5 Graphic Design Trends to Watch

Posted by Cayla Harter on Sep 15, 2022 8:00:00 AM
Cayla Harter
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Graphic design styles are constantly changing and evolving. These styles can be influenced by everything from world events (such as a pandemic) to cultural shifts. Designers need to stay on top of these trends to make sure their designs stay relevant. From trends inspired by nostalgia to ones that break the rules, here are 5 graphic design trends to watch. 

 

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90s and Y2K Nostalgia 

On average, trend cycles repeat every 20-30 years. Much of this can be attributed to designers being inspired by their own experiences and childhood. Designers who have entered the workforce in the last few years were raised with the styles of the 90s and early 2000s.  As a result of this, the characteristics of that time period can be seen making their way back into fashion. This trend also resonates with many consumers thanks to the feelings of nostalgia and longing for simpler times.  

These trends are defined by the use of vibrant and pastel colors, Memphis-style patterns, and metallic finishes. The Y2K approach in particular will also play into the use of technology and grunge characteristics. Many of the elements from these styles give consumers a sense of optimism thanks to the bright colors and nostalgic feeling. This is very different from the minimalism trends of the late 2010s and early 2020s.  

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The soft muted colors and natural flowing elements of this design are typical of environmental design.
(Image courtesy of freepik.com)
 

 

Bold and Vibrant Fonts 

Typography styles are constantly changing and evolving to fit the needs of current trends. Current typography trends include the use of bold and unusual fonts. Designers have started experimenting with using fonts as part of the design rather than just an element that must be added. In some cases, the font may even be hard to read, but the style is what is being used to convey the message. Sometimes the artistic use of a word can help convey the message better than just the word itself, especially when the consumer may not speak the language.  

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The soft muted colors and natural flowing elements of this design are typical of environmental design.
(Image courtesy of unsplash.com)
 

 

Retro Futurism 

Retro futurism is a classic design style that comes into popularity every few years. This trend combines vintage and retro design with bright colors and technology associated with the future. The contrast between these two elements is what catches the audience's attention. There are two ways to achieve this style. By using vintage elements and textured appearances with an emphasis on bold hues, vintage fonts, and curved edges, or by using a sleek and polished look inspired by futuristic technology. 

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Futuristic elements such as the rocket and skyscrapers contrast with the vintage-inspired design.
(Image courtesy of vecteezy.com)
 

 

Environmental Influences 

As many consumers become more conscious about their purchasing habits, brands have started to include more environmentally influenced elements in their designs to appeal to these consumers. The earth tones and natural shapes of this style give the consumer a sense of clarity, serenity, and natural beauty. Other elements that are often seen in environmental designs include leaves, simple shapes, natural textures, and hand-drawn illustrations. Environmental design can also be extended to the materials the packaging of products is made of. Look for more packaging that is made from recycled and bio-degradable materials.  

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The soft muted colors and natural flowing elements of this design are typical of environmental design.
(Image courtesy of vecteezy.com)

 

Anti-Design 

With the rise of technology, designs have become more streamlined and focused on usability rather than looks. The need to break away from this conformity has led to the anti-design style. This trend breaks all conventional design rules and encourages challenging traditional design aesthetics. Anti-design is defined by its use of asymmetrical elements, clashing colors, bold typography, and crowded elements. While there are many critics of anti-design due to its break from conventions, the style has gained popularity online recently. 

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Anti-design breaks most conventional design rules.
(Photo courtesy of
99designs.com)

 

Which Graphic Design Trends Will Work for You? 

Not all graphic design trends will work for every business, but knowing which styles resonate with consumers can help you develop designs that catch people’s attention. It is also important to remember that design trends are constantly evolving, so your work should too. These are just a few of the trends that are trending and gaining popularity currently, there are many more out there as well, plus more that will emerge in the future. If you need help developing your brand and messaging, contact Sharp Wilkinson today.

 

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Topics: Design