After a year that was anything but predictable, we’re all looking forward to a lot less chaos with a return to more normalcy and balance in the coming months. Not surprisingly, 2021’s graphic design trends reflect those sentiments, leading with clean, clear illustrations, the use of calm, muted colors, and classic serif fonts.
Here’s what designers are touting as the top graphic design trends to incorporate into your brand marketing right now.
1. Muted colors.
This year’s mood: Serene. Using neutral colors with minimal layouts and soothing meditative graphics, we’ll see the calming effects of nature-inspired palettes. As we all spend more time in front of our screens, we can expect to see those softer tones used to create tranquil backdrops to desktops, websites, and display ads to evoke a sense of calm and security.
2. Simple data visualizations.
To make complex data easy to understand, keep it simple. We’re bombarded daily by digital messages—emails, pop-up ads, Instagram reels—so to make your information stand out from the rest, use clean, concise, straightforward infographics to effectively relay your message. The added benefit: infographics are sharable, so be sure to brand your content and embed it with links to gain more traction.
3. Geometric shapes.
A departure from last year’s flowers and abstract art, this year we’ll see a lot of hard-edge patterns using geometric shapes, again, in beautifully composed muted colors.
4. Flat icons and illustrations.
Instead of using photos or detailed illustrations, flat icons help tell a story, lead the reader through a process or timeline, or simply and concisely represent your products and services or industries served. Plus, icons take up less space than words, so they help create a design that’s more inviting and user-friendly.
5. Serif fonts.
After months of quarantine, there seems to be a shift in what we perceive as valuable or necessary. Graphic design trends are taking us back to those simpler times using classic serif typefaces that connect us to all things traditional and pure. These fonts offer a timeless, nostalgic feel which also evokes a sense of trustworthiness.
6. Social media slide decks.
Data shows that 65% of people are visual learners. Visuals summarize content into smaller, easier to process chunks. And when you select the right visuals, they offer more comprehensibility than text-based explanations or only audios. Presenting your information using simple graphics or illustrations in a slide-deck format is an effective way to communicate a longer message that your audience will remember.
7. Text-heavy videos.
With many of us still working remotely, it can be challenging to generate new video content. Using text on-screen is one way to create video without managing on-location shoots or engaging a production crew.
Along with these seven trends, we’ll continue to see a push toward natural elements in design which echoes the importance of sustainable, eco-conscious branding. And given the events of the past year, we’ll also see more social justice issues influencing and infusing design, from product advertising to packaging.
These are some of the trends we’re implementing in our designs at Shamrock. Are there any you’d add to the list? Join the discussion on our on our Facebook page.