Metropolitan Hip

in arts & culture

trend briefing
last update: September, 2016

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Inspired by modern young creative professionals, independent thinkers and the early-adopters of new cultural trends (before they actually become trends), the Metropolitan Hip trend is perpetually fresh.
Just like the people who embody this artistic style, it is ever-changing – continuously on the verge of finding the next cultural wave and always one step ahead of the pack.

We have identified 9 design patterns which characterize Metropolitan Hip and are currently trending in the arts & culture sector.

We hope you will find these insights useful and inspiring for your design projects.

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1. Underline
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In this poster designed by Olivia King (Australia) for the UTS Graduation Show, the effect is the same. With numerous text spots, the underlined words stand out to clearly convey the message.
2. Frame
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In these postcard series for Le Cintré & Co, Emanuel Cohen (Canada) has used frames with a purpose. The thick black lined frames here make the names standout from the images and text in the background, and also from the overlaying geometric figures. This helps focus attention on the important information.
3. Letterspace
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In these posters for New Balance designed by Fino-Studio (Spain), we only see two visual elements: the letters and the background shapes. The way the letters are scattered through the poster’s space make them another visual element – they have the strength of an image, but use only the brand’s name.
4. Ethnic typography
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Ethnic typography primarily uses san-serif fonts combined with additional elements that give an ethnic look to modern typography. Urban-modern is mixed with the hand-crafted for a unique effect. In Metropolitan Hip, letters become abstracted, words get s e p a r a t e d and geometry rules. The font itself becomes a visual element that communicates something more than just what the words say.
5. Overlay & transparency
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Curious space website designed by Socio Studio (United Kingdom) overlays images, text and geometric figures, creating a visually complex look. Note that the orange squares are always on top, overlaying the images and creating a hierarchy that provides logic when reading the website.
6. Wiggles & geometric shapes
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Wiggles and geometric shapes are used as visual elements and given the same weight as an image, adding more visual elements to the design.

Geometric figures such as triangles and squares can appear to be cryptic symbols, and strong lines can jut into the design at rakish angles. When looser lines do appear, they appear structured and intentional as opposed to organic. 

7. Slash
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In identity design, it (slash) is a clean visual substitute that allows us to connect or build separation between concepts or entities. The mark appears equally comfortable in a typographic solution or maybe used with a bit more wit between icons/visual elements or both. The acceptance of the slash is reminiscent of the avalanche of solutions using the @ symbol a number of years ago. - Bill Gardner, Logo Lounge
8. Retro colors
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Retro colors - inspired by retro photography - is a common color palette in Metropolitan Hip.
9. Neon & vibrant colors
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The most up-to-the-minute examples of Met Hip include neon and strong colors like bright red, sun yellow and marine blue.
Wrapping up...

Metropolitan Hip is the reflection of young society’s behaviors and needs.
Its complexity and abundance reveal an overwhelmed, demanding young generation who dwells in a rich visual culture and has the means to enlarge it.

They’re constantly connected, constantly aware, just like this visual trend demands. If you loose a piece of the information, you’re excluded. This is the perfect style to communicate to a young, au courant audience that demands quality in a visually rich format.

From the top-left to right:

  1. Poster for San Gallentheatre designed by Bureau Collective (Sweden).
  2. MTHD by Design by Form (USA).
  3. Mapping Festival by Jérémy Tourvieille (Switzerland).
  4. Poster for Musiques Bienale by Les Graphiquants (France).
  5. Poster for the UTS Graduation Show designed by Olivia King (Australia).
  6. Experimental magazine designed by Oddds (Singapore),
  7. Book cover designed by Eduardo Paso Viola (Argentina).
  8. Poster series for Le Cintré & Co designed by Emanuel Cohen (Canada).
  9. The AF Bulletin by Ah-Studio (Finland).
  10. No. 1 Selection by Judit Besze (Hungary).
  11. Boiler Room poster by Mathias Frisa (Uruguay).
My Visual Brief helps web & graphic designers and teams to set the right direction for a design project by creating a design brief quickly and visually.
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