The future of visual branding – the trends you need to know about

POSTED 22.02.22


As experts in making your designs look extraordinary, we like to keep an eye on the trends dominating our industry. According to statistics, out-of-home (OOH) advertising and applied branding solutions are seen by 98% of the UK population at least once per week and reach a wider audience than any other advertising format.

The potential of this format means that your designs must push boundaries to stand out from the crowd. Although traditional OOH advertising still has its place, the more creative you are in grabbing people’s attention, the more successful your project will be. To help you get inspired, we have compiled a list of some of the most exciting trends that can help elevate your brand and your campaigns to the next level.


Super-size your brand

3D technology is stretching the limits between advertising and reality. The use of curved digital billboards makes it possible to integrate ads with the environment – making it look like what is happening on screen is happening in real life. From TV shows, computer games, and everyday consumer brands, whatever you are promoting is hard to ignore when it is leaping out of the screen at you. Eye-catching digital campaigns also have the potential to go viral online and gain traction that way.


The Wheel of Time took over Piccadilly Circus with this incredible anamorphic billboard

But going digital is not your only option. Stewart Signs’ OOH adverting expert, Laura Carr, says, “You can achieve some really exciting effects with 3D prop-like elements integrated into your designs. By using this technique, not only are you creating something that stops your audience in their tracks, you’re also creating something they will want to share on their social networks – amplifying your message even further.”

Bringing experience to life with some explosive-looking 3D effects

Audience participation

Interactive OOH advertising is taking the industry by storm. Instead of advertising delivering only one-way communication, audiences are now invited to participate and control their experiences. It can be as simple as adding a QR code encouraging audience engagement with your brand online, to something more complex involving augmented reality.

Laura Carr emphasizes the importance of integrating technology into your campaigns: “Utilising digital and print graphics, and your audience’s mobile phones, can help you to get your message across in an innovative way while also generating a buzz both on the streets and online.

“Due to the pandemic, many of these types of projects have been put on the back burner, but we expect to see much more immersive advertising like this in the future as people return to public spaces.”

An AR whale appears if you scan the QR with your mobile phone

Embracing the chaos

While minimalism will always be a dominating force in visual branding, new, more busy-looking trends have started to emerge to mimic the chaos that has lately engulfed the world. The uncertainty of the pandemic and a rise in a more socially and environmentally aware audience is encouraging brands to embrace real life, in all its imperfection.

Stewart Signs’ Head of Creative Studio, Jen O’Toole, believes that this development is due to the change in our environments with the recent pandemic: “Throughout the pandemic, we were enjoying simple designs with trending colours and gradients. Simplistic design gives a vibe of luxury and elegance. Although that will continue, we have become somewhat numb to its impact due to overuse.

“With life being on pause over the last couple of years, we all want to break out of the cage Covid-19 has put us in. Design trends are making a similar move. Slick visuals are here to stay but we are seeing louder patterns and colors come to the fore, injecting some much-needed fun and energy back into the world.”

A magnificent bus shelter campaign bringing colour and joy back into our everyday lives

Interior branding

Following the pandemic and two years of homeworking, many businesses are welcoming back their employees with a fresh new office design. How we work has changed over the last couple of years and workspaces are now beginning to accommodate that. Stewart Signs’ interior design expert, Emma Sowerby says, “Consider incorporating residential elements in your office to encourage a sense of home and keep your employees relaxed. Another idea is to use colourful sofas and accent chairs that reflect your branding and make your business feel and look welcoming.”

You can also inject excitement into your office using some bespoke wall and surface wraps. Want to create a canteen that looks like Central Perk? No problem! Want to bring the outdoors indoors? Use epic landscape murals and recover your surfaces with natural-looking finishes like wood, marble, or stone.

Emma continues, “The office is no longer just a place for work, it’s a greeting card that lets your clients and employees know your top priorities as a business. Many companies are choosing to incorporate their branding into their workspaces to showcase their history, values, and culture.’’

“Imagery, texture, and removability possibilities make wall and other surface wraps an increasingly easy, creative, and cost-effective solution that will keep both you and your landlord happy.’’

Your office has the potential to be more than just a place for business. Providing a stimulating environment will allow your employees to fulfill their work and personal goals. Happy employees = happy office.

Interior vinyl solutions offer you an array of imagery, texture, and removability possibilities

A sustainable future

Now more than ever, eco-friendly solutions are at the top of many companies’ agendas, and we expect to see more new materials entering the marketplace to meet this demand. Current available solutions include things like non-PVC materials, which are phthalate-free and have less impact on our health and the planet.

Many organisations are proud to be using non-PVC materials for their campaigns

Using non-PVC materials is the first of many steps towards a more sustainable future in the print industry and we fully encourage our clients and partners to join us in this journey.

Stewart Signs’ Business Development Manager Gail Dowley explains, “Our journey in sustainability began 20 years ago. It’s a core principle within the company that determines our decisions. We are also a proud partner with 3M, who by 2025 aim to reduce their dependence on virgin fossil-based plastic by 125 million pounds. To do this, they will use recycled content and bio-based plastics and will continue to design new methods to decrease their overall plastic use.”

Consider choosing non-PVC materials for your next campaign or branding solution without compromising on your desired design look.


There’s a bright future ahead for visual branding, and we’re excited to be part of it. Get in touch to find out how we can help you on your next project by emailing