Mark Curtis

Fjord launches 2018 Trends report

Over the past year, we’ve watched a polarization effect weave its way through many areas of our lives. Disagreement is no new phenomenon, but the current gulf between opposing opinions is remarkable. This, together with rapid technology advancements, is altering the world we live in, but also creating tremendous opportunities in the process. You will find these challenges and opportunities in our Fjord’s Trends report for 2018.

Our annual Trends is always a team effort, and this year’s team was bigger and more diverse than ever. More than 1,000 Fjordians across 27 studios and 85 clients from five continents inspired our report, each bringing their own individual perspectives and experiences to the table. From these observations and opinions, one meta theme emerged for the year ahead: Tension.

Each and every one of our seven trends is born out of a fundamental tension, whether it’s a shift, a disagreement, a collision or a parting of the ways. Digital versus physical, human versus machine, centralized versus decentralized, speed versus craft, automation versus control and traceability versus anonymity. The winners in 2018 will be those who not only best navigate, but even embrace the tensions, to innovate, design and change the world we’ll be living in for decades to come.

Read on to explore Fjord Trends 2018. We hope there will be plenty in these pages to provoke conversations about what’s lurking around the corner for you—as an individual, an employee, an organization or a consumer.

Physical fights back 

Digital has had the limelight long enough – there are two brand experience headliners now. The time has come to blend the digital with the physical.

Computers have eyes 

As well as comprehending our words, computers now understand images without any help from us. Imagine the exciting possibilities for next-generation digital services.

Slaves to the algorithm 

How do you design a marketing strategy to win over the algorithms – immune to conventional branding efforts – that sit between brands and their customers?

A machine’s search for meaning 

AI might change our jobs, but need not eliminate them. We can – and should – design our collaboration with the machines that will help us develop.

In transparency we trust 

Blockchain has the potential to create transparency that will clear the fog of Internet ambiguity, regain lost trust, and repair relationships with the public.

The ethics economy 

Organizations are feeling the heat to take stands on political and societal hot button issues, whether they want to or not. And consumers are speaking with their dollars, choosing brands that align with their core beliefs.

Design outside the lines 

Design’s rapid ascendency and newfound respect within organizations is a win for all. But, in a world in which everyone thinks they’re a designer, today’s practitioners need to evolve – how they work, learn and differentiate themselves – if they are to continue having impact.

You can download the complete 2018 Fjord Trends report and find an abridged version of the report on Slideshare. Follow our updates on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram and join the conversation using #FjordTrends.

And let us know what you think – there’s a spot for your opinion on the microsite so please head there and let us know your thoughts.

Happy reading!

Mark Curtis

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