As we look ahead into 2023, we see signage and branding trends that at times simultaneously, and perhaps paradoxcally, embrace modernism and nostalgia. For small businesses looking to stand apart it can be hard to know what to embrace, and whether to embrace any changes at all, that are coming out of these trends. We breakdown all we see ahead for 2023, and we share our thoughts with you in our latest blog post to help further your brand and business considerations for the new year!

Dialed Back and Duotone

Designers have preferred modern and minimalist looks for a couple years now, and that trend looks like it’ll continue to thrive in 2023. In particular, modern designs that are “dialed back” and “duotone”, often black, whites, and greys, can be found all around, according to our graphic designer Bailey. Signage often requires a more straightforward approach to design, as signs are often designed to attract passersby eyes at fast speeds, so this trend is one that’s quite welcomed by many sign designers.

QR Codes Are Larger Than Ever, Both in Presence and Size

Last year we predicted QR codes would have a banner year in 2022, but we added a caveat that this trend may again fade away as it had before. We seemed to have been overly cautious with that addendum though as QR codes are not only more present than ever, but they are also often physically larger than before. In the sign industry especially, we’ve seen increasingly frequent requests to incorporate QR codes into the design of exterior and interior signage.

Pantone of the Year – Viva Magenta 18-1750 has chosen a color of the year every year since 2020, and whether its use increases each year thanks to this designation is uncertain, it’s still become a topic for news and no doubt for some enough of a suggestion for brands to experiment with these colors.

This year’s color is Viva Magenta 18-1750, which according to Pantone “[Viva Magenta 18-1750] vibrates with vim and vigor. It is a shade rooted in nature descending from the red family and expressive of a new signal of strength. Viva Magenta is brave and fearless, and a pulsating color whose exuberance promotes a joyous and optimistic celebration, writing a new narrative.

Meta and VR

Though it’s too early to tell whether the Metaverse will have any staying power, many major corporations are still preparing for this new wild west with brand strategies and virtual presences. In virtual worlds such as the Metaverse, corporations must consider the best way to develop immersive experiences, or digital offerings, to reach new and existing clients who will use these spaces.

Though there’s no cut and dry method for success, you can bet that in the next few years blogs like ours will lay out how brands are already finding best practices to succeed in these spaces.

Reference: The Impact the Metaverse Will Have on Reaching Consumers

Renewal and Rehabilitation

Though it seems like there’s a contradictory impulse to both be ‘modern’, while celebrating ‘vintage’ aesthetics, nowhere is that more in harmony than the continued trend for business owners and brands alike to keep the spirit of history alive with the renewal and refurbishment of historic buildings and signs.

Especially in Chattanooga, since the city’s rebirth from “most polluted in the nation” to “the scenic city”, we have seen many businesses and historic trusts look to repurpose existing buildings and signs in past years. We’ve also even written an entire blog about the value of preserving and rehabilitating historic buildings, as well as worked on multiple restorations ourselves, so this is in no means new. However, we’ve already seen the number of clients exponentially grow that are looking to do this in 2023, and we expect that to continue throughout the year.


Of course trends may not last, nor are they for ever business; however, we’ve been able to see over the years the adoption of minimalist and modern design take hold, and technology, such as QR codes, will continue to play a role in the design and branding of businesses. Therefore even if you do not pivot to match these trends now, you can hopefully anticipate they will continue, and adapt if you see fit.