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So what's in store for the branding industry? Here are the themes and challenges that I believe we'll be focusing on in 2018.  

Personality. In a world in which technology is advancing at an ever-quickening pace, it's heartening to see that those brands that can create human connections and raise a smile are still cutting through the noise. In fact, personality and character are becoming more crucial than ever because so many brands – in their quest to appear modern, progressive and digital – are stripping away their existing personality and moving towards a default visual formula that appears modern but so often comes across as aloof. Clients need to understand that existing online means building and maintaining their own personality – one that’s as at home in a digital space as it is anywhere else. 

Technology. Talking of technology, designers are beginning to notice ingredients of automation creeping into some corners of their creative software, to improve some of the tasks we undertake. The efficiency gains are marginal at present, but will inevitably improve. As to whether technology is affecting the work we're creating, it feels like we’re still on the cusp. Many brands are experimenting with VR, kinetic typography and other cutting-edge applications, but it’s not yet become a frequent demand from most clients. In fact, the biggest technological changes have come through working practices; live collaboration is starting to change our clients' expectations and the relationships we have with them.

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