While trends aren't the most important thing to chase in design, trends can be fun to follow and incorporate in small ways to your designs to make things feel current. I highly recommend making your branding more timeless and focussing your brand identity on your brand message. However when it comes to fleeting promotions, short lived social media graphics or special limited time offers this is where you can play with some trends.
Only use what you can align with your brand, and don't feel like you have to be following trends to be relevant. Just see graphic design trends as a fun way to excite your audience when it is appropriate. Trend posts always seem to be my top performing content, so I think we all love to know 'WHAT IS HOT RIGHT NOW'.
When it comes to trend spotting, I look at trend reports outside of the design world to gauge consumer sentiment, as well as noticing patterns in styles that are gaining momentum.
So let's look at the graphic design trends for 2022.
WAVEY, ORGANIC, ART NOUVEAU INSPIRED TYPE
We all want calm, relaxing and slow vibes. In 2022 we are seeing a lot of organic shapes, wavy lines and wavy curvy typography including art nouveau inspired typography. There are plenty of ways you can adapt this trend to use in your own graphics, from backgrounds to playing with type. Start thinking more curves and softness rather than harsh, sharp and square shape.
RETRO VIBES (60s-90s vintage feel)
With all that has been going on in the world the last 2 years, people are getting very nostalgic. This means retro and vintage styles are very popular at the moment. I have seen styles ranging from the 60s to early 2000's influence.
Pick eras and styles that appeal to you and suit your own brand and create fun graphics with a retro feel to them. It can be as simple as adding a texture to make it feel a little more retro or little retro inspired graphics. You could go all out and create retro style layouts too.
Remember to keep it playful and fresh so it doesn't look too dated.
"Everything old and retro is new again! People want familiarity and comfort mixed with minimalism—life was overwhelming pre-pandemic. People want to slow down, reflect and have fun"
- Joanna Alves, Creative Manager, Product Creation and Experience at Vista
SUBTLE NOISE AND GRUNGE TEXTURE
Last year we saw A LOT of gradients. Those gradients aren't about to disappear, but they are getting more textured with more noise added. We are seeing a lot more texture in backgrounds, giving designs a more grunge and vintage feel. This includes paper textures, noise, grunge noise, and paint stroke textures. Textures make digital design feel a little less computer generated and add a handmade or vintage feel to the design.
PASTELS AND BRIGHT COLOURS
We all need cheering up by adding fun bright colours. People are beginning to tire of neutrals and want to see more cheerful colours. From strong bright tones to soft cheerful pastels. There is also a retro feel to a lot of the colour palettes being used so it feels cheerful and nostalgic. If you are hesitant about using a lot of colour, start with a few softer pops of pastels.
CHECKS, SWIRLS AND ORGANIC SHAPES
Checks have been really taking off in the last few months and are only getting more popular into 2022. We are also seeing swirled versions of the check pattern as well as other swirly and organic shape patterns. It feels a bit 70s meets 90s patterns.
HENRI MATISSE STYLE
Along the lines of the organic shapes and curves, Henri Matisse style has a strong influence on shapes and graphics. It's the paper cut outs look using simple curved shapes to create a design.
I already mentioned curvy typography is trending, and bubble type takes it to the next level. It is fun and playful with a 70s influence. We all want a little less seriousness and a bit more fun and play.
There has been a big shift in business towards more inclusivity and considering minority groups as well as people who don't look like you but are in your audience and want to feel seen and represented. This can be demonstrated by using more diverse and inclusive images and illustrations showing a wider range of people. This also plays out in overall design as well, including things like adding alt text, using clear and easy to read text, or by using inclusive language. As you work on graphics start considering how you might be able to make it more inclusive.
According to the Pinterest trend report ancient greek interior design and fashion will be trending in 2022, which means it will likely also have an influence on graphic design as well.
What is your favourite upcoming graphic design trends? Will you be using any in your graphics this year?
If you want to see more examples, you can find more on a Pinterest Board I made.
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