Some designs are born, and others are buried in a matter of months. As we conclude the year, we would like to discuss the top 6 Graphic Design Trends That Will Be Huge in 2021 .
This list isn’t exhaustive like our brand design trends 2021 article, but gives a guide to certain trends which will likely stand out in the graphic design world in 2021. 2020 was a strange year for everyone, and this included designers.
While the business world faces forced closures, with online shopping growing even further in prominence, the world of graphic design has also faced changes.
The events of the current year have led to people relying on the internet like never before. With lockdowns and social distancing, businesses have had to come up with creative ways to keep their clients engaged through creative visual communication techniques.
Here are some graphic design trends poised to be popular in 2021:
Table of Contents
This graphic design technique involves the use of twisted shapes and chaotic imagery to communicate a particular message. The technique is trending because it shows that even with all the wild and scary things happening in the world today, people can still find some kind of stability through all the mess.
Psychedelic graphic designs are explosive and provocative, such that when a client views the same image twice or more times, they notice something different each time they review it.
In the past, psychedelic imagery was popular in music and art because they were believed to cause the opening of the mind and make people more aware of what was happening around them.
These psychedelic visuals are slowing back and gaining popularity because people feel that they can relate with all the mess and chaos depicted in the images.
In its essence, minimalist design is a functional form of design. No extras, no waste. Every element used in the design including shapes and colours is necessary.
A simple shape or form is given the power to stand in for a more complex object or idea. Simplicity is valued above all things.
Minimalism works because our eyes and brains only have a limited amount of attention to give to a design. By giving our eyes fewer things to consider, we devote more attention to the ones that are there.
This makes minimalism very versatile: from websites to logos and packaging design.
Nowadays, most people love shorter and more elaborate content or designs. There has been an uproar for minimalism where designers take away some flair and embellishment in the designs.
The main aim of this is to come up with a simple and straightforward presentation of ideas. Not only are they easy to understand, but they are also creating an intuitive element for the viewer.
Minimalism can be seen across many different aspects of Graphic Design. Logo design is an area where this is most pronounced.
This design trend allows graphic designers to create a logo that is less cluttered meaning the message is communicated quicker and more efficiently.
Other areas that this style has become prevalent within is Web design and Packaging design.
There are several important components to be aware of when undertaking a minimalist design.
While minimalism does involve a lot of whitespace, colour plays a very important role. In today’s world of design of design, often a wide range of colours could be used across the range but usually designers stick to only one or two colours at a time within a single composition.
Across a larger work like a complete rebranding you might see multiple shades of one colour used, which keeps the palette minimalist.
The same goes for fonts. Present fonts either at a very small size or very large—both methods draw the eye to the text and make it the centre of attention.
With these details sorted, your design will conjure some key feelings of minimalist design: opulence, expertise, individuality, and confidence. This trend is likely to gain ever greater traction in 2021.
At some point, we have all come across retro futurism in movies or songs. Previously, futurism gave people high expectations of the future such as flying cars, razor beam weapons, floating cities and robot house assistants.
All we have achieved as humanity almost a century later are robot vacuums. Also known as the ‘sci-fi dreams,’ the design is one of the most spectacular pieces.
The visual style follows the “sci-fi” film themes and characters. It can range from simple futuristic images to deeply scary or mind-boggling photos.
Depending on the graphic designer’s competence and thirst for exploration, they can create futuristic pieces and leave them to the audience to interpret.
This design trend often conflicts with styles from the past and futuristic styles.
However, the current state of the world is in need of a future in which to look forward. A different future where humanity is advanced and more capable of handling whatever crisis comes its way.
Some main characteristics of this style include:
- Retro, vintage or otherwise classic design elements
- Grungy, worn aesthetics
- The occurrence of futuristic themes in retro settings
- The occurrence of retro elements in modern-day settings
- Futuristic design elements
- A range of smooth and rounded geometric shapes (circles, ovals, etc.)
- Vibrant colours
- The presence of machines and technology
Futuristic graphic designs in industries are growing to help motivate and encourage clients not to give up just yet and that perhaps there is still hope in the future.
Have you ever encountered an image that seemed to combine two scenarios so perfectly, yet the image was strange and unrealistic? Yet somehow, you understood what the image was portraying: a deep message that would easily remain hidden from simple minds and provoke an innate reaction to those who understood it.
Surrealism is making a comeback in graphic designs, especially on covers of books, posters, and art on albums.
Graphic designers are using surreal images to show that unimaginable combinations can coexist in a flawless manner, communicating to people that in 2021 we can handle any crisis or learn how to manage it, without it destroying all of us.
Modern graphic designers are discovering that people like authentic images or videos in advertisements and customer experiences. Previously, organizations would use models and celebrities to help market their products and brands.
As the world continues to love and appreciate all cultures, identities, ages, and skin tones, most graphic designs will therefore represent realistic experiences and characteristics of common people.
Depiction of Nature
The year 2020 has subjected people to months of lockdown within their own homes. People have not had the luxury to enjoy nature fully and therefore graphic designs about nature will be a great hit in 2021.
Visuals of nature tend to be soothing and almost therapeutic, which is why many people will go for products and brands that have designs of nature.
The great thing about graphic design trends is that each year arrives with the opportunity for a reset. And given the challenging shape of 2020, the design trends of 2021 may offer us the biggest breath of fresh air yet.
While the list sets the pace for the 2021 design trends, there are many transformations to anticipate as we welcome the new year.
Join The Logo Community
We hope you have enjoyed these 6 Graphic Design Trends That Will Be Huge in 2021. If you would like more personal tips, advice, insights, and access to our community threads and other goodies, join me in our community.
Learn from our Founder Andrew who personally writes our community newsletter. You can also comment directly on posts and have a discussion.
*TIP – Looking for the best quality design mockups? We use and recommend Mr Mockup they are great for all your fonts, mockups and design bundles. A Lot of other top design agencies around the world use them also.
Kieran Fallon is the owner of Graphic Design Company Éire Graphic Design. They are a Dublin-based graphic design company.