Trends come and go, and the graphic design industry is no exception. Every year, new trends and technologies are popping up, and it’s up to designers to keep up.
While you don’t necessarily need to follow every single trend and apply them all in your branding, it doesn’t hurt to stay up to date with them. After all, a great design can help you stand out visually and get your audience’s attention.
If you’re wondering what’s the latest trends and which ones can be incorporated in your designs, read on to find out more.
I. Trends in graphic design
Looking for inspiration to freshen up your designs? Or are you a new brand that’s looking to make a mark by using the latest graphic design trends? Wherever you are in your journey, we have prepared a list of the hottest trends in graphic design for 2023 and beyond that will surely inspire you.
A. AI tools
The rise of AI is rapidly changing the design industry. One of the biggest trends now is not a design itself but rather, the use of various AI tools to create a design. For example, there is now an emergence of AI art generator tools such as Midjourney, DALL-E 2, JasperArt, and NightCafe. These tools can create a design based on a few text prompts, providing designers a quick image output for reference or idea generation.
There are also AI photo and video editing tools designers can use to simplify their editing process. These are tools such as Vance.AI, Remini, Unscreen, and Synthesia. They can automatically remove backgrounds, make a photo high-quality and less pixelated, or adjust the light levels, therefore lessening the time needed for manual editing.
While the advancement of AI tools has been fast, they still won’t be replacing designers any time soon. However, incorporating these tools in your design process will definitely save a lot of time and resources, and can also give a multitude of design inspiration.
B. Bold typography
Out-of-the-box and expressive typography has also been on the rise lately. Designers are looking for ways to catch their audience’s attention in the saturated world of marketing, and using eye-catching typefaces has been one of their top choices for 2023.
Gone are the days of using clean and simple fonts. If you want to stand out from the crowd or make a statement, try using more creative fonts, or experimenting with distorted or maximalist style typography. You can use this in your logo design, website header, or packaging.
These bold fonts are also usually paired with a brighter colour palette, or a newspaper-style collage to give a more grunge feel. If you want to dip your toes into experimenting with more creative typography, try using fonts like Aleo, Peace Sans, or Movavi Grotesque Black in your next design.
While Y2K is usually associated with fashion, it has also been a popular trend in graphic design. A Y2K aesthetic means the use of blocky fonts, using loud and bright colours like bubblegum pink and bright orange, playing with chrome or metallic textures, and adding tons of glitter or stickers in a design.
Aside from its bold and eye-catching look, Y2K is also meant to evoke a feeling of nostalgia. In our fast-paced world, seeing a familiar aesthetic can be comforting to many. A brand can also feel more relatable and personal by using this kind of design. If you want to connect with your audience more, using a Y2K aesthetic on your social media posts or TikTok ads can be a great option.
D. Psychedelic designs
Similar to the Y2K aesthetic, the playful and bold psychedelic designs are also making a comeback.
Psychedelic designs are usually associated with bold and vibrant colours, kaleidoscopic patterns, wavy or free-flowing lines, surreal and fantasy imagery, as well as extreme stylisation. This design is also filled with collages or textured layers and is the complete opposite of the minimalist trend of the past years.
The psychedelic design combines both early 60s hippie style with a touch of futuristic and surrealist elements. While this aesthetic is a popular choice for album covers, t-shirt designs, or posters, you can also use this in your logo, packaging, business card, or social media header.
E. Rich jewel colours
Bolder and richer jewel colours are also steadily gaining popularity in 2023. Colours such as crimson, deep navy, dark jade, and burnt orange are being used by brands to add a flair of elegance and luxury to their graphic designs.
This trend can also be seen in the Pantone Colour of the Year, Viva Magenta. The Pantone website describes this colour as “electrifying and boundaryless, an animated red that instantly stand-outs and captivates the eye.” Expect to see this colour in a lot of packaging, websites, or brochures.
F. Brighter pastels
While bolder colours are currently the trend, it doesn’t mean that pastel is completely dead. There is still a demand for this colour palette; however, it’s mainly for brighter and more candy-coloured pastels.
Baby blue, soft pink, and candy yellow are the popular pastel colours nowadays. These are used by brands that are not using the current vibrant colour trends, as these soft and soothing colours still appeal to many. You can also use these pastel colours in combination with other brighter colours.
G. Liquid gradient
Gradients have always been popular in graphic design trends, but we now have a new addition to it — the liquid gradient. This design trend is focused on mimicking a molten liquid, to evoke a futuristic or sci-fi vibe. This is particularly trendy right now, especially with the rise of AI and metaverse.
Liquid gradient uses a lot of vibrant colours, fluid shapes, and holographic elements. You can usually see this trend in website backgrounds, mobile apps, presentation slides, or landing pages.
Risoprint is a print technique that uses a Risograph machine, hence the name. It produces a very unique print, which is characterised by layered, overprinted look and grainy details. It also gives designs a nice textured effect to it.
While risoprint is mainly used for shirts, tote bags, or merchandise, it has gained popularity for digital illustrations as well. There are now tools that are meant to mimic the texture of risoprint, and is used to emulate the aesthetic for digital zines, posters, business cards, or social media posts.
II. Final Thoughts
As you can see from the list above, design trends are now veering away from the understated and minimalist aesthetic of the past, and are now going for maximalist style.
This means the rise of more unique typography, bolder colour palettes, mixed media elements, and out-of-the-box layouts.
While we can’t exactly predict the next few years, one thing is for certain. We are now entering a more eclectic era of art, and we will surely see more exciting evolutions in graphic design trends.
Keep in mind, however, that branding should be a delicate balance between your own brand identity and new trends. Sticking too much to your brand-visual identity can make your brand look outdated and boring, but following every trend can make you lose your signature look as well. It’s up to designers to make full use of these trends in a way that can broaden their creative horizons yet still stay true to their brands.
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