Glitch art is a trend for 2019

Glitch art

2019 graphic design trends are imaginative, experimental and ‘out there’.  Some trends emerge quickly while others have been evolving over time.  Why waste time though?  Let’s explore the 2019 design trends which are sure to take the graphic design world by storm.

No trends list would be complete without some form of retro design making its comeback. In the case of glitch art, it’s retro gone wrong. Those moments when crinkled film or a slow dial-up connection led to a distorted, if unintentionally striking, image.

There is no doubt that retro is being repeated and the trends list cannot be completed without adding retro designs. Glitz art is similar to the retro designs but this specific design is specifically made for the modern world. It can be termed as the good breakdown of the modern technology with that of retro designs.

Glitches are significant in our modern times when computers are so pervasive. We fear the machines taking over, but we also don’t know what we’d do without them. Hence, the breakdown of technology makes for appealing subject matter both as an idea and in its design execution. Where it can draw the viewer’s eye to those parts of the site that are warped, double exposed and glitchy. It’s a strange, futuristic time we live in, and no one is quite sure where it is all heading. Glitch art amplifies this feeling of disorientation by giving websites a distinctly psychedelic look.

Images with a ‘glitch’

Glitch art is a trend for 2019

In the past, top designs included a perfect image.  A new trend in great graphic design, however, is to include a glitch in the overall image.  What was once seen as a fault which would leave a spectator uncomfortable is now seen valuable.

This should perhaps be one of the least surprising element of 2019 design.  Horror movies have been using the glitch effect for a long time.  2019 graphics now carry on this glitch tradition.

Glitch art is one trend that will truly stand out in 2019. Its nostalgic, edgy vibe makes it a perfect candidate for use in short headlines, motion graphics, and even logos. Glitch art creates a sense of movement, can be used to heighten tension, add a sense of urgency, and create contrast. While the glitch effect can be applied to anything digital (photos, videos, and motion graphics) we’ll see it most commonly with type, like the example below.

This trend is going to make us go back to the past. And remember times when slow dial-up connection resulted in distorted picture or double exposure. Computers are really significant for all of us to live, work and create in 2019. So this trend is going to depict something we all are somehow afraid of. Glitches that associate with breakdown of computers and overall technology.

Glitch art is a trend for 2019

Glitch art design trend fully embraces the saying, “the future is now”. Think glitchy, holographic effects reminiscent of your favorite Sci-Fi.

Glitch art is a trend for 2019

You can easily achieve this look in BeFunky’s Photo Editor by navigating to Effects. And choosing options such as Line Artopia, Holga Art or Viewfinder. Add additional glitch-like effects by experimenting with the wide range of Textures available.

Glitch art design: an inside look at the history and best uses of a modern trend

Velcro, popsicles and fermentation all have something in common: they’re products of happy accidents. The same goes for glitch art: an unintentional distortion made by a digital crash. Has led to an entire, mind-bending sub-genre of graphic design.

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Glitch art is a great opportunity for brands. Not only is the form visually stunning. The inherent provocative nature of glitch art creates a memorable image behind a product. Although this DIY-focused, haphazard-looking art form seems to operate without guidelines. It’s important to understand where it all came from and ways to begin if you’re new to working with glitches.

glitch art


What is glitch art?

Glitch art is a visual style characterized by using digital or analog errors for aesthetic purposes. Whether that be intentional (that is, “faking glitch” and obtaining a similar aesthetic through design). Or by accident (a true manifestation inside of the system without human intervention).

Glitch art

These beautiful happy accidents have proven that electronic technologies are still open mediums for expression and creativity and have consequently created another avenue for designers to reimagine products, logos, typography and much more.

Terrence Morash, creative director of Shutterstock explains: “There’s a controlled imperfection to [glitch art], and it’s a reminder of the technical elements of design. It visualizes technology as having a combination of textures and patterns but without perfection.”

There’s a controlled imperfection to [glitch art], and it’s a reminder of the technical elements of design. It visualizes technology as having a combination of textures and patterns but without perfection.


– Terrence Morash, creative director of Shutterstock

The history of glitch art

The term “glitch” itself originates with engineers and astronauts to explain faults within the technology they were working with. Spaceship and rocket hardware. But the visual aesthetic can be traced much further back. To the beginning of the 20th century through distorted forms in cubist paintings. Abstract short films and pixel-like rug designs akin to 8-bit video game landscapes.

Glitch art history

Many antique rugs feature abstract, distorted patterns that seem to predict the glitch movement of later centuries. Via Paradise Oriental Rugs

Fast forward to the modern day, where we often see this distorted imagery in pop culture. As a collective acknowledgment of how technology has involved itself in our everyday lives and how easily destructible it is.

Rosa Menkmen, author of The Glitch Moment(um), explains the duality of glitch art in pop culture. “On the one hand, there are the tactical and critical artists who use the technique to criticize popular culture. And on the other hand the technique now is very much alive and part of this same culture.”

On the one hand, there are the tactical and critical artists who use the technique to criticize popular culture. And on the other hand the technique now is very much alive and part of this same culture.


– Rosa Menkmen, The Glitch Moment(um)

Glitch art makes a comeback

Glitch art as a movement could be compared to that of punk music. Its revival was also challenging media that previously seemed out of reach for many: glossy, flawless, unrealistic.

Fast forward to the modern day, where we often see this distorted imagery in pop culture as a collective acknowledgment. Of how technology has involved itself in our everyday lives and how easily destructible it is.

Rosa Menkmen, author of The Glitch Moment(um), explains the duality of glitch art in pop culture. “On the one hand, there are the tactical and critical artists who use the technique to criticize popular culture. And on the other hand the technique now is very much alive and part of this same culture.”

On the one hand, there are the tactical and critical artists who use the technique to criticize popular culture. And on the other hand the technique now is very much alive and part of this same culture.


– Rosa Menkmen, The Glitch Moment(um)
Glitch art is a trend for 2019

But glitch art has become much more than a movement to celebrate imperfections and comment on contemporary culture.

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It has permeated even through mainstream media—an interesting progression considering that it has often emerged in opposition to pop culture and trends.

But the popularity of glitch art does convey a widespread acknowledgement of system failures and our own vulnerable and often fragile relationship with technology.

The design world has now fully embraced this technocentric aesthetic, with many publications predicting that glitch art will continue to show up in more and more unconventional ways in the upcoming years.

How brands can use glitch art

Because of its distortion, glitch art is mysterious by nature, and brands can take advantage of this to create a fascination in their look. There is also a timelessness that comes with the paradoxical balance of being both futuristic and retro. But more important than the aesthetic points glitch art can garner, brands will have to consider whether the rebellious, provocative values associated with glitch art are right for their audience.

 glitch

Glitch art designs run from cyberpunk to subtle. By Sava Stoic

This tech-driven, rebellious and largely political kind of art has the ability to reach an audience. That connects deeply with resistance and movement against the grain. Examples can range from Pokemon glitch zines. That illustrate nostalgia through a warped lens to tech companies focused on innovation and transparency. Whose products promise to revolutionize the way we do things.

Glitch art does not always have to be full of bold distortions. And its subtler incarnations can be useful when you want to capture the vibe of the glitch movement without committing to a visual style that might be too avant-garde for practical branding.

Glitch art design techniques

Glitch art design techniques

There are specific technical effects we often see with glitches,. And you will want to replicate these techniques in order to create a convincing glitch art design.

At the end of the day, whether the glitch is intentional or not, “broken” images come from broken data. And this error is what you’re trying to communicate through artificial means.

With that said, let’s walk through the most common styles of glitch art design.

Pixelation

Computer images are made up of pixels, and when several of those pixels misfire, you end up with a glitch. The effect of pixelation is most productive when attempting to anonymize an aspect of your design. Leaving the exterior and abstract views of the space within.

Pixelation glitch
Pixelation glitch

Light leaks

By simulating the phenomenon where a gap in the body of a film camera allows light to leak into the normally light-proof film chamber (thus exposing the film with extra light). Designers can create a burnout effect in their design. This brings a dynamic feature to a design if you are creating points of interest through shadows or reflections.

Double exposure

By layering multiple images on top of each other, designers can execute an ethereal, ghost-in-the-machine effect. Choose combinations and placement accordingly. And it’s important to be aware of use of color within this application so as not to overwhelm the subjects of the image.

Noise and grain glitch

Designers can increase grainy artifacts, or noise, to recreate the appearance of an old film or an analog broadcast. One of the most familiar examples of this glitch is the grainy strip that appears on old VHS videos.

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Color degradation

Liquified and blurred use of chromatic color communicates a system failure. Because color on its own is so visually demanding, pay attention to the other elements of your design. To make sure the final result isn’t too loud or busy to convey what you are trying to achieve.

Textures

As with color usage, blurred and unpredictable textures. As well as asymmetrical geometries give off that feeling that a piece of tech was lost in translation, an aesthetic flaw. These can work great as background images or as entrancing abstract pieces at the foreground of a design.

Glitch lettering

Choose typefaces that communicate malfunction—think corrupted VHS. Uppercase letters with jagged or wavy lines and fuzzy effects around the lettering can also symbolize movement.

Alternatively, you can distort your own lettering by splicing it, duplicating the letters to create a double exposed result. Adding a soft neon shadow, elongating or merging the letterforms.

Crash your design the right way with glitch art

While glitch art may seem like some flashy modern trend, it isn’t going away any time soon. Because the more technology advances, the more opportunities there will be for that technology to break down. And for designers to reinterpret these flaws visually.

Perhaps one of the most alluring aspects of this art form is its highly experimental nature. Eeven though it creates a challenging task for its maker. The process of making great glitch might seem daunting, but the rewards of aesthetic innovation are well worth the effort. As glitch art and technology progresses. New territories into the unknown will always be presenting themselves in this ever-expanding arena of design.

Glitch, Misprint, Visual Interference Effects

This is a double-taker. It catches the eye in a sea of “perfect images” because it’s all about imperfection. It’s based on the unexpected result of digital errors known as “glitches”. Everything around us—advertising, posters, magazine covers, and TV promos—has been Photoshopped to perfection. Some would even call it “fakery” or “visual pollution”. Thereby driving a desire to see more real, organic, less-than-perfect images.

Often more appealing to younger generations, this design trend is a subversive, counterculture, “anti-fake” movement. Iintended to make designs stand out. As mentioned above, it may not be appropriate for some situations or brands. So designers are advised to tread carefully if choosing to implement this effect.

Most designers would use the term “glitch,” but sometimes it’s called a VHS effect, RGB shift with scan lines, misprint or visual interference. Innovative designers sometimes combine several types of these vogueish effects into something new.


Mr. Robot posters used variations of the glitch effect to stand out and reinforce the counter-culture sensibility of the show.

The misprint/color shift design trend and a combination of the color-shift and glitch effect

Video scan lines and image-shift are also used to create unusual, eye-catching graphics.

Everyone has their own method of creating this effect, so look around YouTube and pick one that you like. There are even Photoshop Actions designers can buy to create the glitch effect with just a few clicks. Here are a couple of top Photoshop tutorials on how to achieve this design trend:

Glitch Effect Photoshop Tutorial #1:

Glitch Effect Photoshop Tutorial #2:

There are even ways to achieve a cool glitch effect with only CSS as this slideshow demo and this landing page demo show.

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