Advertising & Marketing

Navigating the Next Wave Of Trends In Visual Communication and Signage


As we continue our exploration into latest trends in visual communication that can shape marketing and branding decisions, we’re reminded that staying current is not just about adopting every new trend that emerges. It's about discerning which trends align with your brand's identity and values, and how they can be integrated into your business strategy to enhance your connection with customers and differentiate your offerings from the competition. In our previous trend blog, we dove into the “why” it makes sense to keep current with trends as they reflect wider cultural and industry shifts.

By staying in-the-know, you can ensure that your visual communication and graphic design projects resonate with your audience, remain fresh, and are infused with the kind of innovation that keeps your business ahead of the curve. Here are more notable trends that are emerging:

A Focus on Sustainability Creates More Options in Choosing Materials

“Sustainability is starting to reach critical mass as a concern across the industry and beyond, and it’s become about more than just using recycled materials,” said Richard Romano, Editor of WhatTheyThink magazine. “It’s about paying attention to the entire lifecycle of a printed piece or signage materials, and what happens to it at the end of life—Vycom, for example, has a recycling program for PVC and acrylic substrates, and you can usually find them at shows like the ISA Sign Expo collecting discarded materials. There is even a store in Minneapolis that collects discarded channel letters—with an in-house “typographer” who curates them ( The goal is to divert as much from landfills as possible.”

As the focus on sustainability continues to ramp up, several manufacturers are offering recycled materials in the form of a decor film - an eco-friendly decal that adheres well to many surfaces, comes off easily and looks amazing. There’s also a bigger focus on substrates that are recycled such as Falconboard, a rigid graphics media board made primarily from renewable forest products that can also be recycled again. Not only is Falconboard affordable to ship, it’s also lightweight. As in 2023, we continue to see the big players in the printing industry, such as HP and Epson, moving toward green products and water-based effects in their printing and innovation initiatives.

In the UK, the Government has outlined plans to reach 'net zero' by 2050. UK-based industries are focused on reducing emissions of greenhouse gasses in some way, to try and meet these stated targets. “We're already seeing the signage industry respond to the challenge by creating sustainable substrates made from alternative raw materials, such as wood fibre or even algae! It's going to be an exciting time in our industry to be part of this progress. Key industries, such as the education and healthcare sectors are already starting to inquire into sustainable procurement and production processes, so we know that sustainability is already becoming more and more important to our UK customers,” shared John Davies, UK FASTSIGNS managing director, who believes more sustainable solutions will come from consultations with customers. “Our signage experts understand their customers' requirements and are educated to be able to offer more environmentally-friendly solutions. Businesses are really thinking about what this all means for future generations.”

In the US, major companies who supply the materials needed for sign production are also amping up their sustainable offerings. Brian Boehm, of FASTSIGNS U.S., spoke at the global gathering of FASTSIGNS sign experts. “Major suppliers in the United States are not just responding to the demand for sustainable materials; they're actively leading the charge by expanding their eco-friendly options. It's an exciting time for us at FASTSIGNS as we craft solutions that really benefit our customers and their stakeholders.”

AI AI - Oh!

In 2024, the revolution in AI presents a win not only for sign customers but also for creators alike. There’s a new ability to translate text not only into images but now onto vector graphics, which allows sign designers to produce more complex signage designs, without breaking the bank. Advancements from Adobe now streamline the formerly arduous task of adjusting artwork to conform around contoured buildings or surfaces. Creators and graphic designers have more flexibility, allowing them to tailor solutions for each and every need or environment. So, whether you’re trying to bring your vision to life, or just want to amp up the wow factor, AI’s making it so much more accessible.

FASTSIGNS center in Austin used AI technology to create a cityscape wall mural

Bridging the Physical and the Digital Worlds for Immersive Experiences

This is a year when design and technology once again meld to create even more enhanced public experiences. Today, the opportunity is for marketing professionals and business owners to consider more creative ways to interact with consumers to bridge the gap between real-life Some of the most cutting-edge visual and graphic experiences are getting talked up in the press and the social world.

As Kate Bradbury, Managing Director at Marketing Dive shared, “The introduction of the Sphere in Las Vegas has sparked a ton of excitement around the power of immersive artistic experiences where visual, sound, and physical form all come together in awe-inspiring ways.”

While very few businesses can emulate the technological scope of the Sphere, there are other ways to engage with consumers. One way to do that is by using QR codes. During the pandemic, businesses saw advantages to using QR codes. Now consumers know how to use them to amplify any experience from engaging museum goers to inspiring hungry weekenders out on the town!

QR codes create a simplified touchpoint for user engagement and information.

Another way to enhance experiences is through the multi-screen experience. According to Digital Signage Today, 76% of consumers make a first-time visit to a store based on the appealing nature of digital signs. A new technological development in digital signs is the smaller pixel pitch, which means the LED’s are closer together and the ideal viewing distance becomes closer.

From retail spaces to museums, digital signs elevate and enhance the experience.

Embrace a Visually-Enhanced Era

As brand stewards and business leaders, you put countless hours and energy into making sure your identity and image is the best it can be. By harnessing the ever-changing nature of customer preferences and the impact of visual communication trends, you can enhance your brand’s presence, increase your ability to connect with customers, and set your brand apart in the competitive marketplace.

We hope that the insights on trends we've shared will motivate you to explore innovative concepts and embrace striking signage and design choices. When it's time to strategize your next project, consider partnering with seasoned experts. FASTSIGNS can help you achieve your vision. Together, we can harness the momentum of sign and graphic trends, and bring the possibilities to life.