Graphic design trends are always changing and evolving. If you want to keep your brand relevant, then it’s important to stay up to date with the latest graphic design trends.
Luckily, the variety of graphic design trends happening right now is enormous, with different trends suitable for any kind of brand, business, or design medium.
So if you want to refresh your brand identity, create some engaging new marketing content, or if you think it’s time for a website refresh, then you should follow the latest graphic design trends to make sure you stand out.
Here are 15 of the most popular and exciting graphic design trends that we’ll see over the year ahead.
Staying ahead of these graphic design trends will help you produce more relevant content for a better website, more engaging social media posts, more impactful packaging, and anything else your brand uses to display itself.
1. 90s Nostalgia
There always seems to be a new retro comeback each year. In 2022, it’s the ‘90s.
Over recent years we’ve seen the rise of ‘80s aesthetics, neon colors, and vaporwave landscapes. Now, one of the biggest graphic design trends is about going back to the ’90s.
Think nostalgic bright color palettes, simple internet frames, basic emojis, and bold color blocks. The ‘90s is all about fun, retro-cool.
When we look at graphic design trends, things that were once retro are now new again. So for many young consumers today, the ‘90s retro style is new and familiar at the same time.
This is one of the best graphic design trends for creating social media content, trendy website redesigns, and any other elements that you just want to have fun with.
If you’re looking to hop on a fun graphic design trend for your next project, consider looking back to the bright, bold, and basic design inspiration of the ‘90s.
2. Flat Graphic Design
The kind of graphic design images you would get from a wood print are very trendy at the moment.
Flat vector artwork is being reinvigorated through bold outlines, flat colors, and limited perspective techniques. These are all well-known graphic design elements for vector designers, and many creatives are embracing this type of design right now.
Graphic designers today are focused on creating new kinds of flat images that stand out without offering too much. This design trend often features muted colors and can be used to capture all kinds of lively or simple scenes.
Whether you’re using this form of graphic design in product packaging or on your website, it’s one of the biggest graphic design trends gaining popularity right now.
3. Hand-Drawn Doodles
While there’s a lot of focus on bright color blocks and geometric shapes, another one of the biggest graphic design trends right now is also on images that use freeform doodles.
Natural, simple, hand-drawn doodles are making a big presence in the graphic design world. They show a more personal side to design, and graphic designers can use doodles to express more of their own unique talent.
That doesn’t mean that this art style doesn’t lend itself well to digital platforms. Hand-drawn doodles work well on all kinds of mediums – from web pages to product packaging and a new branding project.
This is one of the top graphic design trends that shows the power of simplicity and natural design, while still being exciting and offering plenty of personality.
4. Experimental Lettering
One of the most exciting graphic design trends we’re seeing is more creativity in lettering.
Graphic designers are creating more expressive and interesting forms of lettering that reveal a greater level of personality.
Gone are the days of typography looking perfect and uniform. The design world is now embracing mismatched letter styles, typography with strange bending shapes, and a totally unique approach to lettering.
While this can be one of the most enchanting graphic design trends, it’s also one of the hardest to get right.
Designers need to be careful when blending artistry with typography. The letters should stand out and look interesting, but they still need to be completely legible. It’s a fine line between personal expression and functionality.
If you’re on board with experimentation and welcoming playful design that stands out, then this is one of the best graphic design trends to consider.
5. Radical Contrast
Using vivid colors on the opposite end of the spectrum together has become one of the biggest graphic design trends right now. Combining blue and yellow or purple and pink is bright and bold, but the colors still work well together. Many creatives are making greater use of vivid colors in radical contrast.
This design trend requires creative expression combined with mindful design. You need to use a contrasting color palette to make a bold statement, but you also can’t overdo it.
This is one of the best graphic design trends for things like landing pages, infographics and data visualization, and reports. However, anything that requires a simple, standout design will do well with radical contrasting colors.
6. Character Illustrations
Wherever you go online, you’re bound to come across human character illustrations. These characters typically have long legs, big bodies, and small heads.
They’re very animated and are used to show action and scenario illustration. This design trend touches on the idea of 90’s retro-futurism.
Wherever you need to explain something through graphic design, using these characters to illustrate it is a trendy move.
We’re seeing this graphic design trend mostly online, where different websites and brands have their own collection of little characters. It’s a great way to add some personality and action to a website or static image.
7. 2D and 3D Mashups
3D graphics started taking over the web and social media in 2021. In terms of graphic design trends, 3D graphics are still very much a thing. However, we’re also seeing a rise in 2D graphics at the same time.
The creative community is embracing both 2D and 3D by combining them in the same images. By following this design trend, you’re able to combine the realistic nature of 3D images, while offering the authenticity and freedom of 2D drawings.
This is one of the more experimental graphic design trends right now, but if it’s done well it can have a wonderful effect.
The last few years of app and web development have seen a major focus on design that follows strict conventions. Think clean geometric shapes, simple interfaces, and a kind of homogeneity across different design landscapes.
One of today’s graphic design trends takes a different approach. Now designers are starting to get more expressive and experimental. One of the more exciting graphic design trends we’ll start to see in 2022 is more designers breaking the rules.
This design trend is focused on clashing colors, asymmetry, crowded elements, bare interfaces, and going against traditional design standards.
This type of design may seem totally chaotic, but it’s also very carefully planned. It’s a kind of design rebellion that creates a clear aesthetic, but clashes at the same time.
The anti-design design trend goes against what’s traditionally considered beautiful and forges a new path of creativity. It’s one of 2022’s graphic design trends reserved for those that want to be a bit more daring.
Y2K inspiration is one of the top graphic design trends online and offline right now. This design trend is all about harnessing that feeling of new millennium excitement, where the possibilities of technology seemed limitless.
Think low poly CGI, iridescent colors, and crude interfaces. This graphic design trend is somewhere between anime, grunge, and cyberpunk. It feels modern and outdated at the same time.
The general focus is on bright colors and a feeling of optimism that the designs portray. You won’t see this a lot in brand identity design, but it’s appearing in fun, more limited edition type projects.
10. Sophisticated Youthfulness
The term “Fraserbane” is used to describe the moment in a young adult’s life when they start to make enough money to indulge in the finer things in life. This is reflected in the design trend where we see a kind of playful sophistication.
It’s a trend that stems from interior design but can be portrayed through any kind of branding project, product design, web design, data visualization, or anything else.
Traditional aesthetics are maintained and the design is clean while showing a sense of hipness. This graphic design trend is mature without being too serious.
It generally involves neutral color palettes, serif fonts, muted tones, simple line drawings, and crisp design elements. This is one of the most popular graphic design trends to use on branding and design assets that require a more refined vision.
11. Fun Data Visualization
There have been a lot of bad infographics floating around online over the last few years. Marketers have decided it’s time to change this, which has resulted in the graphic design trend of increasing uses of charts, graphs, and data visualization that tells a story.
Whether this is shared on social media, created for blog, designed for LinkedIn, or sent out in newsletters, we’re seeing a lot more interesting data visualizations these days.
A lot of these infographics use strong graphic design elements to look appealing, but they also tell an interesting story.
Content marketing is important for practically any business in today’s digital landscape. This graphic design trend is an excellent way to make content more interesting and engaging, by introducing data through a fun new medium.
Brands can also have fun with data, and find new interesting angles and topics to make the data more interesting for their audience.
12. Bold Colors and Backgrounds
Over the last few years, a lot of graphic design trends have focused on muted color palettes and softer tones. Now we’re seeing an increase in vivid colors.
These bold color palettes are not just being used as the focal point of the design, they’re also helping images stand out by being used as the background.
Solid, vivid colors are being used as backgrounds for a lot of visual content right now. This is a great way to get your images to really stand out and make an impact online.
Using a bright and bold color palette in backgrounds shouldn’t take away from the content. In fact, the background should be used to enhance the content and make it stand out even more.
Bold backgrounds are one of the graphic design trends we often see reemerging. You can use this idea on web design, for newsletters, landing pages, event banners, Instagram stories, and pretty much any other visual element that you want to stand out and make an impact.
13. Bubble Design
Whenever you look at graphic design trends, there’s always something that designers do to try to and some more fun and playfulness. Right now it’s a focus on bubble design.
Bubble shapes are fun and friendly, and they can be used to liven up all kinds of graphic design projects. From rounded lettering to bubble shapes, this kind of inflated design gives you a sense of innocence and childish joy.
The increased use of bubble shapes, complimented with bold colors and elongated forms, is one of the most fun graphic design trends right now.
14. Intricate Maximalism
While minimalism is all about less being more, maximalism is the total opposite. It’s all about lots of detail, lots of color, and filling up space.
One of the hottest graphic design trends we’ll continue to see is the use of intricate maximalism, where graphic designers are putting more detail and meaning into their work. Designers focus more on their artistry and offer a lot of detail and different elements to discover.
Maximalism can be a bit chaotic but in an organized way. This style of design focuses on detail and intricate design elements. This isn’t to say that minimalist graphic design trends are disappearing, but now designers are adding new detailed layers over this.
15. Colorful Icons and Illustrations
Colorful graphic design trends aren’t only seen in backgrounds, we’re also seeing increased use of color in icons and illustrations online.
Icons form an important role in marketing. They need to attract attention, which is why including bright colors in them is such a good idea.
Illustrations have also become increasingly popular graphic design trends over the last few years. Instead of relying on stock images, brands are using more custom illustrations in their graphic design strategy.
Bright, colorful illustrations provide more character. They also allow a brand to maintain a greater level of consistency across its web pages. Illustrations are also a great way to offer a more customized graphic design experience.
Brightly colored icons and illustrations are fun and visually appealing. They’re also useful for putting across your brand guidelines and maintaining brand consistency across all of your web pages and channels.
Flat, static images, as well as 3D illustrations, are used in this design trend.
Out of all the graphic design trends happening right now, the ones we’ve highlighted are some of the biggest and most consistent. These trends will likely remain popular for some time to come, so using them to shape your brand identity or online presence is a good idea.
It’s important that designers and businesses understand the direction graphic design is taking to help them with inspiration. Whether you’re thinking about social media content, branding, packaging designs, web design, or more, these design tips and trends will help you to make a bigger impact right now.
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