As a new year edges closer and closer, it’s time for designers to gaze into their crystal balls and imagine the world of web design in 2012. What new trends will this new year bring? What’s the next big thing in web design– and what past trends will be irrelevant in 2012? Gaze into the HTML5 crystal ball and take a look at the top seven trends in web design for 2012.

1. The Death of Flash, the Rise of HTML5

It’s no secret that many designers believe Flash is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Even Adobe is no longer backing Flash on mobile systems in favor of the rapidly expanding HTML5.

We saw some impressive displays of HTML5 in 2011. Expect to see more in 2012 as more and more designers abandon Flash in favor of HTML5.

2. Typography

Basic fonts still reign supreme for functional text and content, but typography is making huge waves for highlights. Expect to see plenty of minimalist designs with show-stopping typography; it’s an easy way to make a brand or website name pop. As an added benefit, uncluttered design with strong typography is extremely mobile-friendly.

3. Creative Footers

Remember when footers were a bare-bones afterthought? People can expect 2012 to bring the rise of the creative footer: graphics, eye-catching designs, increased content, or oversized footers.

4. Bringing Back the Personal

Increasingly, clients are asking for more personalized designs: opening introductions, personal photo collages, or standout “About Us” pages. Designers are inching away from suit-and-tie formalities in favor of casual, personal interactions.

5. Large Photos, Less Text

Whether designers are using photos as site backgrounds or as accent pieces, photos are increasingly high-resolution and larger-than-life. This is another example of the current minimalism trend: instead of littering pages with photos, many designers are choosing one standout image and pairing it with a few simple words.

6. Slab Typefaces

A far cry from the softer designs of years past, slab typefaces are popping up all around the web. Capital letters, bold fonts, and oversized text are all making a strong showing as we edge closer to 2012.

7. Social Media Gets Even Bigger

Social media isn’t going anywhere…especially not in 2012. As social networking becomes the new default for businesses, share buttons and other social media features are becoming one of the most important factors of site design. Social and web design are shaping to become even more linked in the future; Hua Marketing, for example, offers web design services alongside social media-based services.

Your Turn: What are Your Web Design Predictions for 2012?

We’ve shared our predictions– now it’s time to share your own. What do you foresee becoming the next big web design trends in 2012?