9 graphic design trends in 2021 that you should know of

Although the celebration of 2021 wasn’t as excited as we might have hoped it would be, it is safe to say that we are all very happy that 2020 is over. 

The forced closure of stores and educational institutions had an enormous impact on the online world. Businesses had to adapt quicker than ever before. Numerous companies who used to have a physical store only, all did an attempt to participate in the online world. 

Where certain design elements are here to stay; fast speeds, easy navigation and increased security, graphic design trends keep changing. Old trends fade away and new trends arise. It is important for a company to stay aware of these trends. Not only for their (now more important than ever) web design, but for their branding, logos and marketing as well. In this article I talk about the 9 graphic design trends which we can except to see in 2021. 

1. 3D design

As modern technology advances so does 3D design. Designers get better and more creative in making 3D and this will show in 2021. 3D visuals won’t be used as a minor element anymore but will most likely take the center stage of web designs and apps (graphicmama, 2020). Therefore, I advise you to not hold back when using 3D elements, because other designers won’t either.  

2. Emoji design

Using emojis in your WhatsApp messages only is so 2020. In 2021 it is time to think of different styles and techniques to create emojis. Think of different ways and places you can incorporate them in your design. Maybe even combine this trend with the 3D trend to really sweep your customers and competitors of their feet (graphicmama, 2020). 

3. Nature inspired design

As sustainability is getting more and more important in today’s society, so will nature inspired design. It is all about mimicking nature using earthy colors and leafy patterns. Want to radiate calmness and sustainability, you should definitely consider getting on board with this trend (Behance, 2020). 

4. Optical illusion design

What do we do when we see an image that just doesn’t make sense? We keep staring at it until we have figured it out. This trend may not be suited for every brand, but it is one that we will see appear a lot more in designs. Optical illusion design makes your design stand out and keeps your customers attention (graphicmama, 2020).

5. Colorless design

Although bold and bright colors are a very obvious way to grab the attention of your customers, you might want to take a different, more subtle approach in 2021. We have seen Apple and Instagram do it with the dark mode and now more app and web designs will add on to the trend. This trend gives the aesthetic feel to your design that you might be looking for (graphicmama, 2020). 

6. Gold design 

Not silver, brass or lead, but gold is the way to go in 2021. Gold design knows endless possibilities: matte, shiny, emboss, scratched and etched and so on. It gives your design the luxurious, expensive feel. Gold will also be used in combination with other materials. This way the gold provides a striking contrast that won’t stay unnoticed with the audience (behance, 2020). 

7. Cartoon illustrations in design

A trend that keeps variety, is adaptable, imaginative but adds playfulness, and raises a smile. In 2021 we will see more and more fun cartoons appearing in designs. Although creating a fun cartoon illustration might be a lot of work, once you have made one, you can use them in everywhere. On your website, business card, posters, presentations and so on (graphicmama, 2020). 

8. Geometric shapes

Geometric shapes know endless possibilities. Simple shapes like squares and circles are turned into complex and creative designs that will grab the interest of everyone who sees them. We have seen the geometric shape trend in the last two years a well, but this year it will get even more popular. (graphicmama, 2020). 

9. Typography chaos design

The last trend you should be looking out for in 2021 is the typography chaos design. Throw the rules of text alignment, kerning and measuring out of the window, because you won’t be needing those with this trend (creativemarket, 2020). The crazier your typography in your design is, the better. We have experienced a lot of chaos in 2020, let’s hope 2021 will know typographic chaos only. 

These 9 trends will play a big role in the design of 2021. Keep in mind that although some elements of web design are here to stay, design trends change. Will you be using one of these design trends in 2021? 

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