Graphic Design Trends 2021 Designers Should Follow


You cannot maintain relevance in the graphic design world if you remain static. Investing in the right graphic design tools is the first step. That is why you spare no expense on specific devices.

You probably have the best laptop for graphic design with all the latest updates. Efficiency and performance are critical for design work.

Always acquaint yourself with the latest trends.  Due to the ever-evolving nature of the design industry, clients are also becoming more demanding.

You cannot present run-of-the-mill design options and hope to keep them happy. Fortunately, the industry is awash with exciting predictions that can guide any graphic design process.

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It pays to keep up with the latest graphic design trends to stand above the competition. Our article will look at graphic design trends 2021 that designers should follow.

2021 Graphic Trends to Follow

The simplest graphic design definition is the creation of visual content to communicate. Designers incorporate different elements when designing. Such include color, typography, images and animation.

They work towards creating designs that are engaging and informative. Graphic design requires a good knowledge of the market and different trends. It helps in the creation of modern graphic designs for greater visibility amongst the target audiences.

Let’s dive into trends that will shape the 2021 graphic design industry.

Geometric Shapes Are In

Geometric Shapes

Forget standard shapes; geometric ones are more impactful. Whether you are designing for a home maker company or motor industry; you still get the same functionality level.

Geometric shapes allow for flexibility with the type of designs. Options like flat elements or more complex layouts are possible. The final design has depth, gradient, shadows and blocks.  Creating consistency in the design becomes easier with visual geometric structures.

Muted Color Palettes Are Still Impactful

Muted Color Palettes

The use of muted colors may not necessarily be a new trend.  However, many would consider it one of the more modern graphic design trends. While before, designers would gravitate towards brighter, more noticeable colors, now it’s not the same.

You now find the use of contemporary colors, black or white edges. The work appears neater and less cluttered. The audience gets a more relaxed feel than what they would when looking at brighter colors.

Muted colors allow for a greater expression of minimalism. The online space has a lot of content, which kind of confuses users.

Graphic designers incorporate the elements to bring in a sense of peace and tranquility. Minimalism was a huge trend in the 90s, and we see it making a big comeback in graphic design trends in 2021.

More Visible and Playful Text

Visible and Playful Text

Graphic designers are applying more emphasis on text visibility. It goes well with the muted background because the font tends to stand out a bit more. Some fantastic graphic design ideas use a white font on a dark background.

There is also a shift away from the more rigid, professional-looking text.  Designers are customizing available funds to make them stand out a little bit more.  Be conscious of the audiences you are designing for.

Older people, for example, may prefer the more traditional fonts. Younger groups, on the other hand, have no problems with creativity.

Incorporation of 3D Elements

3D Elements

Graphic design trends 2021 will continue to borrow heavily from last year’s. A good example is 3D, which has already started to gain quite a bit of popularity. However, there are more exciting elements in newer design trends.

Better software and technological advancement have opened up new uncharted territories. Virtual reality, augmented reality and UX focused UI designs a+3re game-changers. This shift is towards the use of more realistic elements.

The designers create an interesting mix of 3D designs and flat illustrations.  There are more movement and animation, which makes the content more engaging to the user.

Fun elements with Emojis and Cartoons

Emojis and Cartoons

Many people equate emoji with social media platforms. However, graphic design art is increasing the use of such. Websites, for example, now use animated emoji to increase interaction and engagement.

What emotion comes up when you see a smiling emoji? It evokes a warm and welcoming feeling. The reaction from anyone looking at the design is happiness and positivity.

Clever applications of emoji’s are finding their way to different collateral. Posters, branding, brochures and packaging are some of the areas taking advantage of the trend.

They Use of Optical Illusions to Create a Sense of Wonder

Optical Illusions

Optical illusions evoke feelings of magic and a sense of wonder. Graphic design elements use immersive patterns and thought-provoking graphics to bring it to life.

Optical illusions incorporate graphic design inspiration from mid-century to the present.  It brings out an element of wonder and adventure in whatever the designer is working on.

When the eyes and brain process the same thing differently, you will always take a second look.   We can therefore expect to see it in logos, illustrations and other designs.

Web designers will take advantage of the trend’s ability to grab and keep people on the web pages.

A Return to Nature

Nature for inspiration

Modern graphic design is going back to nature for inspiration. Earthy colors, natural light, and flowing lines are some of the design trends. It works well with other trends. Such are muted colors, fantastical settings, and minimalism.

Incorporating 3D and virtual reality elements allows for a more immersive experience. Most importantly, you achieve a sense of calm and oneness with nature.

Monochrome Trend

Monochrome Trend

Check out any graphic design online, and you will probably come across the monochrome. Think about it like a more simplified duotone trend.  It involves applying graphic design art that subtly guides the viewer to the messaging.

You do not focus on getting attention to the design aspects. Interestingly, designers are becoming bolder in color choices.

While before, most would go for black and white designs, now there are some pops of color without taking away from the key messaging. It is a different style that focuses on creating balance and serenity in the final artwork.

The Use of Color Gradients

Color Gradients

Graphic design logo creations like Instagram are an excellent example of the use of color gradients. It remains a popular trend, and we do not see it fading away any time soon.

It allows for versatility in applications. It can be bold or a way to guide to a focal element within the design. Designers can also create combinations resulting in interesting color outputs. The trend works exceptionally well with minimal shapes.

The result is cleaner, more interesting designs.  As much as it is not a new trend, it still gives the feel of a modern graphic design trend.

Play On Typography

Play On Typography

There is no limit when it comes to the use of typography in graphic design art. Designers are using creativity to bring to life fonts and text. Bolding or heavy letters mean more visibility. Animation and 3D elements draw the eyes to the messaging.

Rounded sans serif is making a comeback in a big way. And, no designer can ignore the use of color combinations or highlights for unique looking text.

Calligraphy is also becoming a popular trend. The graphic designer uses his own handwriting in the artwork.

Retro Designs

Retro Designs

It is tough to let go of the nostalgic feelings of days gone by. It could explain why the retro design continues to remain so relevant. To give it a more modern graphic design look, we can expect some tweaks here and there.

A lot of the elements we have highlighted above will have a huge role. Focus on simplicity and minimalism will lead to cleaner, simpler designs. Color palettes will be more contemporary without losing the retro feel.

More Creative Freedom with Asymmetrical or Imperfect Layouts

Asymmetrical or Imperfect Layouts

An interesting graphic design art idea is the imperfect or asymmetrical layout. It removes rigidity in the design process and gives the creative’s more leeway. The unfinished look is an attention grabber without apologies.

Rigid, grid layouts may very well be on their way out. Instead, we have what the industry players refer to as ‘perfectly imperfect. Such work borrows a lot from abstract art ideas. However, the trend may appeal to specific demographics, so audience research is critical.

You also do not want to compromise clear communication for the sake of creativity. The graphic designer must therefore maintain a careful balance.

Final Thoughts

The graphic design field is ever-evolving. It is interesting to see the trends that are available to designers. We have looked at what we consider some of the best trends in 2021.

There will be some spillover from 2020, but designers are sure to bring in more modern graphic design aspects for better engagement.

Are you a graphic designer? Have you tried any of the graphic design trends above? We would love to hear from you.

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