Trendspotting : Brushstrokes

I’m super excited this week because I’ll be talking about the hot stationery trends that I’m seeing for the upcoming holiday and winter seasons. It’s a very exciting time to be a designer, and there’s so much gorgeous inspiration to be found that it’s hard for me to resist getting a little giddy when I think about everything that’s going on right now in stationery and graphic design.

Stay tuned for oodles of eye candy and visual inspiration over the next several days!

Winter & Holiday 2014 -2015 Trends : Brushstrokes as seen on

Brushstrokes are everywhere, and this eye-catching trend shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. At one end of this movement, you’ll find beautiful, organic watercolors in a spectrum of colors that bleed seamlessly into each other. At the other, splashy, scribbly, smeary visuals that employ more opaque mediums like ink or gouache.

The “brushstrokes” trend is all about elements that have the look of being hand painted, hand drawn, hand … whatever and is part of an overall trend in graphics that look handmade. So, break out those brushes, brush pens, and water brushes and start playing!

Highlights of the Brushstrokes Trend

  • Classic patterns – polka dots, stripes, triangles, crosshatch, etc. – interpreted in a painterly way.
  • Watercolor backgrounds and bold floral patterns with lots of “color bleed”.
  • Lettering with a brushed, grunge, or hand drawn look. Textured type with a watercolor or ink stamped look. Foil stamped lettering printed on top of or mixed with bold, painterly patterns.

Holiday Trends

  • Pine boughs, branches, berries, and other seasonal botanicals and florals that look inky and wobbly. Alethea & Ruth’s Watercolor Pines photo card, shown above (bottom left), is a great example.
  • Hand drawn sunbursts and loopy, calligraphic flourishes.
  • Hand lettered seasonal words and sentiments in styles that range from light and whimsical to thick and splashy.

Color Trends

  • Soft pinks, teals, and mints make an appearance (more on these colors later), but this trend is all about visual impact, which calls for a generally bolder palette and saturated hues that range from hot pink to deep teal to kelly green, mustard yellow, fire engine red, and indigo blue.
  • Gobs of black and white. And …
  • Metallics, metallics, metallics. Gold is the superstar, but copper is making its presence known in a bigger way, and silver is always a lovely choice, especially for holiday designs with a cool, frosty look.

Images Shown Above

Row 1 : Emily Green (left) and Cocorrina (right)

Row 2 : Cocorrina (left) // Georgiana Paraschiv (top middle) // Eva Black (top right) // Ylva Skarp (bottom middle) // Howard Hodgkin for Designers Guild – via (bottom right)

Row 3 : Waldo Pressdetail (top left) // Lourdes Sanchez (top right) // Alethea & Ruth (bottom left) // Jessica Stevens (bottom middle) // Yao Cheng (bottom right)

images from their respective sources

Blog Updates

2 comments on “Trendspotting : Brushstrokes

  1. Elizabeth commented //

    Really nice summary and images! Trendspotting is a great new feature, thanks for the compilation.

  2. kristen commented //

    Thanks, Elizabeth! Glad you enjoyed it.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).