The best way to summarize 2022’s graphic design trends would be to visualize a Venn diagram in which descriptors like experimental, newly conceptualized, and redefined collide into a marvelous mix of skill and artistry. We took our time analyzing the trends and the vortex-like tendencies of the creative field, and it was worth the wait!
The graphic design trend predictions from the very start of 2022 were not too far off, as we’re seeing most of them shape the mood boards and portfolios of graphic designers. But there is also a bit of unexpected shapeshifting taking place, with “offshoot” trends adopted by Gen Z gaining more popularity than anyone could have ever imagined.
Wondering how to keep up with graphic design trends?
The truth is that it might be trickier to tap into the latest design trends in graphic design.
Graphic design trends over the years have often been swayed by changes initiated by tech giants (Google, Meta, Apple, and Microsoft). We’re seeing designers that prefer to “play it safe” continue to carry over this tendency into current graphic design trends, but a rebellion is brewing! Different industries have their own demands and needs when it comes to design. So, whether you're working on designing a crypto heatmap, crypto game, or a crypto portfolio tracker platform, having the best VPN, website illustrations, or a logo design, it's important to keep up with all fast-changing trends.
To meet the needs of time and come up with creative and meaningful logo ideas, you have to spend your time analyzing other artists’ work and grabbing hints from them. An online logo maker can give you the ideas; the designing world is following right now. You can also get inspired by different free design templates available online. It can also assist you in brainstorming ideas for logos. Analyzing others’ work will help you keep up with those trends and enable you to become the trendsetter, not the follower.
It can also assist you in brainstorming ideas for logos. Analyzing others’ work will help you keep up with those trends and enable you to become the trendsetter, not the follower.
Gen Z artists are rocking the boat, and they’re having a significant impact on new design trends in graphic design. Whether you'll be using this for making a logo and adding it to the business playbook or for making a new visual campaign, it's important to keep an eye on trends. In contrast to the uniformity that we’re now almost immune to, it looks like future graphic design trends will have us throwing visual hierarchy out the window, and focusing on reeling in the scarcest resource of 2022: attention.
On social media, graphic designs are imperative for everything including your business, services, blogs, or even pages with content ideas. Graphics adorn and beautify your content by presenting an enticing visual. Social media users are pulled in by these visuals especially if you use Instagram, you will see your Instagram followers tend to be inspired more by visual content, i.e. with the use of graphics.
Let’s jump right into the nitty-gritty of 2022 graphic design trends!
Flat Vector Art Meets Motion Design
With viewer attention as the prime objective, we’re witnessing a gold rush-like movement that favors motion graphics over static illustrations for web design, mobile app design, branding, social media, and everything in between. These can successfully be used for an appealing Instagram feed aesthetic, company logo, and other purposes. Vector animation in particular is ranking higher than ever in 2022, becoming the most performance-friendly animation format across the board (on the web and on mobile devices).
Tools that level the playing field by eliminating the need for extensive (or any!) coding skills, like SVGator does, are the driving force behind this graphic design trend. SVG animation is now accessible to all graphic designers looking to create engaging digital spaces, so an avalanche of new creative talent in the world of motion graphics is to be expected.
Blending 2D and 3D Mixed Media
Mixed media, in the context of graphic design, may look like a new avenue that creatives are pursuing in an effort to innovate two styles that we already know work well: flat design and 3D design. To be fair, it’s working! The blend of 2D and 3D in a single digital space is a definite crowd-pleaser in 2022.
The hand-drawn aesthetic working as a supporting actor, with ultra-realistic 3D designs as the lead, seems to be the ideal script to follow if you’re looking to incorporate this trend into your projects.
Reinventing Flat Design
Flat design is evolving into a more organic version of itself. Not drastically enough for it to become a completely different graphic design style, but enough to overshadow the hyper-stylized version of flat vector art that we’re all familiar with.
Shaded flat design is one of the most endearing design movements inspired by nature in 2022. This graphic design style gives off a certain feel of coziness and familiarity that has been welcomed with open arms by plenty of artists. You’ll also see designers referring to this trend as Japandi, or Ukiyo e inspired design. The common denominators of this rehashed style are shading, transparency, and grit.
Digital typography is becoming one area of graphic design that feels more and more like a lawless playground for adventurous designers. Experimental typography is unconstrained by rules and can sometimes display as less functional, but definitely more expressive. The guidelines for shape, height, and spacing of letterforms are less etched in stone in 2022.
Unconventional colors, letter case mashups, peculiar uses of white space, animated typography, and interactivity all fall on the spectrum of evolving lettering design. Experimental typography fits right in with the “sharp turn” tendency of 2022 graphic design trends.
We’ve seen thin lines contour more than a few graphic design trends in recent years. But there’s one tendency that we’re seeing take shape and solidify in 2022, and that’s leaving sharp geometric thin lines behind and embracing a more organic hand-drawn aesthetic with extra thin lines.
Looking at illustrations and animations designed following this trend gives you the sensation that you’re peeking into an artist’s sketchbook. Minimalist by design, super thin, yet distinctive lines are an echo of all the other 2022 graphic design trends that are favoring a more natural overtone.
Holographic Design | Glass & Crystal
Glass and crystal-like visuals are a hybrid extension of holographic design and real-world “morphism” effects. We’re seeing this intent of bringing realism into graphic design take off in 2022 in a frenzy. Glassmorphism’s frosted glass effect and the shimmery glamor of crystal-like graphics are winning over digital artists.
Based on the evolution of other morph trends (Skeuomorphism, Neumorphism, Claymorphism, gold plated effect, etc.), this 2022 trend will flood user interfaces and become a collectively adopted design approach well beyond its “trendy” phase. Expect glass and crystal effects to be here to stay!
Surrealist graphic design may not be a trend that all artists will pick up on, but the allure of puzzling juxtapositions cannot be ignored. There’s just simply too much artistic potential to explore, and graphic design trends in 2022 are all about experimenting with resurfacing styles in new ways.
Motion graphics seem to be the top-up that surrealism needed in order to trend among the creative crowd again. Morphing animation, liquid animation, dreamish compositions and trance-like loops, are the pillars of surrealist design in 2022. Flawlessly smooth transitions and an affinity for the bizarre are a must if you’re looking to nail this graphic design trend.
The traction of immersive technologies, like AR and VR , have made it clear that stimulating the mind in atypical ways is an inherently effective way to captivate an audience. Psychedelic design has been doing just that, on-and-off ever since the 1960s.In 2022, the psychedelic digital art’s resurgence is more tame than its first-generation form.
Stretchy distortions and ambiguous collages you’d typically see on vintage album covers didn’t make the cut, but loud color palettes, bold contrasts, and immersive visualizations did. Psychedelic graphic design is making us do doubletakes and guiding our attention with entrancing artwork.
Shapes and Strokes Mash-up
2022 might just turn out to be the year of polar opposites. While rule benders are gravitating toward the “anti-design” movement, committed minimalists are trimming down their designs even further, using shapes and strokes mashups.
Digital graphics designed following this liberally simplistic style have a distinct flair – as they look both open-ended and concise. This design practice has made its way among the graphic design trends of 2022 just as easily as it has occupied a secure territory in most illustration and animation libraries. Needless to say that this is a trend that we’ll be seeing more of well beyond 2022!
The plushy and cozy look of voluminous rounded forms makes it effortless for graphic designers to create warm, relatable, and friendly graphics that can visually cuddle up to a viewer in a heartbeat. This 2022 trend goes hand in hand with the rising preference for fun and relaxing color palettes.
We’re seeing this design undertone take shape in both 2D and 3D graphics, and blend in with other trends, like Claymorphism, holographic design, or mixed media projects. Velvety smooth textures, realistic glass and metal surfaces, and lots of loveable clay-like characters are all by-products of this cheerful graphic design trend.
The kitchy glam style of the fashion industry in the early 2000’s was in sync with a graphic design style we now know as Y2K design. Like it or not, it’s currently making a comeback thanks to Gen Z’s gusto for the hallmark quirks of the 00’s (e.g., crop tops, lowrise jeans, and chunky sunglasses).
TikTok-sparked, Y2K-inspired fashion is a nostalgic genre that leaps into 2022’s graphic design realm with lots of iridescent, glitzy pinks, bareboned UIs, and low poly graphics. It’s stirring up lots of mixed feelings, but one thing’s for sure: it draws attention!
Making use of 90’s graphic design inspiration hasn’t ever truly gone out of style. The nostalgia that 90’s kids hold on to, and Gen Z’s fondness for the style of that era, are enabling this graphic design trend to be a hit for a sizable crowd in 2022 as well.
Bold typography, funky neons on dark backgrounds, cyberpunk motifs, and generally loud imagery are the graphics that make this trend’s ideal audience get the same warm and fuzzy feels that Tamagotchis, Discmans, and light-up sneakers evoke.
Grunge Design | Gen Z Edition
Joining the roundup of Gen Z graphic design trends, grunge design drifts away from the neat nature of flat vector art, in favor of more deeply saturated colors, grainy gradients, ransom note-like typefaces, and motifs that spark conversation.
Grunge design in 2022 somehow feels messier and more unruly than its predecessor from the 90s. This may be the case because we’ve grown accustomed to ultra-simplified graphics that are usability-centric. In contrast, Gen Z’s take on this reestablished design trend looks offbeat and risky. Messy or not, it’s stirring emotion and making an impact when used in the right context.
Maximalism is basically a way to declare war against white space, simplicity, and the “less is more” mantra. With an intentional urge to not play by the rules, graphic designers are experimenting with maximalism after a long (and not yet over) streak of minimalism supremacy. 2022’s version of graphic oversaturation is heavily influenced by Gen Z’s tendency to give established standards a 180° makeover.
There is a certain degree of overlap between maximalism design and surrealism/escapism, but its distinctive features are clashing textures, noisy color combinations, and excessive layering. This graphic design trend is only a few risky moves away from being synonyms with brutalism, but the truth is that it does what trending graphics do best: it seizes attention!
Anti design, as a whole, makes you wonder if it is a graphic design style intentionally conceptualized, or if it’s just a collective display of rebellion against uniformity and visual hierarchy. Havoc dictates this 2022 off-the-wall trend, and it’s definitely not an approach that just anyone can pull off.
Brazen typography choices, color associations that don’t even remotely align with color theory, and crowded asymmetric shapes are all packed into a collage of “brutal” artwork. As abrasive as this trend comes off as, it comes with a wholesome advantage: it creates a bridge between self-taught designers looking to experiment and expert designers that are outgrowing the constraints of graphic design. Both parties are taking on this trend as a challenge, and the results are chaotic, as intended.
What about colors? What's trending in graphic design?
The graphic design color trend predictions at the very end of 2021 included hyper-saturated contrasts, warm, optimistic colors, and many variations of earthy and neutral tones. Let’s look into the hues, undertones, and palettes that designers are actually using to color in 2022!
With a phoenix-like renewal rate, minimalism in graphic design is without a doubt changing course. Bright and multihued minimalism is becoming the norm! This is not an entirely new concept, as the design world has escaped the bounds of traditional black and white constraints some time ago.
The optimistic and animated tendency we’re seeing in 2022 is a confident shift toward colorful minimalism. Playful and cheery colors are becoming standard choices in this year's minimalist designs.
Restricted Color Palette
Designing with a restricted color palette can challenge a graphic designer’s ingenuity and skill, and there were plenty of talented artists in 2021 who showed us how it’s done. In the spirit of 2022’s transformative nature, this color trend is now also centering flat colors. Just like what you’ll see in this practice test website.
So what do you design with a restricted palette of only flat colors? Confident and vivid minimalist illustrations and straightforward animations that can concisely deliver a message, with no frills that distract the viewer. The power to direct attention remains a valuable skill, and this trend helps designers practice it instinctually.
Muted Colors | Eco-aesthetic
The eco-aesthetic, with its warm color palettes and muted tones inspired by natural, organic elements, is definitely catching on in the graphic design world. Even the color of the year for 2022, Very Peri, is a warm, muted purplish hue that the Pantone Color Institute describes as a periwinkle blue with violet-red undertones.
What started as a mood-setting color strategy in zero-waste, sustainability or eco-friendliness themed projects, is now migrating into the mood boards of countless graphic design artists. Muted colors can be earthy, calm, and soft, but designers can also fuse them with more dynamic tones (like neons) or experiment with different saturation levels to push the limits of this trend.
Like all current color trends, graphic design that’s wrapped in a delicious, crisp, bubbly layer of candy colors is meant to create a positive connection between the viewer and the content itself. This is of course a key aspect when it comes to branding, so marketers are 100% on board with candy-coated illustrations and animations.
Sparkling color schemes with bold colors and dazzling color combinations are infusing the sphere of graphic design with optimism, positive vibes, and a sense of belonging. In the context of 2022, there’s no other place we’d rather be!
2022 is turning out to be the middle ground for graphic design trends that sit at the opposite ends of the creative spectrum. This year’s viewpoints range wildly, from overwhelmingly optimistic, to longing for a past era and putting on a pair of rose-colored glasses to get there, to ultimately rebelling against the norms and rehashing even the basics of graphic design.
It just goes to show that there are no graphic design trends to avoid – there’s ample room for both new and reestablished old graphic design concepts among future graphic design trends. Illustrators, animators, and graphic designers are collectively keeping us on our toes!
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