Graphic Design is to convey ideas through visuals and design. By using elements such as typography and textual elements, we communicate information and messages, which may affect our audience’s thinking to some degree.
You have to know that 90% of information that is transmitted to the brain is visual. People are known to process information faster using visual aids than other mediums.
Graphic design is mostly used in advertising and marketing. We see them in posters, brochures, product branding, event promotions, and merchandise. We also use them in web layouts and with graphics or motion design in social media. It is also used in murals and road signs. It's so often used we sometimes forget it is there.
2023 is proving to be an exciting year for graphic design. Gone are the days when designers were limited to print and digital forms. Now, we have technological advancement that is stretching the medium to unbelievable heights. We now have AR, VR, motion, and mixed reality. There are also amazing digital design softwares that are very accessible to professionals and even beginners.
But, although these new innovative ideas are quite eye-catching, those tried and tested designs are still strong. Colorful retro designs reminiscent of the punk rock era are being used. New product packaging is going back to minimal and bold typography.
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Here is a list of some of the new graphic design trends we are expecting to go big in 2023:
1. 3D Design
software is improving as years go by. We see significant changes in streamlining the software for ease of use. Autodesk Maya, Cinema 4D, and Adobe Substance are some examples of design software that is available on the market for everyone to try.
One of the areas that 3D Design is best suited for is prototyping. Designers are no longer limited by 2D designs where proportions are not clearly defined. They don’t have to build physical prototypes to see how the actual product will be produced. They can redo their designs over and over again and not produce waste. This definitely cuts on cost.
Designers can also accurately visualize ideas that can make people experience a product or a space. Interior designers, landscape artists and architects frequently use them for an immersive perspective on their projects.
2. 80’s Fonts
Reminisce the punk era of the ’80s with this graphic design. Designers love the 80's era because it embraces the wild and untamed nature of its time. Think of Motley Crue and Bon Jovi, shoulder pads, and big hair. It was an expressive era of everything neon and spiky.
The 80’s is one of the most popular graphic design inspirations. Bold letters and bright colors are the main descriptives of this design. Use of shadow, sharp and beveled edges create depth to the letters. This graphic design trend often uses script-style fonts in its typeface and a neon color palette.
Nostalgia is very strong in this retro design trend, often seen on cover albums, movie posters and book covers. Using them will give more authenticity in your retro design.
Research has shown how powerful nostalgia is in affecting emotions. Using something familiar and positive to build trust for new campaigns is always a winning move for any designer.
You can go online and browse Envato Elements with its multitude of available fonts for your design. There is also Google Fonts which is the go-to for designing typefaces. If you’d like to dip your hands in album designs, try Spotiplus 2.0.
3. 90’s Space Psychedelia
We are not moving far from fun, bright colors as we moved into this graphic design trend. This trend takes a twist in nostalgia as this trend aims to merge the future with the past. It mixes 90’s retro technique with themes like space explorations, robots or androids, and vapor waves.
The color palette for this design doesn’t go far from the 80s. The colors are vibrant, with pink, blue, yellow, green, almost any color. If compared, the ’90s are more light-hearted pop than the edgy rock-themed 80”s.
Perfect for event posters and music festivals. The colors are eye-catching and attractive, which would immediately be visible. It also automatically paints a picture of a carefree and fun-filled day.You can’t disregard the pull of nostalgia. It is always a common denominator for these retro styles.
Use Adobe Express if you are planning for a small event or gathering. It is online and free. For a small amount, you can get a paid version of Fotor for a complete graphic designing tool.
4. Minimal Vintage
Although the Minimalist Movement is not a new idea. It has garnered a significant number of followers and enthusiasts in the current years. The concept of less is more is becoming more attractive in the material-obsessed world we are in. People are finding it more “freeing” to live a clutter-free life. We long for the simple days of the past when everyone’s work is authentic and pure.
Minimal Vintage is a graphic design trend that embodies this aesthetic. The typography is simple and clean. Fewer components would crowd the layout. The element of space is used deliberately keeping the balance of the various components in mind.
We often see this in product packaging designs. An example is Aesop and Le Labo. The packaging is minimal and clean. One graphic design tip is to limit your typefaces. Use easy-to-read fonts. Multiple kinds of fonts could be hard for the eye scan.
This design also gives the feeling of being artisanal. A lot of consumers have the idea that artisanal products are more genuine and of high-quality compared to mass-produced products.
Inkspace is free software you can use online for label making. If you are familiar with Adobe Photoshop, then using this will not be a problem. It supports multiple gradients, a separate tool for complex graphics and texts, and various plugins are available. Updates are accessible and frequent.
5. Branded Illustration
Branded Illustrations are original and unique in their design. It helps the brand to be more recognizable. The market is now congested with a lot of companies vying for the attention of consumers. They need to stand out among the crowd and be more visible.
Website designs are a good application for these graphic design trends. One graphic design tip is to use the same design elements. Use colors that you want to be associated with your website. Coordinate all illustrative content with this color. This then creates repetition that would tie all elements into your brand - thus creating brand recognition.
Google does this with their “Google Doodles”. It’s fun, creative, and silly. It adds feeling and character to the brand. They make them less of a serious and cold tech company and more of an approachable and friendly one. It gives a sort of narrative on what your company’s goal is. It helps to communicate your intentions and vision to your audience. This creates rapport and connections with your audience on an emotional level.
A great tool for this is Canva. We all love websites that offer free graphic design tools. Canva is easy to use, saves your projects and stock media. This means that starting a project is simple and straightforward. It also has various templates to help you create your projects.
6. Foil Printing
For a touch of elegance and luxury for your product, Foil Printing is one of the graphic design trends that we see in 2023.
Foil printing transfers shiny metallic colors to flat surfaces like paper, labels, stickers and cards. The application is unlimited. You can add a multitude of different metallic colors. You can use combinations of copper, bronze, silver, gold or rose gold. Holographic foil is also available for a shiny reflective surface with a full spectrum of colors.
We see these used in product packaging design. We often recognize metallic sheen in the shade of gold and silver as opulent and luxurious. Gold foil specially exudes wealth and prosperity.
You can achieve this design by using Adobe Illustrator. Various creative industry designers use it. It has been around for 35 years and has had 50 versions so far. You can be assured that the software has been evolving with its users. A more friendly user interface is developed, and a new creative cloud is added for more tools to be available for the users.
7. Mixed Dimensions
In 2023, we see designers pushing forward on what you can do with graphic design. Some are leaning towards the unconventional by mixing real-life photography with digital art. It is a polarizing style to start with. You may argue that it’s a little childish and chaotic at times. But the appeal of the style is to be whimsical and joyful. That is to find creativity and wonder in a very gloomy world.
Publication designs that use print mediums or even in digital advertising use this graphic design trend. Fashion magazines would sometimes have these covers to appeal to a younger audience. Vibrant, colorful flashes amidst dull elements create interesting contrasts.
Removal.AI is a great tool for this kind of project. The project usually starts with a picture. You can have the background removed by using the app and add in your digital drawings. Be creative and fun. This style is for the creative that is not limited by the bland interpretation of the world we live in,
8. Experimental Escapism
The emergence of Metaverse and AI-generated art has paved the way for new graphic design inspirations in 2023. Designers in the industry are making their own interpretations of this technological advancement.
The theme of escapism has always been to draw its audience into mesmerizing and often intricate imaginative landscapes. It offers images of otherworldly environments that are meant to be explored. Experimental Escapism has moodiness and darkness in its portrayal of these visionary worlds that are beyond the bounds of reality.
A lot of game developers would use concept art as the basis for a game they produce. They would use them as references as they develop the storyline, how to navigate the world they have created and the game character's design.
Because of the mood this style evokes, it is also the best-displayed artwork. It could be on printed media or digital artwork like an NFT.
With Zbrush, you can start creating these wondrous worlds. Professional game developers use it. It has one of the most advanced tools, easy to use, and is flexible for building complex shapes.
9. Complex Compositions
Everyone loves a story. We are always drawn into the narrative. We find it entertaining and informative at the same time.
With Complex Compositions, this trend is used as a narrative for a brand. Companies would use visual representations to tell their stories. It could portray some of the goals they want to accomplish, a description of the working environment, and even the company’s origin. They’d be able to portray complex explanations as simply as possible for the audience to understand quickly.
Some use these trends for environmental designs like wall murals. Especially those dedicated to civic causes. They would attract more audiences and evoke sympathy. They are able to push forward their ideals without having to talk to people one at a time.
It uses abstract traits or concepts in more complex layouts. They are often packed but simplistic in design. This is portrayed by having multiple characters doing different things or in different positions appearing in one composition. They are simplistic in their design to not cause visual fatigue and have a more coherent story.
With this trend, you can use Adobe Comp as a graphic design app. This is used with other Adobe products like Illustrator, Photoshop, etc. It can help you convert your rough sketches into clean designs.
10. Abstract Gradient
This graphic design trend is characterized by harmonious windswept colors using abstract shapes diffused in a blur. It has the feeling of weightlessness in a calming and surreal way. There is fluidity in the composition. It uses balance and proximity. There is cohesiveness as it places various elements throughout the design. The typography is usually bold and heavy in weight. The fonts are usually in the serif or a sans serif family. This is to balance out the busy background.
Brands love this trend for packaging their designs. It can be adapted especially to health and beauty products as they evoke a feeling of harmony. There is also the use of colors which is always eye-catching.
Websites also love color gradients as they can be very expressive. There is an unlimited number of colors online, and many graphic tools enable users to play around with these colors.
Grabient is a free color gradient customizer. You can even use this in tandem with Sketch making collaborative work much easier. Its intuitive user interface makes it a hassle-free designer tool to get you more focused on your creative efforts.
All the elements of graphic design trends, from texture, size, space, and typography, are arranged to make the most impactful statements that would draw your audience. The elements make up the compositions, but it is the designer's creativity that dictates where those elements are placed.
Rethinking what we can do about design is exponentially unlimited. Our interpretation of the world changes as we change as an individual. You should factor in the advancement we have with technology. Everyday more tools are being created to level up graphic design. AI art is a possibility now. What we could accomplish is limited only by our imaginations.
Inspire. Inform and Attract. Graphic design trends change but these three words should always be in the fabric of everyone’s design.
Jacqueline Aguilar, Removal.AI
Jacqueline Aguilar has a degree in Communication Arts and is an avid reader. Writing comes second in her list of passions.
She has an interest in Photography, Film, Music and Tech.
Currently holding a desk job and is writing content marketing as a creative outlet.