15 Graphic Design Trends In 2022
The year 2022 has burst into our lives at an incredible speed. Modern graphic design is developing at the same speed. New trends emerge, and what was relevant a year ago is no longer a surprise to anyone. Moreover, these trends greatly affect how a modern landing page will look like and what conversion rate it will gain.
The pandemic and the move to online have greatly increased the trend for interaction and collaboration between designers around the world. This enriches and develops graphic design. The exchange of information and experience is accelerating. Traditional boundaries are breaking down, giving way to a common creative space.
So what does 2022 have in store? We all know that the concept of fashion is cyclical. This also applies to graphic design: trends will be nostalgic for the past from the '90s and 2000s. We will also see the return of art-deco and cyberpunk, and what will happen to typography deserves special attention. Let's get started.
2022 Graphic Design Trends
Trend #1: Adaptability And Flexibility
More and more brands are now present not only offline, but also online. This is reflected in graphic designs that need to work across all brand touchpoints. As a result, graphic design needs to be flexible and adaptive, taking the best of the physical and digital worlds.
At the same time, almost half of all graphic design views are done on universal gadgets. In addition to smartphones, people increasingly wear a variety of gadgets, such as smartwatches, wireless headphones, VR headsets, etc. And the graphic design on wearable devices is often lacking. In 2022, designers are expected to put more emphasis on this issue.
Trend #2: Emotional Design
Many people now work remotely and the opportunity to travel, attend cultural events, and meet friends is still not as prevalent as before the global pandemic. This is reflected in graphic design. Brands see people's need for vivid experiences and are becoming more intense in terms of emotions, colors, illustrations, and images. They move more and more from restraint to emotional intensity and variety.
At the same time, the tendency towards purity of design, typical for minimalism, remains. However, it is more often combined with more interesting forms and images. This gives people more of an impression.
Trend #3: Font Diversity
This trend continues to gain momentum and is becoming increasingly popular. People are tired of restrained and neutral grotesques (fonts without serifs). There is a demand for greater font diversity both in logos and company fonts. Antiqua (fonts with serifs) has become relevant again. The use of variant fonts and even fonts that respond to movements or sounds is becoming more frequent.
Typographic borders are blurred and structural text does not seem to be the limit of possible solutions. Bending, maximum thickening, and changing the proportions of letters is used everywhere. We will see the continuation in 2022 because it is a great way to present almost any visual.
However, it's worth choosing the right fonts and using experimental solutions in accentuation. For informativeness, it is better to use standard readable variants. It is also worth remembering that every font has a clear and elaborated anatomy over the years. It is simply unacceptable to distort some strokes.
Trend #4: 3D, Animation, And AR
The digital space is giving new dimensions to character expression: brands start to use 3D graphics, augmented reality filters, and animation. What looks simple in static, reveals itself in a new way in motion, and thus arouses emotions and is better remembered.
The use of 3D in design is nothing new, but in 2022 it is set to gain momentum. 3D modeling knowledge is becoming more accessible, making three-dimensional icons and illustrations more popular. In 2022, graphic designers will continue to create vibrant compositions with three-dimensional design and combine photos with three-dimensional objects.
Three-dimensional elements will help increase usability and make the design more original. This is a useful addition that cannot be excluded when working with graphic design. Even Apple has managed to implement the trend of 3D in the design of its products. You can see three-dimensional icons in the new macOS Big Sur. You can find a large number of 3D icons and illustrations that you use in your graphic designs on the next websites you create:
Brands are also using the augmented reality trend to attract attention. These can be Instagram masks or entire collections of virtual clothes that you can try on.
Trend #5: Human-centered Design And Personalization
More and more companies and designers are conscious of user experience and are creating designs that appeal to people. They care about their user experience, expand their choices, and integrate feedback forms. They're also creating ways to personalize the user experience. For example, music apps themselves create and offer users music selections based on preferences and listening history. Some apps also allow you to choose the design or icon option that will be displayed to you.
Trend #6: Brand Friendliness
Another graphic design trend is the friendlier tone that brands are increasingly choosing. A democratic image is disposed to communication and emotional engagement. This can be accomplished through gamification elements as well as fun, bold illustrations, and other graphic elements.
Even companies with a traditionally more serious image have begun to focus more on an informal style. Financial and technology brands allow for playfulness, for example, in illustrations. They reflect a brand's unique character, which can be bright and ironic.
Trend #7: Eco-friendliness
The trend towards sustainability is increasingly gaining momentum. It is reflected not only in the general policy of companies but also in graphic design. Brands are trying to simplify and reduce the number of packaging materials, as well as to use what can be recycled. Moreover, stores are opening that in principle sell goods without packaging.
Trend #8: Social Stance
Brands are expected to take a social stance and be responsible. People are more loyal to a brand if their values are the same. That's why the trend towards inclusivity and diversity is gaining momentum. It affects what images are used in graphic design. Brands use more diversity in illustrations and photos because of paying attention to more different categories of people.
Trend #9: Retro
If you haven't already noticed the trend of flashbacks from the '70s, '80s, and '90s that started in 2021, take a closer look! It exists not only in graphic design but also in fashion and technique. Baguette bags, low-rise jeans, leather jackets, and film photography are being resurrected. You can play with it and try more and more eclectic forms in your graphic design.
WATCH: 2022 Social Media Size Guide
Grainy textures, pixels, '90s computer graphics reminiscent of the past. All of these are perfectly combined in modern looks with the use of color, gradients, 3D graphics, and fonts. However, grainy backgrounds are best combined with large, contrasting fonts. The retro film effect adds texture to the graphic design, making ordinary images more interesting as if they were already printed.
Today more examples of design with reimagined '70s, '80s, and '90s aesthetics appear. For example, Burger King's rebranding uses '70s-inspired fonts and graphics. Hair salon Sweep that specializes in balayage techniques has also opted for a vibrant and distinctive '70s aesthetic. We think retro will be on-trend in 2022, not only in graphic design but also in motion design.
Trend #10: Brutalism In Design (Anti-design)
In 2022, designers are set to make visual hell for the perfectionist: non-aligned blocks, asymmetry, lots of different fonts (or one font for the whole design), overlapping elements. Chaos, a riot of color and fonts - that's how you could describe this trend. It is unreadable and non-functional. All of this in graphic and web design is called brutalism or anti-design.
What is trendy about it? A visual component. Breaking the canons and turning the font into an unreadable composition is the "highlight" for which the eye is clinging. It is bright and shaped: it is attractive.
Brutalism is characterized by simplicity, a lack of harmony in colors and fonts. Usually, anti-design uses a rough font, acid colors, and unevenly carved objects. If you don't like clean and perfect design, it's time to allow yourself complete freedom.
Not only websites, but also digital posters, prints for clothing, and product packaging will look interesting in this style. Try to make a symbiosis with several trends in 2022. For example, neon gradients, grainy, the 1990s, and emotions can all be combined in one graphic design.
Trend #11: Art-deco
To counterbalance the riot of color and distortion of forms comes organization and structure in the form of art-deco. Subdued colors and chrome tones in this style add charm to graphic design.
The concept of the art-deco style is to move forward in precise and calibrated steps to discard everything old and move into the uncharted new. Considering the current world situation, it is easy to identify the origins of this trend.
Trend #12: Cyberpunk
The virtual world is becoming as important to people as the real world, and sometimes more so. Mark Zuckerberg reflected on this, announcing the construction of a digital universe. At the same time, cyberpunk is entering the trends, emphasizing the connection with the digital and moving away from the natural forms that were actively used in 2021.
The cyberpunk trend will stimulate font experimentation in graphic design in 2022. It received a new impetus in connection with the release of the famous game. The main components are bright neon in the form of spots and lines that accentuate the main object. We will also see letter bending, resizing, unusual positioning of letters, and variations in size. Here we are dealing with the destruction of entrenched canonical views of graphic design, allowing designers to be more imaginative and create new things.
You have to understand that the cyberpunk trend is fickle. Right now, it attracts attention as visitors want to immerse themselves in the atmosphere of the future. But the fashion for computer games is fleeting and, as a consequence, neon will also go out of fashion. But for now, it is quite relevant.
Trend #13: Holography And Glass Morphism
Humans have always been attracted to shiny things and reflective surfaces. That's why this trend in graphic design will be used in 2022. The reflections of glass and the holographic colors look futuristic. This trend can refresh the graphic design and solve the problem of static, as the light beams create an image of shimmer and movement of the design object.
Glass morphism is a trend that became popular 8 years ago with the release of iOS 7. And it became popular again. For example, Windows 11 is held in the style of glass morphism. Transparent frosted glass backgrounds, a commitment to muted colors, and realistic motion animation of crystalline elements are part of this new graphic design trend in 2022.
As for holography, it is eye-catching through its play of color and light. The holographic design looks high-tech and futuristic with its mix of glossy and multidimensional pastel accents. And the glare creates an impression of movement even in static pictures.
Trend #14: Neon Gradients
It seems that gradients in graphic design have become an outdated technique, but in 2022 designers expect a boom in neon gradients. More and more interesting examples are appearing on Behance. Neon designs can be found both in graphic design and website design.
Combine gradients with textures, illustrations, photos, add them to the background. To make the design with a neon gradient even more interesting we recommend adding graining. Then you can even combine two design trends in 2022: neon and retro.
Trend #15: Jugendstil
How about going back to the 1890s? This trend is commonly referred to as "Jugendstil" because of the similarities to the typefaces in the German art magazine Jugend and the Jugendstil movement. This movement appeared in other countries as well, but under different names: Secession in Austria, Art Nouveau in England and France.
Jugendstil typefaces are characterized by decorative ornaments, a combination of curves and sharp angles, and shapes inspired by nature. But such fonts are not exactly easy to read. Before they were actively used for decorative purposes on posters, book covers, diaries, music albums. And in 2022 they will be more used in graphic designs.
3 Tips For Graphic Designers In 2022
No matter what is in trend today or tomorrow, it often happens that we are stuck in a routine. And as a rule, it is not easy to get out of this state, and the process can take a long time. The following three tips will help you to stay productive at all times.
1. Don't Just Work From Home
Many people who list what it takes to work as a graphic designer mention being able to work outside the home or office. If you are constantly indoors, burnout is not inevitable. But today not everyone is willing to experiment with the workplace. Periodic change of location will allow you to look at many things in a new way. You will also notice that solving problems is much easier.
2. Constantly Look For Something New For Yourself
If we were making a list of what it takes to become a graphic designer, be sure to put there the desire to constantly discover something new.
It would be nice if the new knowledge would apply to design or related fields. You can read interesting books, watch informative videos, or take courses. All this will allow you to discover new fields that you may not have known existed. After all, new knowledge stimulates your brain and makes it work faster. Discovering a new field, you will get rid of the boring design solutions. You will look at work from a different angle.
3. Get A Pet
It is not necessary to decide on radical steps to get out of the crisis, it will be enough to get a new pet. You will get a lot of new emotions, a burst of energy, as well as the opportunity to train a sense of responsibility. But this decision should be taken rationally because in the future you will have to take care of another living creature.
These graphic design tips will help you get out or not get into creative stagnation at all. This will help you to become an in-demand specialist and use new 2022 graphic design trends. You can also read our article about graphic design tips for non-designers & beginners.
Where To Get Ideas For Inspiration In 2022?
Many people think that designers are always hovering in their imaginations, and then bang (!) - inspiration comes, and they have a brilliant idea. Often this is not the case, and to create a stylish and relevant graphic design, the designer sits for a long time at the computer. He or she analyzes the terms of reference, selects references, creates layouts, etc.
The selection of references is one of the most important stages. This is because the designer looks for interesting stylistic solutions and thinks about what visual elements can be borrowed. Below are five websites where you can be inspired by the work of others as well as borrow successful ideas.
- Awwwards - This is a contest website for professional designers and developers, where the best innovative solutions are posted. All entries are categorized from entertainment websites to e-commerce portals.
- CSS Design Awards - This is an international design awards website where you can find projects created by professional designers, studios, and agencies. All examples are available in a library that is updated daily.
- Behance - This is an online platform where members of the creative professions create profiles and present their projects. They show not only the final result but also how the problem was solved. You can get inspired by other designers' work and find out how they create their designs.
- Dribbble - This is an online service where graphic designers post their work and other community members rate it. You can check out the examples that get the most ratings, and borrow good visual ideas.
- Pinterest - This is a photo hosting where designers add their work. They put them into thematic collections and share them with other users.
Graphic design trends are constantly changing. Some of them exist for a short time, and some remain relevant for several years. It's important not only to know what's trending right now but also to know how to mix styles and trends. Otherwise, your project will look weird and alienate your audience instead of attracting their attention.
The world is changing rapidly, and graphic design is responsive to these changes. Recent events have accelerated the digitalization of brands, and also revealed new human needs that are reflected in graphic design. After the pandemic, which suddenly hit the whole world, people realized the transience of life and began to create several times more. This allowed the most extreme ideas and collaborations to materialize (Fortnite with Balenciaga or Ikea with Lego), which previously remained somewhere in the background.
In such a way, the uncertainty of time and rapid unpredictable changes are becoming characteristic of the world of graphic design as well. This breaks the usual norms and stereotypes, and gives creativity and diversity. It is important to be open to change, and to take advantage of new opportunities. At the same time, in order not to get lost in the variety of graphic design trends, it is important to remember the objectives of the business and the target audience. The design must meet their needs and values.
Thus, graphic design maintains the desire for experimentation and recycling of old styles with different forms. It is worth noting that not only trends are changing, but also the graphic design itself. We see a departure from static pictures to moving forms, as well as the active use of 3D visualizations.
Vanessa Friedman is a content marketing expert who has worked as a marketing manager for a tech software startup and graduated with honors from Columbia University with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing.
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