15 Biggest Graphic Design Trends for 2021

15 Biggest Graphic Design Trends for 2021

14min read  

25 Feb 2021

2020 was surely a year we’re glad is now left behind, and with a new year comes a new set of graphic design trends to look forward to. 

The graphic design trends 2021 are mostly inspired by retro, futuristic styles, which will take new turns and find more creative solutions for the new year. 

So what graphic design trends are going to be a hit this year? 

Well, let’s see… strong brush strokes, 3D art, calming color schemes, shapes that’ll take us a step closer to nature, chaotic typography, gold, and more 3D. But that’s not all. 

Here are the biggest graphic design trends of 2021 that you need to know about to make your designer year more productive. 

 

  1. Typography Chaos 

Unlike 2020, this chaos IS enjoyable. 2021 will be full of chaotic typography design with limitless solutions. No rules, no rights or wrongs, it’s all in your head. 

typography chaos graphic design trend

Source: Ashley Jakubowsk, Aleyna Kılıc, Muna El_sayed, Martyna Wędzicka-Obuchowicz

 

Chaotic typography is quite famous in the business industry, as well as among influencers on social media platforms. Banners, posters, quote-posts, and more become way eye-catching and vibrant when created with chaotic combinations of big and small texts.  

typography graphic design trend

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  1. 3D Design

3D art pieces are going to be quite huge. Like a futuristic feature, they will push the imagination of many designers to a new height. Combining 3D objects with realistic designs, 2D works, or everyday life, will result in superb collages. 3D typography designs and lifelike shapes and characters will surely leave everyone breathless.

3d design graphic design trend

Source: Swile, HUAWEI, Neel Designs, Garden, Microsoft 365

 

  1. Gold Design

Gold is one of the trending design colors of this year. It can be used in various forms and textures - shiny, metallic, silky, rough, and this is not even half of it. Gold can make almost any design piece classy and luxury-looking, as well as fragile and modest when used right.

gold graphic design trend

Source: Roman Bratschi, Zoldi jewels, Toast, Covalence Architectes

 

  1. Symbol Revival

2021 is bringing back the gods and goddesses, the moon and the stars, the symbolism of hands, and other classic symbols of love, power, beauty, and more. Giving a fresh breath to talismans, symbolic art will inspire growth this year. 

symbolism graphic design trend

Source: Matheus Ferreira, Kenneth Vanoverbeke, Saberin Hasan, Autumn Hutchins, Helena M. Cintra

 

  1. Inspired by Nature

Natural elements like flowers, trees, leaves combined with calming, earthy colors and mild tones. Textures resembling wood, greens, stone, etc., are going to shine bright when combined with natural light and minimalism. Serenity, purity, and growth are all the themes of this trend. 2020 was definitely difficult for everyone to keep staying at home, so it’s natural that this year people are going to embrace the Earth.

inspired by nature graphic design trend

Source: Caroline Delavi, Vinicius Hideki, Vera Sambucus Branding, Diana Silina, Geethanjali Rajiv

 

Nature elements play a huge role in aesthetic marketing ideas and social media posts. People on Instagram and Facebook love seeing a little green on their timeline, which is why many influencer and business pages use earthy colors and greens to promote their brand or stress their organic nature. 

nature graphic design trend

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  1. Geometric Shapes 

You can create any design using these basic forms, bright colors, and your limitless imagination. Making it 3D will give your design more depth and uniqueness, making it flat will take us back to the 70s, so it’s a blast either way. 

geometric shape graphic design trend

Source: Arnold Gutierrez, DART / Villa Verlicchi, Graphic Assets, Atelier Irradié, Melez Iced Tea

 

  1. Art Infusion

Another artistic design is waiting for us in 2021. Brushstrokes, abstract shapes, painting infusion designs will bring out the more artsy and classy side of our imagination. 

Giving a touch of classic art and fairytale to design pieces is another great trend we’re looking for this year.

art infusion graphic design trend

Source: Ostecx Créative, Feifei Ruan

 

  1. Retro Futurism

When futuristic elements collide with retro style there’s surely going to be a firework show full of color and class. Bright colors, turns and twists are going to be an important part of this trend.

retro futurism graphic design trend

Source: Houston Hanna, New Romantics, 吴 剑, Larissa Pychlau, Sergey Snurnik, Ilustrata studio

 

Gaming world is full of this style and its specific colors. You’ve probably come across many YouTube gaming videos with thumbnails and video formats in retro-futuristic style. Although we can agree that this style gives a cool vibe to anything.  

gaming graphic design trend

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  1. Optical Illusions

Hypnotic, mesmerizing, and now even trendy. Coming up with design pieces with optical illusions, be it an object or typography, will spice up your designer year and make people think and try to figure it out.

optical illusion graphic design trend

Source: Polina Lebedenko, Hidden Characters, Figure ™, Sergi Delgado, Ashley Jakubowski

 

  1. Monochrome & Duotone

Effortlessly beautiful, simple, and yet commanding. Monochrome and duotone designs just scream at you to look at them, and if you choose the right color, you’ll certainly send your message across. 

monochrome and duotone graphic design trend

Source: YAV Digital, Jack Mitchell, Joseph Van, Vineet Kumar, Amy Nortman 

 

  1. Cartoon Illustrations

This trend is still going to be valid in 2021. Cartoon illustrations have been a thing for a while now, giving us familiar feels. They are super flexible and striking, so why not try them out this year? 

cartoon illustration graphic design trend

Source: Alena Rychagova, Kseniya Sakharova, Tanya Gulyaeva, Daria Ovsanikova, HaeJu Jang 

 

Cartoon illustrations also add a unique touch to a brand and help people connect with it. They are fun to share online and memorable once they catch the eye.  

cartoon graphic design trend

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  1. Socially Conscious Design

After the numerous challenges of 2020, art is standing up to unite the world. Designers all over the world are trying to make their art speak for itself through inspirational, personalized, and consoling pieces.

socially conscious graphic design trend

Source: Tyler Bumgarner, Daniele Andreotti, Leandro Assis, Atilla Karabay, Nica Vitug

 

  1. Voxel Art

The art constructed out of 3D cubes called voxels is a stunning mix of video games and vintage awesomeness. It’s impossible to forget and really fun to observe.

voxel art graphic design trend

Source: Vida Foruzan, Yeganeh Aubi 

 

  1. Colorless Design 

The dark mode of many applications and websites is bringing back the colorless and modern graphic design on its wings. Classy, bold, magical, and modern combinations of black and white, as well as other faded shades of colors, are going to completely win the hearts of both young and old people.

colorless graphic design trend

Source: Tanvir Alam Hira™, Gemma Mahoney, Ilona A, Szymon Jendrzejczyk, Dominggo Mau

 

  1. Comics and Pop Art

Vintage comic and pop arts have been active design trends since long ago. This year too, they are going to stay in trend even in the shape of flat design and expressive texture.

comics and pop art graphic design trend

Source: Lesha Limonov, Paula Cardoso 

 

Summary 

Looks like 2021 is really going to be a year full of graphic design trends of almost every kind. It’s important to come up with pieces that express the unique nature of your brand or style and convey the message you want to deliver. 

Authenticity, imagination, and style… with these three elements you can create outstanding graphic design pieces worth to be remembered.

 

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