Graphic design has mainly been influenced by pop culture trends and technological developments lately.
All design elements, tools, and working processes are impacted by preferences most likely derived from famous movies, photographers, artists, or technological changes specific to this industry.
These trends are very important because they make this art sophisticated and have a modern or futuristic appearance. They are also crucial for business owners that would like to build a brand identity appealing to the masses.
To remain competitive as a graphic designer, it is essential to know these trends and keep up with them. What are the main trends that have impacted graphic design today? Here is the top selection of latest trends that have been adopted by designers:
Isometric illustrations are one of the strongest trends today because of their stunning visual design. These types of visuals are quite different because they bring a 2D surface to life. They do not necessarily include a 3D background and a different foreground but the entire design is one thing.
For example, certain elements might be making up text that would overlay the design in traditional visuals. With isometric illustrations, the background and foreground are unified and that brings that design to life. This has been commonly seen on website designs and infographics.
3D and realistic images have yet to reach their peak because this trend is still going strong nowadays. Regardless of what kind of design is being created, lifelike visuals are starting to become commonplace. Designers might also choose to use 2D elements and compose them with 3D realistic visuals.
The digital marketing head at best essay writing service UK says that short videos or GIFs have been powered by using these types of visuals and they have worked well in a variety of applications. Even website pages are starting to incorporate 3D effects that are either animated or realistic. For example, some have moving images or videos on the background and that experience is quite immersive.
Graphic designers do not only work with vectors, geometric patterns, and color palettes only anymore. They are evolving and starting to use images more efficiently to produce great visuals loved by a lot of people. Not all kinds of images make the cut for sophisticated and modern designs. Stock photos with an authentic appeal are a popular choice amongst designers.
These images are then mashed with other visualizations and turned into collages or added text appealingly. Some designers do not even go to stock images and ask photographers for specific kinds of images or even take them when they have the required skills and equipment.
Nike has manifested this on their Just Do It social media marketing campaign, they have used images and mashed them with text and other design elements.
Image & text masking are exemplary ways to make a design stand out and also fulfill its purpose of passing a certain message. There are a lot of ways designers have used to implement this design element.
For example, a ripped page with text written in the missing piece or a splash of water with wording conforming to that element. These are just a few methods depicting how this design aspect has been used effectively.
Target audiences have accepted these types of designs quite well and that is why this trend has grown strong lately. This world is based on information but lengthy text can be boring and result in a small audience engaging meaningfully with that content. Beautiful image & text masking elements help spread that particular message much more efficiently.
Fonts found on Word and other computer productivity tools are gradually phasing out when it comes to a graphic design perspective. Today, designers are playing around with a variety of elements and styles to create artistic typography for their designs.
For example, designers might use patterns or objects used daily to create a letter of the alphabet or number. Other elements of artistic typography include inverted letters or numbers or even using the latter to represent a certain letter in a word.
In some cases, artistic typography has been used by writing an incomplete letter such as an "i" that has not been dotted or using heavy fonts.
Zendesk uses a simplistic typeface that is very appealing and eye-grabbing at the same moment. That is what some designers have been building towards but others let their creativity drive them to more eccentric designs.
Monochromatic effectsare quite captivating and graphic designers have used them on a variety of images. In most cases, this effect has widely been seen on images with promotional wording or other typography.
Some images just have a portion of them with this monochromatic effect. A lot of individuals doing design have used this effect because of how it supports communication using images as well as visual cohesion.
Also, throwing text on top of a monochromatic image can be a relatively easy task than writing on a normal picture. Choosing perfect colors that do not contradict or become hard to see due to image background and element palettes is a hard task.
Whereas a monochromatic effect gives you greater flexibility when choosing font type, size, and coloring. Spotify is a perfect example of using monochromatic effects on videos and images and their application of this design element indicates how efficient it is.
Choosing a perfect color palette for design is very important and graphic designers are starting to be very selective about this aspect. Instead of sticking to regular colors that are bright and common to most people, graphic designers are opting for muted colors.
These types of colors are not bright and true like commonly known palettes instead they are either overly exposed to brightness or lack thereof.
Sometimes they are diluted with another color. In some cases, muted colors look like they are more opaque or have a darker shade.
For example, LinkedIn's branding color is muted and it makes this company stand out from other sites. Designers have started shifting their focus on these types of colors and because of this, they are trending today.
You have got to admit, art is much more interesting when it is abstract and requires a second look to try and understand it. That second look is all graphic designers need to get their art recognized and loved by more individuals.
If designs are generic and just like any other, the audience’s perception will be diluted by similar visuals. To stand out, graphic designers use abstract illustrations when creating stunning visuals like infographics or carousel social media posts.
This type of art is also used on standard images and sometimes might be presented as a comical series of pictures. Whereas, other designers are creating abstract illusions for business marketing purposes. For example, Mailchimp uses abstract illusions on their website and emails to market all product offerings and have evidently succeeded.
GIFs are very popular amongst everyday digital chats between friends, family, or colleagues and even on social media posts. For a long time, these GIFs were based on popular figures such as movie stars or famous musicians. Graphic designers are reinventing the wheel on this aspect because they are designing brand-specific designs for businesses.
Those GIFs might be related to a certain event currently taking place or an upcoming holiday. For example, Google has used GIFs to announce certain important events such as their science fair or mini-golf day.
GIFs are trending because of their ability to captivate attention from the targeted audience and relay important information in a fun visually aesthetic way. Designers either use authentic images or complete animations when creating GIFs but the latter takes precedence.
There is definitely something about a post-apocalyptic world and graphic designers have harnessed this intriguing theme on a variety of designs.
From visuals of albums to novel covers and even business posters, the dystopian aesthetic has worked wonderfully for designers. Hence, this trend will grow stronger especially due to advanced sci-fi or post-apocalyptic movies that have permeated throughout pop-culture.
Dystopian aesthetic influenced designers makes the target audience pause a bit and try to understand what is going on. Some designs influenced by this trend have a one survivor or some kind of silver-lining which brings back hope to viewers.
For example, Tesla has used this design element when marketing its new concept car which looks like it just made it out of a mad max movie.
Graphic design has evolved greatly over the years and all these changes have contributed to enhanced creativity and beautiful designs being outputted. The latest technologies have been used by designers to make this come true and as time goes on, you should expect these trends to grow strong with some advancements. Designers should adapt to these design trends to keep up with the latest consumer perceptions influenced by pop culture or other preferences.
Anuja is the Co-founder and CEO of RedAlkemi Online Pvt. Ltd., a digital marketing agency helping clients with their end to end online presence. Anuja has 30 years of work experience as a successful entrepreneur and has co-founded several ventures since 1986. She and her team are passionate about helping SMEs achieve measurable online success for their business. Anuja holds a Bachelors degree in Advertising from the Government College of Fine Arts, Chandigarh, India.