Bringing the Unreal to Life with 3D Design

Lauren Scheib

In 2019, we expect to see a lot more creative campaigns utilizing 3D artwork. Technology has evolved to allow abstract ideas to come to life with photorealistic results that get noticed and captivate viewers. Today, designers and creative professionals are using this medium to enhance their work and create a more meaningful connection with key audiences.

Three-dimensional design has the power to tap into our imaginations. Vivid colors, natural textures and shimmering metallics create lush and dreamy scenes that subconsciously pull us in and make us stare. For creatives, this uncanny blend of the familiar and abstract provides new tools to help engage viewers and provide a more emotive brand experience.

How Brands Can Benefit

Finding ways to help clients stand out and connect with a target audience is always top of mind for designers. With unlimited potential for creativity and visual storytelling, designers can create eye-catching visuals that exude emotion and reinforce the brand. All of this in a self-contained scene that lets the image do the talking.

From top left: Airbnb, Audi, Van Cleef & Arpels, Lenovo by Peter Tarka

Work for Adidas and Chanel by DUSK

Print campaign for Unilever by Chrisitan Stoll

Abstract Compositions

Pop art meets photorealism in these gorgeously rendered compositions that look like still-lives from another universe. Artists can create endlessly fascinating scenes that jump right off the page and make it hard to look away.

These otherworldly visuals are eye-catching, but their magnetic effect doesn’t end there. They can hold a viewer’s attention as the eyes explore the image, and the mind works to unpack what it is seeing.

Collection of abstract works by Roman Bratschi

Typography That Pops

While 3D typography isn’t a new concept or trend, it’s garnering increased popularity – in part, thanks to the project 36 days of type, a “Yearly open call inviting designers, illustrators and visual artists to share their view on the letters and numbers from our alphabet.”

Submissions by @mariowaza and @mainikeeeen for 36 Days of Type

Because of the nature and readability of this style of typography, it’s best used sparingly for maximum effect.

For creative campaigns, headlines are brought to life through beautifully detailed imagery that calls to mind vivid memories of tastes, scents and textures.

From left to right, work by: Peter Tarka, DUSK and Noah Camp

Where Should 3D Live?

Three-dimensional work is increasing in popularity with both artists and brands. Blending creativity and photorealistic detail, these images practically invite you to reach out and touch them. This graphic style lends itself well across many touchpoints, but a more important question than where is what. What do we want people to feel? While this approach lends itself naturally to fun and novelty, it can also be used effectively in storytelling for fashion and luxury brands.

In addition to powerful still images, 3D imagery can go a step further to bring concepts and ideas to life when combined with movement. In websites and video, this sort of illustration provides opportunities for creativity that might not be possible with more traditional approaches.

Web

3D-Design-Netrix

Netrix

Video

3D-Design-by-Sherwin-Williams

Safari by Sherwin Williams

GIFs

3D-Design-by-Apple

Share Your Gifts by Apple

Looking Ahead

With the unlimited combinations of nature’s textures and colors at their disposal, 3D designers can bring an enormous range of emotions and senses to life. We foresee this trend continuing to grow through the rest of 2019 and into the future, as software and technology become more advanced and accessible.

3D design now plays an important role in visual storytelling. Brands from all industries can utilize this medium to form powerful, emotional connections with their target audience to, ultimately, affect the bottom-line. Beyond the ability to catch our attention with beauty and novelty, these pieces have the power to encourage curiosity and engagement. Designers can surprise viewers with ideas that blend the unexpected and familiar, bend the rules of physics, and sometimes allow us to peek into other worlds altogether.

The only limits of 3D design exist in the artistic imaginations of those who create them. Start creating!