As brands compete to display their products in more creative and memorable ways, it’s important to be aware of the emerging trends in graphic design.
The graphic design trends of 2019 are ripe with contradictions, which only stands to reason. Artists swing from one trend to next to help brands stand out. Empowered with artistic freedom as they address brand strategy through design, the graphic designers at Priority Marketing are always shaking things up.
Keep reading to discover how we can help you can get noticed through effective graphic design.
The Top Graphic Design Trends of 2019
With a 9.8% projected job growth over the next 10 years, the graphic design industry continues to grow. Design trends evolve as competition increases and brands demand the best.
Here is a comprehensive list of design trends that designers and brands should know to stay on top in 2019.
Gradients exist everywhere in nature. Think of stunning sunrises and sunsets. Even a blue sky consists of various shades of blue. As we stare into the ocean, the colors appear more saturated as the water deepens.
Now that devices display images in high-resolution, the days of flat design are over. Exotic and varied hues are parading onto the scene.
It’s more complicated to display gradients on a screen, but designers are up for the challenge.
Gradients are a popular tool used to add depth to illustrations. The complex blending of colors allows designers to create something that feels new to users.
Gradients can spice up a background, but many designers now add gradients as an element to admire in the foreground. Whether a gradient is a foundation or the star of a design, they are everywhere.
Modern graphic design leans toward realism, and 3D graphics pair well with the gradient trend.
3D design is now beginning to pop up in every industry, from gaming and animation to film, tv and advertising.
Augmented reality is now mainstream. Creators have many more opportunities to play with 3D. Social media platforms such as Snapchat and Facebook offer AR lenses and the option for 3D posts. Ambitious artists have more room to play than ever before.
Today, designers create moving, fluid shapes with 3D technology. Illustrated, flat shapes have always dominated abstract designs. Now, graphic designers tackle new compositions and shapes.
High-speed internet and advanced technology continue to drive the 3D trend. World Market says that the global visualization and 3D market size will reach $5.63 billion by 2025.
Sparse, mid-century modern trends have been popular for some time. Now, minimalism is more popular than ever in the graphic design sector.
Today, minimalist design is everywhere from logos, apps and packaging design. The premise behind the minimalist design trend is functionality. In one word: intentional. Every element is necessary and designers value simplicity among all things.
Fans of minimalism think it works because our brains only process so much of a design at once. With fewer distinct items to focus on, our eyes can devote more attention to what is in front of them.
Even color palettes are being affected by the minimalist trend. Some designers choose harmonious or contrasting palettes, while others favor monochromatic tones. Either way, subtle combinations of colors will continue to be popular this year.
What goes hand in hand with minimalist design? Typography.
Serif or sans-serif. Tall or short. Skinny or dense. Designers are giving more attention to typography. They are now using fonts as a major part of their overall design.
Text is a universal language that all web browsers understand. Creators can be creative while maintaining accessibility for users by playing with typography.
This trend is also practical. Bold typography adds dimension and personality to a page without the use of images in the design. This means web pages load faster, leading to a more positive experience for visitors.
In 2019, we have seen an increase in 3D, cropped and manipulated fonts with more animated letters. This editorial style is different than the grid website layouts we have seen over the last few years.
Emojis and icons have also entered the design landscape. This allows us to decorate our paragraphs with an endless amount of combinations. We don’t realize it, but the characters add depth and personality to the page.
In 2019, we have seen a recent rebirth of old-style, serif fonts.
These fonts are beginning to take over the fold, compared to the minimalistic font trends over the past few years.
Developed during the Renaissance, serifs are the opposite of black letter font. Serifs were once considered old-fashioned and traditional. Today, designers use them to convey a sense of playfulness.
Serifs were standard in blocks of text because they were supposedly easier to read in print. Studies on this topic have been inconclusive, and even declared a total myth. Many designers now choose to make serif fonts the focus of their designs.
We may have reached the end of the era of super-sleek, sans-serif-based logos. The counter-movement is a resurgence of detail that evokes nostalgia.
Netflix’s 1980s-inspired Stranger Things is the inspiration for serif fonts in many designs. Designers are obsessive over the retro graphic used in the show’s title sequence.
The revival of serifs can boost simple designs and add personality and charm to your website or logo.
Nostalgia is a powerful thing. It provokes feelings of hope and optimism when people are feeling down. Companies have chosen to rethink their branding to tap into customers’ memory banks and increase product sales.
Brands are digging into their pasts to make parts of their history new again. Some are reclaiming old logos or using desaturated photos or 70s psychedelic aesthetics.
Children of the 1980s and 1990s now make up most of the consumer demographic, and brands are paying attention.
These design elements make consumers view the past with rose-colored glasses. This creates a sense of longing for the past. For example, revamped versions of “old” logos form an instant connection with consumers. This ties in the longevity of the brand.
This retro or neo-vintage style began to gain popularity in 2017 and has become one of the most popular trends of 2019.
You can’t talk nostalgic design without also discussing Art Deco.
1925 was the heyday of Art Deco. As the Industrial Age ended, manufacturers began to compete with each other by advertising their products as grandiose and luxurious. Design began to take center stage.
These designs create the illusion of depth through the use of shadows, line-work, metallic colors and layering.
As World War II approached, design trends became more practical and sparse. The use of rich colors and ornate complementary elements fell to stark minimalism.
As we get further into 2019, it’s clear that Art Deco is making a comeback, especially in furniture design.
This style can be overwhelming even for the most talented graphic designers. It is time-consuming work, but the intricacy is what makes it stand out.
The use of metallic colors stems from the ornate style of Art Deco. Think of the Great Gatsby and the glamorous 20th century design movement. Metallic and foil effects were everywhere.
The lustrous effect is often combined with other trends, such as 3D graphics and typography. This creates a sense of grandeur and luxury.
Metallic effects were not a popular choice of web designers in the past. It was always too difficult to capture the impressive sheen in real life. Thanks to modern technology, creators now apply realistic gold, silver and iridescent effects on their designs.
Designs with metallic elements make compositions look exclusive and expensive. These are characteristics of today’s top brands are striving for.
Vivid colors evoke an exciting, futuristic feeling. This is especially true when mixed with metallics and 3D graphics. Brands that are using color reap the benefits, as 80% of customers think that color increases brand perception.
Bright colors create an emphasis between the foreground and background. Elements seem to jump off the page. These vivid, rainbow colors, combined with complex gradients, will make you feel like you’re stepping into an alternate universe.
There are many techniques for making colors pop. Vivid colors provide a refreshing, unexpected addition to your piece when mixed with neutrals. The illusion is intriguing and makes bright colors seem even more radiant.
The best designers are using color to create effective visuals that draw users in – and make them stay for a while.
Now that we’ve talked about how vivid colors can enrich a design, let’s talk about the opposite: moody patterns and hues.
Ambitious designers are opting for a dark color palette to give their creations a rustic, rich texture and sullen feel.
Dark and moody design patterns emulate mystery. They create a sense of wonder while adding a level of visual intrigue.
The choices you make with shadows, color and lighting affect the overall disposition of your design. This creates a curious emotional connection with the user, leaving them wanting to know more about your brand.
2019 is the year graphic designers will think outside of the box. Many are choosing to adopt broken grid layouts with overlapping or zigzagging elements.
The thought of this may give you a headache, but the trend has taken off. These designs are a refreshing way to play with proportions and experiment with other design elements.
Symmetry has been the standard for graphic design for so long that it has become predictable to our eyes. It’s generic. Asymmetrical designs stand out because they are the opposite of what we always see.
This type of design pushes boundaries to draw attention. Designers are abandoning perfection to add a more playful, rebellious feel to their layouts. The result is memorable and effective.
The graphic design industry is experiencing a rebellion against good taste, defined by breaking the rules.
While experimenting with asymmetrical layouts, designers are exploring alternative art. They are utilizing unorthodox image placement, sideways text arrangements, hand-drawn graphics and more.
In the age of Digital Brutalism, nothing is too loud.
Some might say it’s ugly, but this raw design style is a direct counter-reaction to sleek and minimal web design. It looks like utter chaos, but consumers are lapping it up.
For years, graphic design trends have been catering to people with minimalist taste. The edgy, defined chaos of alternative web design is a valuable tool used to reach new audiences.
As technology evolves, we’re seeing more brands add subtle animation to their websites. Motion design is a more advanced type of web design, but the payoff is worth the effort. Animated graphics can help businesses grow revenue by 49%.
Motions allow us to tell stories in infinite ways. In the age of GIFs and memes, it is no surprise that consumers react well to motion design. It’s part of designing for digitally native generations that expect this type of visually engaging content.
Some designers are combining the typography trend with motion, creating animated text to replace traditional headers.
Others combine retro 2D and futuristic 3D in motion graphics to grab customers’ attention.
Creators are also slowing it down with the use of liquid motion. They are shying away from lean, transitional motions and adding flowing liquid-like shapes in pleasing colors to their designs.
Whichever style you prefer, motion design is a guaranteed way to add a contemporary, modern feel to your website.
Make Them Stop and Click
For brands that compete over a target market, it is important to adopt a unique style. As you look towards the future, expect your competition to take on several of these trends.
Experiment by testing a variety of design elements and trends together to refresh your design in an effective way.
Whether your style is modern and minimalistic or defined by chaos, it is likely that one of these trends will find its way into your next project. There is no right or wrong, so take a chance and see what happens!
Check out our creative portfolio to see some of the best graphic design trends of 2019 in action.