Top 20 Graphic Design Trends to Look Out for in 2020

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The kind that inspires you and the kind that makes you question how they even became Graphic Design Trends.

Like beveled and embossed everything in the 90s—that was never a good idea.

Or comic sans. Or worse, intense drop shadows. 

Although, Graphic Design Trends are operators of growth and a means of teaching creatives on the value of context—knowing when and how to manage them.

At Bannersnack, we like to stay on top of what’s happening in the design world and we’d like to share our findings with you for the upcoming year, to help you achieve the best designs possible.

P.S: If you’re feeling nostalgic and you’d like to look back on 2019’s Graphic Design Trends, click here.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the top 20 graphic design trends to be inspired by in

2020.


Summary

  • Color Gradients
  • Bold Typography
  • Asymmetrical Layout
  • Brand Identity System
  • Textured 3D Design
  • Fluid Shapes
  • Tailor-made Illustrations
  • Isometric Compositions
  • Mixed Media
  • Short Videos
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality
  • Modernized Retro
  • Zero Gravity
  • Data Visualization
  • Generation Z Yellow
  • Monochrome
  • Celestial Exploration
  • Muted Color Schemes
  • Responsive Design
  • Thin Lines

Infographic Graphic Design Trends

design trends


1. Color Gradients

It turns out Instagram is quite the influencer in and of itself; the play with gradients in their branding has caused this trend’s growing use in recent years.

 

Gradient Application

Source: Instagram

Color pitches have had their moment (and proceed to do so) in UI, packaging design, and branding for promotion perspective.

Gradient UI/UX

Source: Siti Dahlia

In 2020, color grades are required to have a more common stage through its purpose in all kinds of design, particularly in illustration.

Gradient in packaging

Source: Happy F & B

2. Bold Typography

Typography has extended one of the most crucial design components because of what it can communicate visually, beyond its natural written proposal. Newly, more and more brands are including heavy sans-serif fonts in their designs or even in their branding.

Definitely, bold or heavy-weight sans-serif fonts are being practiced to give designs a new path. Most of the brands go a step further by using motion and a three-dimensional impression to typography.

Source: Al Boardman

Such as, few designs study with kinetic typography over latent images that are given in forms of short looping videos. This kind of overlay drives even more attention to the text and the personality behind what it’s speaking into.

 

Source: Andrei Robu

 

Stefan Asafti, a brand identification design, adds to representing the magic of what typography can do as on required:

Source: Atanas Giew

3. Asymmetrical Layout

Revealing only a part of the design or purposely allowing a design to feel “unfinished” in its lack of symmetry is a way to capture attention and to convey a message more boldly.

Asymmetrical Poster Layout

Source: Bison Studio

In the past, design based on a fixed grid system was all the rage but it seems that creatives are leaning more towards a design that has a more human, imperfect feeling to it.

Asymmetrical Poster Layout

Source: Xavier Esclusa Trias

The asymmetric pattern gives innovative space in applying graphic ingredients in order to correspondent something more free-spirited and abstract.

Asymmetrical Layout in Packaging

Source: Caterina Bianchini Studio

4. Brand Identity System

A systematic design approach to a brand identity gives way to maximum flexibility in how a brand conveys its personality and in how it can evolve in time. Brand correspondence policies typically have an underlying plan and use a map of the element as a basic unit for graphics, designs, and more.

Like as, a brand identity procedure can have a simple square as its base unit and build communications for designs to evolve from that state while maintaining brand compatibility. Besides the goal of the color system can also work as a foundational part of the whole brand system.

The base unit visible, color scheme, logo, and brand tact (and rebrand identity systems ultimately give the end user space to find their place within the brand, custom illustrations, but more on that later) come collectively as a family—developed to create a brand story that really speaks to the end-user.

Brand identity systems ultimately give the end user space to find their place within the brand.

Brand Strategist, Jacob Cass, has four tips to help you grow your brand system experience this year:

Brand Identity System Example

Source: Squarespace

 

Designers like Mark Repa are investing in offering more complex but comprehensive brand identity systems. See what he has to say:

Uber Brand Identity System

Source: Uber

 

One of Bannersnack’s designers, Tibor Orosz, also shares his view on brand identity systems:

Source: Mailchimp

5. Textured 3D Design

The three-dimensional method in designs has been ever-present in the past year and in 2020, it’s expected to advance by adding a layer of realism in textural experimentation.

Adobe Think Tank Texture

Source: Omar Aqil and Rob Juarez

Textures like metal, fur, and plastic are some of the commonly used forms on 3D forms.

Co-life Texture Example

Source: Jerry Shu

Creating such a realistic texture on 3D forms that don’t actually exist can make the design feel like it’s part of a bigger illusion.

Botanical Texture Example

Source: George Stoyanov

6. Fluid Shapes

Organic shapes have caught on in popularity and can be found in many designs today but in 2020, they’re projected to have more of an impact by being applied to brand identification systems, 3D forms, and short change graphic videos.

Source: Fanny Rollot

Glossy, studious, and liquid forms will also trend in 2020, as they perform more depth.

Fluid Shapes Motion Graphic

Source: Christian Whiticar and Eric Wada

Psychology tells us that circular shapes (circles, ovals, and ellipses) in particular are perceived as being softer and friendlier due to the lack of harsh angles.

Foreo Fluid Shape Motion Graphic

Source: Facu Labo

7. Tailor-made Illustrations

These days it seems like all the big brands have their own distinctive illustration style. Airbnb’s illustrations are airy, bright, and lined whereas Slack’s illustrations are more geometric, muted, and textured. Both styles are able to bring their brand personalities to life and offer a personal touch.

In the upcoming year, we can expect to see more and more custom-branded illustrations to become one of the key ways brands convey friendliness as well as become an integral part of the brand identity system.

Numerous brands have begun to explore using illustrations that are different, inclusive, and in tune with offering an absolutely individual brand communication. Some brands have even experimented with applying motions, especially in brand videos.

Custom Illustration Example

Source: Airbnb

 

In support of this trend, Vlad Dumitrescu explains how he perceives this trend as a tool:

Besides this trend being a powerful tool, our next quote comes from Miruna Dragomir, who unpacks what’s behind this trend.

An illustrator himself, Joseph Kalinowski provide his scene on tailor-made illustrations:

Tailored Illustration Example

Source: Slack

 

Example of Bannersnack’s UX/UI creators, Corneliu Copacean, elaborates on the results of this trend:

Branded Illustration Example

Source: LinkedIn

 

Razvan Bei, the different Bannersnack UX/UI designer, describes the benefits of this trend of user point-of-view:

8. Isometric Compositions

It’s no surprise that isometric compositions are on the 2020 trend list. In the past year, this approach has paved the way for 3D illustrations.

Isometric Example

Source: Jing Zhang

Moreover, it’s expected to gain even more traction in the coming year. If you don’t know what isometric design is, it’s essentially a method of transforming 2D graphics into 3D forms for a playful yet realistic result.

Due to, the 3D objects are illustrated on 2D surfaces, isometric will advance to be done in infographic design, website design, and presentation design.

Smartwater Isometric Example

Source: Tyler Scheitlin and Luis Roca for Smartwater 

9. Mixed Media

An approach that was used often in the past has come back to life in a fresh new way. Mixing different types of graphic mediums such as genuine 3D graphics or photographs with static typography and different colors is an imperative way that diversifies how a message can be transmitted visually.

Gogoro Viva Mixed Media Example

Source: Mixcode for Gogora Viva

This technique is especially relevant for product photos, where flat lays and aspirational photography has been replaced with imaginative product illustrations and animations. This favors the concept behind the product rather than the practicality of promoting the literal features of the product. Skip simple product development shots; mixed media is here to stay in 2020.

Mj Cole Mixed Media Example

Source: Twentythirdc for MJ Cole

 

Bannersnack’s in-house illustrator searches the chances of doing mixed media:

10. Short Videos

Maybe it’s also because of how widespread the use of gifs is nowadays but short, animated videos have become the next big thing.

What’s not to like a

In these AR/VR experiences, people are often prompted to connect a device to an otherwise static design in order to unlock the remaining graphic elements and message that can only

bout them? They’re fun, slightly addictive, and effective.

Looped, animated videos are building up to having their big break in 2020.

Source: Adam Grabowski for Google

Illustrations, logos, and other graphic components can be connected and displayed in one animated composition.

Source: Hola Bosque for Spotify

Brands can benefit from using short videos to help create awareness in an engaging way. Animated videos have become a vital part of the visual branding, which will continue to grow as brands look for even better ways to connect with their audiences.

Facebook Animation Example

Source: Wonderlust Media for Facebook Watch Party

11. Virtual and Augmented Reality

The advancement of technology has made it possible for AR/VR to become somewhat familiar to the public and has impacted the development of graphic design trends.

Companies are capitalizing as much as possible through the lens of AR/VR by offering their audience a more dimensional immersion into their brand.

Ruben Szekrenyes, one of Bannersnack’s other UX/UI designers delves into his top three Graphic Design Trends and where he has seen them gain traction most:

Source: Patricia Reiners for Berlin Metro Colors 

In these AR/VR experiences, people are often prompted to connect a device to an otherwise static design in order to unlock the remaining graphic elements and message that can only be seen virtually.

An example of this could be that a 3D animation comes through only when devices are connected to the printed medium.

The anticipation and curiosity to unlock what can’t be seen at first glance make people feel like they’ve been given access to something special.

Source: Netguru for Artemest

In turn, this experience also allows people to interact with brands in a more natural way, therefore giving power to companies to promote their products and services as a subliminal part of the virtual experience.

Source: Platform Agency

12. Modernized Retro

You’ve probably seen the expansion of this style across all mediums. Also familiar as a new retro, this creative approach reinterprets retro in a relevant way.

Modernized Retro Example

Source: Matthew Wong for The Cereal School

Nostalgic and innovative, this course on the rise is gaining stress not only in graphic design but also in design, fashion, and pop experience.

Modernized Retro Graphic

Source: Denny Busyet

From color choices to illustration techniques, a blast from the past is welcomed into the new year.

Modern Retro Example

Source: Peter Tarka for Apple

13. Zero Gravity

Zero gravity model of design merges a flat backdrop, a 3D object, and eliminates any sense of context in order to produce the illusion that the object just floats in thin air.

 

Source: Twelve Moons

It’s a bold way of focusing attention on the main message or object. It’s a sharp design that also allows visual depth while the public book generates a sense of progress.

Ice Cream Zero Gravity Example

Reference: Critical design agency for Oat Side The Box Ice Cream

Source: Tux creative co. for Rise Kombucha

14. Data Visualization

As we all know, data has become the world’s most valuable resource. As its value keeps increasing, so does the need for visualizing and communicating data to the public.

Data Visualization Example

Source: Algo & Illo Studio for Bloomberg Futures

Simplifying data visualization makes the data more digestible for the everyday user.

Lufthansa Data Visualization Example

Source: Valerio Pellegrini for Lufthansa

This design aim to directs on designs that illustrate what works behind selecting meaningful ending from raw data and helps people understand the data economy as a whole.

15. Generation Z Yellow

Everyone knows there’s insightful psychology behind colors and this coming year, there is a certain color making a strong appearance. Gaining more and more popularity, yellow is predicted to have a big moment in 2020.

Sheep Inc. Yellow Example

Source: Bobby Monroe and Stupid Studio for Sheep Inc.

Bold, unapologetic, and the brightest color of them all, yellow makes a statement on its own regardless of whether it’s used as a backdrop or accent color.

Generation Z Yellow Example

Source: Estudio Guayabo for Abralin

Looking back on how Millennial Pink impacted culture up until now, Generation Z Yellow appears to be the characteristic color of a new generation. The United States Census Bureau reports that 50% of individuals under 15 years old are part of an ethnic minority.

The shift in a cultural context is representative of this data, where Generation Z Yellow revolutionizes the demand for diversity and inclusiveness.

16. Monochrome

Speaking of color, the duotone craze has been simplified to the usage of one dominating color.

Rappi Pay Monochrome Example

Source: Oui Will for Rappi Pay

Monochrome color overlays on photos or factors in design structures are accurately projected to grow in popularity this coming year.

3 Kaveria Monochrome Packaging Example

Source: Kuudes Helsinki and Stockholm and Tony Erapuro for 3 Kaveria

This trend is a visual break in the loud, multicolor world of designs, which makes it so effective. From UI/UX to packaging, this bearing stimulates minimalistic design in a new direction.

Lunigo Monochrome Website Example

Source: DHNN Creative Agency for Lunigo

17. Celestial Exploration

Abstract designs inspired by astronomy intersect technology and fantasy for a captivating approach.

Google Celestial Exploration

Source: Google Cloud for Google + NASA FDL

These kinds of designs truly show us that the sky’s the limit when creating an elevated version of reality, with an imaginative twist.

Gud Popsicles Celestial Exploration Example

Source: Nathalie Ubaldegaray for Gud Popsicles

A celestial concept ultimately associates itself with something beyond the everyday reality we live in—an escape into space, if you will.

SM Station Celestial Exploration Example

Source: Cobb Studio for SM Station

 

18. Muted Color Schemes

In opposition to the yellow accent color trend, muted color schemes will gain momentum this upcoming year. Because muted colors are desaturated with black, white or a complementary color, they’re pretty much the complete opposite of bright colors.

Consequently, muted colors combine perfectly with neutral colors and they can look good against both light and dark neutral backgrounds.

 

Cuppa Muted Color Scheme Example

Source: Victoria Ng for Cuppa

One thing to be attentive to with backgrounds is to try to use lighter muted colors with a lighter background and vice versa for darker muted colors. This will retain the overall design more original all around.

Cafe Muted Color Scheme Example

Source: Jeff Ostberg for Taylor and Jorgen

 

Head of the Design Team at Bannersnack, Gery Meleg further explains how big brands use this trend to stand out:

The big advantage to muted color schemes is that they appear to be very natural and may serve as a good way to go against the grain (if you start early, that is), to not compare with another remarkably high-contrast, stark perspective.

Source: Giant Ant for Slack Frontiers

19. Responsive Design

It may seem obvious but as interactions with brands become increasingly mobile-based, it’s paramount to create a responsive design in order to cater to all sizes and formats in which designs are used. The reality is that functionality will not be a trend because it’s an ever-present standard.

Responsive Design Example

Source: Hrvoje Grubisic for Laborati Ginori

Most of the basic terms, responsive design adjusts to various screen sizes. Of course, this presents itself as a tedious but worthwhile task for any designer as they have to create versions at various sizes in order to elevate user experience.

Banner Ad Responsive Design

Source: Martin Faktor

As a result, whether you’re viewing the design on your phone, laptop or tablet, the design will always be presented in its best light and dimensions. This, in turn, causes a brand to stand out with its professionalism in taking care of the details.

Branding Responsive Design

Source: Mariana Font for Fresco

 

20. Thin Lines

Adopting a more elegant approach, thin lines are a delicate and subtle way of getting attention. Minimalism will eternally have its position in design but its continuous growth comes in many forms.

Minimalistic Thin Line Example

Source: Reset co. for Molder & Skin

Linear elements and shapes create a calming yet sophisticated experience for the end user.

Brand Identity Thin Line Example

Source: Sebastian Bednarek for Mimosa

This trend specifically caters well to luxury brands as they aim to intrigue the customer with a high-end look.

Luxury Thin Line Example

Source: Culto Creative for Cobalto

Final Thoughts

In the end, Graphic Design Trends come and go, but they’re needed—they keep you on edge, experimenting and exploring new dimensions.

And while Graphic Design Trends are important to engage with, they shouldn’t cage your creativity. Rather, Graphic Design Trends should help you stay relevant and aware of what’s gaining traction worldwide to spark new ideas. As such, it’s all about the influence you allow Graphic Design Trends to have over your creation process: as a barrier or as a source of inspiration.

Let this upcoming year be your best year yet by challenging yourself to incorporate Graphic Design Trends masterfully.

Here’s to a more creative 2020!

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