The watercolour design trend – How to use it as a designer

The watercolour design trend – How to use it as a designer

The design world is probably the most vibrant one out there. Designers get to play with multiple textures, fonts, colors, designs, etc. to create amazing art for their clients or customers. Every other day, something new comes up in the field of design because someone discovers or invents a new trend and the world embraces it. There are also so many choices to pick from! From invites to social media creatives to book covers to merchandise, design rules with an iron fist!

Currently, the watercolor design is taking designers across the globe by storm, and rightly so! Watercolor designs are aesthetic and pleasing. Remember how excited you got as a child when it was time to paint? Even when things got messy, we loved indulging in the paints. Well, using watercolors as an adult may not include the messiness, but the fun and the excitement remain the same. Let’s discuss more about the watercolor design trend and how every designer can cash in on it.

The watercolor design trend – What is it?

The name is pretty straightforward, we think, but the trend includes two things – Digital watercolor effect and the actual use of watercolors.

  1. Digital watercolor effect: Here, you use various colors of your choice and create patterns to reflect the effect.
  2. The actual use of watercolors: Here, you go old school and paint on paper using actual watercolors. Then, you scan and digitize your art!

The water effect and texture are the two main characteristics of the watercolor design. You can achieve the water effect by making the color bleed into the paper or canvas. If you are using multiple colors, they must blend seamlessly and/or bleed into each other depending on the effect you are trying to achieve. When you do this, you will see that a unique texture automatically takes shape. You may not get this easily when you deliberately try to do it. It is one of the USPs of the watercolor effect.

The watercolor design – tips to use it in your design

Now that we are well-versed with the basics let’s learn how to master the watercolor design. Here are some tips that are sure to help:

  1. It is all about keeping the balance in colors. Since watercolors are generally subtle, you may want to go light. However, if your design concept asks for dark and vibrant colors, go for it, but make sure you achieve the balance. The colors need to blend in well and bleed through. Otherwise, you will fail to get the said effect.
  2. Be careful while choosing your colors when you are using more than one. The combination has to be right. Picking out different shades of the same color is the best idea. If you don’t want to do that, open the color wheel and pick colors that are beside the main color. This will ease the blending and bleeding process, and nothing will stick out uninvitingly.
  3. While we are on the subject of choosing colors, we would also like to tell you that you must never choose more than 3 colors for the watercolor effect. 3 is the upper limit and if you can do with just 2 or 1, always go for the lower number. Less is always the best when it comes to watercolors.
  4. Don’t chase perfection! Yes, we all grew up trying to achieve perfection in everything we do, but you can make this one thing an exception. With watercolors, the beauty lies in the nature strokes and the imperfections. The most outstanding designs are usually not too refined. The aim is to be natural here, and perfection is generally not natural!
  5. Use an assortment of brushes! Whether it is on paper or on Photoshop, try using multiple brushes to find the right fit. This will depend on the result you want and your comfort level. So, there’s no right answer here. Try and test. Choose brushes that you love!

How and where can you use the watercolor effect?

Oh, the world is your oyster here! The watercolor effect can do wonders for anything from business cards to wedding invites to website designs! We have seen them being used in greeting cards, social media posts, various TV advertisements, product designs, and much more!

The only thing to keep in mind is the type of business you are promoting in case you are doing advertisements. Use the watercolor effect only if it matches the brand’s tone. Honestly, it won’t really look nice if you design a technology conference invite with this effect, will it? However, if it is an invite to the opening of a luxury flower boutique, it will be an instant hit. As a designer, we urge you to think about it before picking up or selecting the brush.

When to use paper

There’s no set scenario when a paper would come handy and not the system, but if you are a good painter and have always loved using watercolors, you can paint a design and scan it. You can then refine your design – only if absolutely needed – on your system using a software program. The methods to use and the direction to take will depend on what type of designer you are and what your style is. Asking you to do only certain things would be to curb your creativity, and that’s the last thing we would ever do!

Conclusion

It is time to rub your palm together, pick up a brush, and start indulging in the magic of watercolors! Whether it is digital or real, the fun and the excitement are the same. Any budding designer or expert can explore the many creative options that this trend offers. In fact, you can start creating your own textures once you are confident. Each of them can be a masterpiece in its own league!

The watercolor design trend is in its full-swing right now. Impress your colleagues, friends, and clients with it before it becomes obsolete. Who knows, this may be the key to a shining portfolio that could land you big projects!


Also published on Medium.