Graphic Design is a constant changing sector with new ideas and visual styles always looking to look different, that is why every year there are new graphic design trends appearing and some of them come to stay for a long time.
2020 is coming to an end and it’s been a strange year for the whole world and many things have changed during this year and graphic design will also change in 2021, as the main focus will be people.
Let’s see the predictions on what graphic design trends, color palette trends and typography design will be huge in 2021 and have an important impact in the design industry.
We already have seen this graphic design trend rising during 2020 as many brands and graphic designers are using geometric shapes in their designs as a vital part of it but 2021 will be the peak year for Geometric Shapes in Graphic design.
There will be two main streams on using geometric shapes in graphic design, the first one will be more focused on using simple flat geometric elements to create more complex design layouts using them as part of bigger composition and the other stream will be paired with 3D Design as you will see many graphic design projects using 3D Geometric shapes adding depth, shadow and gradients to simple blocks.
A positive thing about geometric shapes in graphic design is that they can help your brand to add consistency, order and visual structure when using different types of images mixed with geometric elements.
As geometric shapes will play a huge role in the Graphic Design industry in 2021 I recommend you to read this article about Shape Psychology in Graphic Design.
This year will be great for nature lovers, as one of 2021 trends in design will be nature-inspired design with organic, softer and natural inspiration elements in graphic design projects.
You will see a lot of leafy patterns, earth-tone color palettes and nature inspired illustrations, and this trend will affect many fields in graphic designs as designers will play with color schemes, gradients, illustrations styles and there will be a huge presence of natural elements in collage designs.
Many brands will use nature imagery to associate their brand with feelings of serenity, growth and renewal to give their brand a fresh breath in 2021.
We can see during the past time a big growth in collage design, and in 2021 this trend will grow more because graphic designers will use this design technique to create surrealist design projects, merging realist imagery to create nonsensical designs.
Surrealism is an artistic term associated with inscrutable elements, but this year designers will merge images that separately are normal ones, but by combining these images they will create strange and surrealist designs to accept the impossible combination as one. These graphic design trends will be big for poster design, album cover art and book covers.
In the past people thought that by these days we will have flying cars, robots and rayguns and this was represented in different visual art areas, we don’t have flying cars yet, but the visual style of Sci-Fi have stayed through the ages due to the bold imagination of it and optimistic look of the future.
2021 will be a big year for retro futurism design style where the imagination will be a key element to represent how the future will be inspired by retro posters. This trend will have a huge amount of bright color schemes, computer-inspired typefaces and curves to transport us to an optimistic future where the limit will be the imagination of the graphic designer.
Symbols are a key element of our lives as they convey different messages and qualities that we can associate with those symbols, think about road signage, flags or emojis, these graphic illustrations have their own meaning and we use them to transmit different messages.
2021 will be a huge year for symbol revival as many graphic designers will use historically iconography and classic symbols due to their ability to stay present in modern language and use them to create aspirational, growth and empowerment icons and imagery that can be related to modern days.
We can see this symbol revival also present among 2021 logo design trends as we will see many brands using stained glass framing as inspiration to design their logos.
If you have read my post about Wes Wilson you will already be familiarized with psychedelia design style, and it was born in the 60’s inspired by the music and art scene of that time. Psychedelia design style has a lot of inspiration from hallucinogens and creative experimentation with colors, shapes and typography.
The chaotic imagery of psychedelic design style is a clear fit to these times and that is why this will be a graphic design trend in 2021 where graphic designers will find freedom in this style to experiment and go outside the traditional grids of design. Abstract psychedelic design style will have excessive color schemes with intense focus on abstract elements.
If we are talking about typography design in 2021 it will be the year of experimentation and chaos, as often we can relate typographic trends with the cultural time we are living, that is why chaos typography will be huge this year to represent this time.
Graphic designers in 2021 will be more experimental with type design and they will play with movement and shapes seeking more the chaos aesthetic instead of readability or legibility, 2021 will be a year to break the grids if we talk about typeface design.
During 2021 graphic designers will be focused into grab viewer attention and maintain it during the most time possible, and as mentioned early psychedelic styles and typographic chaos trends will influence directly this one, as graphic designers will implement optical illusion in their design to hold the viewer attention more time.
This optical illusion trend will be perfect for brands related to movement or spirituality as it fits them perfectly and will help them to create designs that stand out from the crowd and make the viewer look long at your design trying to descifrate where the magic is.
It has been a while since duotone gradients and monochrome palettes are gaining popularity among graphic designers and brands and it’s not a surprise, as it gives your design a modern, smooth and cool look and it is a really popular technique for minimalist design style, that is why in 2021 duotone gradients and monochrome color schemes will be a huge trend in graphic design.
A good benefit of using limited color schemes and playing with duotones is that you reduce the amount of visual information of your design helping the viewer focus on really important parts of the design at the same time that you create a sense of harmony, structure and modern look to your graphic design layout.
Another trend in color design during 2021 will be the use of muted color palettes in graphic design projects, as during many years of seeing design using bold and bright colors people want to see more relaxed color schemes.
Muted color schemes are great if you want to transmit safety and security as people tend to associate these light tones of colors with those feelings at the same time that have nostalgic feelings when they see a design project using these colors and it’s not a surprise as muted colors have a natural and organic feeling associated.
As mentioned early, gradient colors gained popularity in graphic design during these years and they will stay popular in 2021, but graphic designers will experiment with gradients and find new creative ideas to find a new look instead of using cheery and bright gradients.
One of these new techniques will be adding grain filters and blur to these gradients blending them with the background making easier for images or bold typefaces attract more attention, these filters can evoke feelings of grunge and grime due to the textures and blurred images.
Due to the growth of nex technologies and virtual reality during these years, 3D designs are always a graphic design trend every year, and to be fair 3d design is not new, but in 2021 3D designs will gain more popularity and we will see new forms and experimental designs using 3D.
Many brands and graphic designers will implement 3D in to their graphic design projects as it always attract the viewer attention and we will see it in different forms as 3D elements combined with photographic elements, flat illustrations combined with 3D graphic elements, motion design will be influenced by 3D and 3D typography will have a great impact this year.
In this article I mentioned some of the biggest trends in graphic design during 2021, but as it is a prediction and nobody can predict the future, it is possible that during 2021 there will be new design trends appearing as there are many talented graphic designers experimenting with shapes, color and other design principles to create new and fresh looks.
Use this article as graphic design inspiration and try these new trends but stay always experimenting, look for new innovative ways to understand graphic design and mix different elements to create something new!
Hope you find this article about 2021 graphic design trends useful and find a lot of inspiration to create amazing design projects during this year.
If you have found this Blog Post about Graphic Design Trends for 2021 you will be interested in these other articles about graphic design fundamentals.
Follow Me on my Social Media