The great thing about creative and graphic trends is that each year, businesses, brands and organizations are given the opportunity for a reset. And given how challenging 2020 is, the design trends for 2021 may offer us an inspiringly new perspective.
While the previous trends were made in the promise of borrowing sci-fi and futuristic technologies, 2021’s graphic creative and graphic design trends will be putting people first.
We have taken the opinions from the global group of graphic designers and their views from the classic symbolism to nature elements and analogue painting is a signal that is grounded here and now.
Since graphic design is all about transforming the simple items into something special. Let’s take a peek at how the designers of 2021 are influencing the future.
1. 3D Design
Granted that the 3D design trend isn’t something new but to be fair, the concept is getting cooler and appealing. It is one that has certainly improved with the technological advances and software capabilities.
Together with the rise of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in UI web design and apps, there is an increase in the internet and loading speeds, this means that designers can finally upload and test their 3D game without worrying too much of their audience capabilities to view them.
Although the drift is about creating lifelike and hyper-real visual in order to balance the digital and physical. The trend is set to combine photographic images with illustrative elements with movement and animation to make the site stand out.
2. Emoji Design
Using emojis in design is a trend that is very likely to pick up over the next few years. Emoji are pictograms that allow designers the option to add emotion to statements, sites or printed media without dulling the effect or message they want to convey.
And it is not only social media channels such as Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook that uses theses designs. Since emojis can help to create a reaction or response such as lightening the mood or by providing the right tone of voice to deliver underlying feelings.
3. Nature-Inspired Design
The year 2020 has denied a lot of people the chance to be outside for long periods of time. And this can call a sudden urge to thirst natural, organic and softer design trends.
The simple idea of mimicking nature such as the use of natural lights, softer and earthy tones are appealing to people who haven’t been to a picnic or barefoot along a beach for a while.
4. Optical Illusion Design
As a graphic artist, have you ever created a design that doesn’t quite work or provide the message you wanted to convey? What do you do about it? Do you simply toss it aside and forget it? Or do you spend some time working it out?
Have you ever considered keeping your viewers busy on your site using optical illusion designs? If your brand has something or an idea that is related to movement, the strangeness, and even spirituality. Optical illusions work well with them. They stand out and the more one looks at your designs, the more they find themselves needing to look.
But there is a time and a place to insert optical illusion designs. And don’t overcomplicate them either since that may just end up taking the essence away for the sake of looking wild.
5. Cartoon Illustration in Design
Cartoon Illustrations are creative and graphic trends that will remain relevant in the foreseeable future. They are a nifty way that will help your designs stand out from the generic blur of websites that have heavy graphic elements.
Cartoon Illustrations are versatile and can enhance your design while remaining on point with what you want to represent. And their format keeps you imaginative, adaptable and playful. They are perfect for creating an excellent atmosphere for your products and can also be included in websites, business cards, posters and other presentation materials.
6. Muted Color Palettes
It is impossible to have every project to always use and work with bold and bright color choices. So try to change things just a little bit with a more muted color which can help give your site an overhaul to help it stand in the flat design crowd.
With muted color palettes, they provide a safe and secure feeling that’s natural and organic. This is why they are used in many health and wellness brands.
You can also add shades or colors that result with the addition of black colors. Shades can work well with certain types of designs and the heavier color can make it easier to read and appealing to look at.
7. Simple Data Visualizations
Data visualization is about making any complicated data easier to digest and understand. While we may be living in an era where there is an overload of data being circulated. Simple data visualization can make the message get across more effectively.
This part is easier shown than said, so check out the examples we’ve provided below.
Visualizing the data we have about nature tends to lead to a beautiful output. Take “Where the Wild Things Grow” by Jonni Walker. It is a Tableau where the bioluminescence is visualized as shiny shapes over a satellite image of the area which is present on the Southern eastern coast of Australia. And the legend is organized around the map which makes the information easier to read.
With humans becoming addicted to continue drinking their water from plastic bottles. This has resulted in a difficult garbage problem. And the visualization provided by Reuters Graphics “Drowning in Plastic” does a great job of making this statement about how the earth is being converted into plastic.
8. Geometrics Shapes Everywhere
For 2019, we have seen designers use a lot of flowing and abstract shapes with their designs. For 2021, we see that these will be useful in replacing those rigid and hard-edged shapes and patterns making it easier to contrast against the muted colors.
9. Flat Icons and Illustrations
There are plenty of brands using flat icons and illustrations in their social media graphics, website design and others. Icons shouldn’t be underestimated since they are a powerful tool in visual communication and are way more creative than simple stock photos.
10. Social Media Slide Decks
Sometimes, we really are unable to squeeze longer messages into single image posts. This is why a lot of social justice, political campaigns and wellness are sharing slide decks.
Don’t forget to make use of data visualization in order to compellingly make your case. But don’t map out every single data point that you uncover but highlight the key numbers that can generate an emotional response and check with someone on how well they’ve been able to receive the deck.
11. Text Heavy Videos
Moving forward to 2021, people are most likely to continue working remotely and that means shooting new video content is going to be a challenge.
But since videos make use of text on-screen to deliver their messages. Why not use heavy texts on-screen in order to remedy that problem. And with this method, you wouldn’t need the entire production team to create a video. Brands could simply create simple text heavy video in just a fraction of the time.
12. Seamless Surrealism
While surrealism is a term people associate with inscrutable imagery, it is actually about intertwining surreal with reality. And there hasn’t been a year that this was felt more deeply than 2020 where the pandemic has affected our way of life, specifically our freedom to go outdoors.
13. Gold Design
Another creative and graphic design trend for 2021 is the metallic effects with Gold design. Have you taken a look at the latest smartphones and other products like food and cosmetics?
2021 will be seeing a lot of gold being used in a multitude of combinations with other materials in different imaginative ways. It provides a striking contrast that can’t fail to wow the audience.
14. Authentic Representation
The Black Live Matter movement has sparked a reexamination of systemic prejudice of each industry and this includes graphic design.
Now, we know what you are thinking but this isn’t about propaganda. It is about portraying diversity where your industry can inspire and encourage people of all backgrounds on their journey and create a positive change.
Such as, designers making an effort to ditch old concepts that don’t exactly portray how rich our planet is. This trend is about using images of real people with their own characteristics and uniqueness.
15. Infusing fine art
2021 is about being less concerned with traditional borders and is true so with fine art and design. As a result, we have with us painterly techniques and abstract expressionism that continue to make their way onto our shelves and screens across the globe.
We can usually find these designs in wine labels and cosmetic packaging in order to convey “elegance”. But of course, using darker tones for computers can help give this design a solemn vibe. Though it might not sound cheerful but designs like these can invite your viewers to take a moment and reflect.