work toward solving social, economic, and environmental issues. We talk more about that here.

So, these are my choices and observations about the exciting trends shaping 2021. What are yours? Let us know and we can help you explore ways you can bring them to life.

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