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insight & trends
11 December 2020

graphic design trends for 2021.

A new year means new predictions on what will be trending in graphic design! We have put together this list to inspire your next graphic design project as well as maybe avoid what may become visual clichés.

Put simply, graphic design is the language in which your consumer consumes and views your product, website or content piece. When used effectively, graphic design trends are the key to unlocking brand retention, awareness and adoption.

Here are our quick summaries of the 8 trends that will dominate 2021.

Muted Colour Palettes
A muted colour palette refers to a palette with low saturation and muted tones. While bright colours are loud and used to stand out – there is longevity in using muted colours as the brand visual foundation. Muted colours make us feel safe and secure, even nostalgic – that is why more wellness accounts and brands are opting for this palette.

Colourful Minimalism
On the other side of the graphic design spectrum, is a refreshed and refined take on bright colours through minimalism. We are seeing brands take futuristic elements, bold fonts and simple gradients and turn them into stand-out, colourful minimalism. This trend sees graphic design carefully treading the fine lines between complexity and dullness, without breaking the main principles of modern minimalism.

Authentic Stock Photos
In the modern era, edited stock photos are overtaken by events, and brands are well aware of this. People are no longer interested in the photos that look too professional and polished, instead they want authenticity. What does this mean as a graphic design trend? Spend time looking for stock photos that convey your brand in a unique, genuine, and authentic way – in other words, stand out on the timeline.

Simple Data Visualisations
We are living in a time where a lot of data is constantly being circulated – and this is a graphic design trend across industries. The human brain processes visual info faster than it processes text – that is why good data visualisation is not only a graphic design trend, but a need-to-know skill – regardless of the brand. Always keep your data simple, straightforward and contextual.

Continuous Animation Sequences
Although animation is a higher investment – it is one of most powerful ways to bring a brand to life, and it has become increasingly commonplace online and in graphic design. This is usually in the form of micro interactions and explanatory motion graphics, and if there’s one group of people who want to push the boundaries beyond the commonplace and the usual, it’s designers.

The use of gradients was slowly fading away – until very recently – now they are taking over the world. The combination of futuristic patterns and colours is shaping the path for this graphic design trend. In fact, today, designers feel at home using gradients in more ways than just simple one-color logos or backgrounds. The result of gradient or colour transitions? Visuals that are thumb-stopping, colourful with an edge of futurism.

Classic Serif Fonts
It’s a classic for a reason! Serif fonts date all the way back to the 15th century. Seen as classic, elegant and trustworthy, they both evoke both a sense of nostalgia as well as a feeling of modernism. We definitely will continue to see Serif fonts become commonplace as a graphic design trend in 2021 and probably beyond.

Social Media Slide Decks
A lot of people have been sharing slide decks on Instagram and LinkedIn. Brands and accounts use slide decks as native articles because they allow them to visually communicate longer messages than a single post. On top of that, the algorithms on Instagram and LinkedIn seem to promote these slide decks above single images.
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