10 Graphic Design Trends to Get You Inspired in 2022
Know which directions Graphic Design is headed towards!
If you are a member of the graphic design world, you never know what you are going to create next. That is because you are always going to be on the lookout for “the next big thing” which is probably what is going to make people enter shops, wait long lines, and browse the internet.
You can never stray too far from the pack, and illustrators and marketers should know what the defining trend is going to be as the future sets in. It happened in the 90s with grunge and its shadowy, edgy, and ominous designs which lead to collage in mostly black and white tones which could be found in music albums, t-shirts, or skateboards and backpacks. The 70s is synonymous with psychedelics, an era where you could barely find glasses without swirly lenses or a person who did not have at least one tie-dye T-shirt.
This is vital for anyone who wants to have a successful business because as the point above proves – graphic design will resonate with an audience. In today’s digital age, this is only amplified because graphic design extends its effectiveness when we look at web design, page layouts, and even fonts. In fact, a business is almost certainly going to profit if they invest in graphic design since 92.6% of people claim that visual quality affects their purchasing decisions. That only matters when there are already people browsing your shop, but graphic design can also help you get more customers to enter your digital shop because it will help you stand out from the competition, and over 73% of businesses have allotted to creating a graphic design strategy.
All this considered, you need a guide to know where to start if you want to catch up with the big boys in the industry. So, here are 10 graphic design trends that are projected to rule over the coming year.
1. Refined Retro
Starting this list off is something that comes from the past.
These days, people want to travel in time; the 70s, the 50s, or even a time as recent as the 90s are just too legendary not to be experienced. Because of this, people’s demand for nostalgia only keeps on increasing with media and design trying to bring back graphic design trends from that era.
However, it is not merely copy and paste, but designers are adding the extra spice of today’s modern graphic taste. Think the bold fonts of the 70s but with a more organic palette and cleaner lines which resonates with the generation of today. For example, Kodak brought back its popular “Kodak K” from the 70s but tweaking its font to give it a breath of the 21st century. Or maybe Co-op, who invested a large amount of money to rebrand their almost two-century-old business by taking archives from the 60s and rekindle it with the palette of today as well as a consistent typeface which is used for both print and digital.
All in all, maybe the rebrand you want is just a tribute to the old days in disguise. Or if you’re new to the design business, you can model your style off refined retro and you can already expect to have satisfied an audience.
We are not off the nostalgia boat yet, but even nostalgia may not explain the popularity of this next entry.
Psychedelic design first came to fruition in the 60s, a time when pop culture was dominated by spiritual movements, freedom, and being able to sit around a circle of people and just talk about the craziest of things. It’s what you would expect to see if you lived in a world where psychedelic drugs were consumed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner because this style was not only observed in the way people dress, but in the way they thought, spoke, and behaved. It did not help that some of the biggest figures during the time largely lived the psychedelic life such as Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix.
It is a style that transcends mere visuals, it’s become a lifestyle. Today, youth culture is as active as ever and the way people live today would no doubt belong during the rambunctious times of the 60s. Now think about these swirly and vibrant designed illustrations moving with today’s technology of animation and the over-saturation of media all over the internet. It’s a recipe that is no short of spellbinding, and the formula that worked in the 60s can only become better today.
3. Even more 3D.
Now it is time to depart from this nostalgia boat and arrive in the land of the future.
Styles of the past can have had their time in the sun and have proven to work wonders in more ways than one for what is now decades, but the rapidly advancing technology of today needs us to expect a sudden shift to hyper-realistic illustrations that feel like they can grab you by the collar of your shirt.
And that is exactly what 3D design wants you to do with its realism, transparency, and fluid style. It makes your web design mesmerizing from the get-go, makes you extra flashy if you want to dress to impress, and it is going to make waves if we are gearing towards that utopian world we expect to see as we settle more and more into the future.
4. Candy Colors
Perhaps nothing is more important in design than color. Before you get people to read your content, buy your products, or open your website, you need to have eye-catching palettes to grab a potential customer’s attention.
Don’t know which palettes to use? Are organic pastels not adding the magic you hope they would? Candy colors are a surefire way to improve your design in all sorts of ways. Whether it be web design, app interface, or simple color on logos and posters, utilizing vibrant and bright candy colors make customers feel like they are quite literally inside a candy store, with the same joy as a child and the burst of energy needed for adults.
With most businesses already implementing multiple graphic design campaigns and implementing consistent themes throughout their brand, the challenge to stand out becomes more and more difficult. However, there is quite a simple solution for that – maximalism.
With maximalism, you dial everything to eleven; color, patterns, images, elements of an illustration that makes it almost impossible to miss. It is guaranteed to make your design stand out way more than most with visuals that stimulate the senses and give it a kick of adrenaline and excess. People want action and drama in their lives, maximalism is the style that gives them that satisfaction through graphic design.
Think unconventional fonts painted with quirky colors, all panning over designs that are so rich that it takes customers a lot to take in, essentially keeping their eyes on you. To make the experience even better, artistry ties it in with elements such as statues, bold photography, hyper-realistic closeups of real people. Maximalism is a whole journey on its own.
6. Colorful minimalism
What maximalism lacks in simplicity, minimalism makes up for in efficiency.
Yes, maximalism’s sibling and polar opposite minimalism is exactly what you imagine it to be; monochromatic, focused, slick, and possessing as little element as possible. However, it does not mean that it does not work at all.
Minimalism is a style for the professional, offering everything you need with as little detail as possible. However, to keep it from being too plain or boring, what you need to do is add a pop of color with the logo/lettering.
It is all minimalism needs to stand out in 2022, either creative coloring on the logo or a fantastic background-to-element contrast. Expect to see it on a lot of landing pages for professional businesses and the business cards of influential individuals.
7. Abstract Surrealism
In 2022, people will be looking for fun. In a global pandemic, when people can not just simply travel to new places to quench their taste for adventure, designers can opt to bring the adventure to their screens with Abstract Surrealism.
Abstract Surrealism is all that we have talked about tied together. A hint of psychedelics, booming colors, realistic and 3-dimensional elements, and to include all these will create maximalist illustrations that are way too dynamic not to look at.
What makes abstract surrealism not just odd and incomprehensible graphics is that it makes quirkiness and dynamism work through clean and thematic, making things make sense with elements that are not normally seen together.
It is time to be bold in graphic design, combine rainbows with trains or have clouds made out of bubblegum to evoke a sense of creativity that is sure to astound the masses in 2022.
8. The power of Memes
It is crazy how much an internet meme can do for an account on social media.
Everybody knows what a meme is by now. You open any social media account and you are probably going to come across one within the first few minutes, they are a staple on the internet and it is a glue that keeps people on their screens longer than they expected. Memes are just way too fun to be ignored.
Thing is, memes are more or less a visual medium. That means that in graphic design, there are opportunities to be made here.
Now this does not mean that you become a meme account, or that you post it that often, but being able to engage in the meme community and show audiences that you are just as much human as they are will make you warm up to you way faster. Businesses are already beginning to engage in memes through Tiktok or Twitter, and the traction of engagement these get are too sizable to not be capitalized on.
Memes are really a cheat code if you want to reel an audience away from competitors, memes are not mere templates for losers, they are very much a culture that a lot of people participate in and it will increase in influence and popularity in 2022.
9. Serif fonts.
Amidst all this, the question begs to be asked – what is the most popular font in the market right now?
Well, there is a clear-cut answer for that and it is serif fonts.
Serif fonts are a classic. Having been around since the 15th century, its reach is wide and its style undeniably elegant and readable with clean lines and exuding class from A to Z.
With the previous entries already having expounded on how influential the feeling of nostalgia can be, serif fonts is that agent in the font department, and expect it to really blow up and be prevalent in the coming year.
10. Inclusive visuals
Last and definitely not the least, we can expect graphic design in 2022 to be gearing up towards an activist and empathetic approach.
If there is something that your graphic design should be able to do, it is that above its flashy colors and cool elements, it should be able to tell a story.
Worldly issues continue to plague us for the foreseeable future; problems with race, society, and the environment have made a large portion of the world population feel oppressed, hopeless, and marginalized. That means in 2022, designers in the industry should be able to uplift spirits by creating inclusive visuals that represent the people that are suffering.
Not only is this a humanitarian approach that helps fellow human beings in a great way, it is also a great method to reach target audiences and develop a proper social image for your business. Going the extra mile and making people feel seen and acknowledged through graphic design is one of the few superpowers that this industry possesses, and it is most definitely going to be a big part of the year.
It takes more than just being good at drawing and knowing which colors match which to excel in the world of graphic design. Having the skill of reading people, trends, and business can be argued as more important qualities to possess. With the amount of demand graphic design is receiving and the many forms it takes, there is no time for you to just slack around and go off your creative instincts. Also be resourceful, there are a lot of resources you can find online to help you become more productive on your design projects like free illustrations, free mockups, free design tools and plugins.
Take notes, read the data, and browse social media if you wanna know what design is going to work for your next project.