Design Trends for 2023
As a designer you probably will always have a specific style you love to work in, but it can be good to expand your horizon with design styles that can take your creativity to a new level and provide a better result for your clients.
Graphic design trends mirror changes in our society and culture. When events take place, brands find themselves in need to represent their values with the current culture and thus the design styles change. Sometimes trends stick for a while and sometimes they come and go fast.
Some trends just start as experiments by creative minds who just want to depart from normalcy and make a piece of artwork original, this is call innovation. These type of designs catch the attention of the general public and other brands want to have the similar style.
Trends show the ability of creatives to rebel against the status quo and sometimes they also show the creative’s ability to mirror a society change. If everyone follows everyone we would never have innovation.
The style needs to be aligned with the type of design your client needs, with their brand image and to whom they want to appeal to. But as a designer, if you live in an ivory tower and are oblivious of the design changes, you will be outdated and your work won’t catch the attention of the niche you are trying to get hired by.
To be able to stay in touch with trends, look at what the big brands are doing, follow blogs of important creative companies such as Adobe, AIGA Eye on Design and SitePoint. Sites such as Behance, Instagram and Pinterest are equally important.
We are going to go over 7 2023 design trends to help you keep up with the demand. It doesn’t mean you have to learn each of these ways of designing, but nevertheless it is good to be aware of them.
3 Dimensional Design
Source: Makot Sereteli
3D has been, still is and will continue to be a trend of graphic design. If motion graphics evolved from the static images, then 3 dimensional renderings are the natural evolution from 2 dimensional assets.
But nowadays 3D is everywhere. With the growing demand for “making the design pop or stand out” 3D has made it very possible.
3D artwork software has come a long way in recent years. Tools like Cinema 4D and even the latest updates from Adobe are making it possible to use 3D in designs more easily and start making your own three-dimensional artwork.
Also as we head further into the metaverse, 3D graphics will continue as a strong trend. The growing demand for virtual reality experiences and realistic graphics that pull the viewer in will continue to evolve across industries.
You need to understand as much about this client as you can. Because then you will be able to communicate the right things and bring VALUE to the table.
2 Dimensional Branded Illustrations
Branded illustrations is a very unique illustration style used by brands to share concepts and employ this style as a way of recognition. When done right it can quickly become representative of the brand themselves
Brands like MailChimp, Google and DropBox, are examples of this. But it is not limited to just huge brands.
Illustrations can be seen everywhere nowadays even when brands never had any illustration before.
Custom Type and Serifs
Source: K Loaney
Hand lettering and custom fonts have been around for a long time, but we’re now seeing more and more big brands using them in their designs. By adjusting existing letters or creating new fonts from scratch, hand-lettering can add a unique flair to your design work and give your branding efforts a real boost in creativity and character.
Additionally since 2020 Serifs are back.
This came about due to all the sans-serifs that became the go-to decision for many brands in the past. It even became a meme saying brands that “lost” their identity and gave in to the trend that was called the sans-serif.
But serif fonts are also elegant fonts. They look stylish and nostalgic. But more importantly, because brands so often use sans serif fonts, any serif font immediately catches the eye, like in this eBook example.
Serif fonts still convey sophistication but are becoming more playful and unpredictable.
Photography is a big part of design, both online and offline. It’s important to use photography that fits the message you’re trying to communicate. In the past, this has often meant using stock photos that are flat and lifeless. But now, more and more designers are using their own original photography or finding creative ways to use existing photos.
Photography brings about a human touch. And while illustration can always help to brand a company when it fits, photography can make people feel more connected to the brand with the human realistic element.
This could be anything from a full-page photo in a magazine to a hero image on a website. And it’s not just product photos that are being used, but also photos of people, nature, and other things that can help tell a story or evoke an emotion.
This trend is only going to continue in the next few years as businesses try to stand out from the competition. We can expect to see more innovative uses of photography, including 3D images, interactive elements, and even augmented reality and virtual reality.
Eco-Friendly / Sustainable Design
Source: Alexandra Davis
Design trends are set very much by cultural changes. Since branding is the connection on an emotional level, a good design trend will match that of a cultural movement.
And one of the most prominent and important cultural movements of the past decade is environmentalism. People nowadays more than ever are demanding brands to be held responsible for the footprint they leave in the environment.
And with this we have a VERY key design trend: Sustainability or Eco-Friendly.
More and more brands are taking steps to showcase their responsibility and commitment to become sustainable.
This can be seen from the way their packaging is made to the elements they use in the design including the use of Modern Natural/ Earth Colors.
Earthy tones, handmade illustrations, and characteristic typography are just some of the main elements that brings you closer to nature than most other styles do. It works great for organic products and businesses that care about the planet and conveys a certain honesty about the company.
Source: Vitor Sande
The 90s look, in particular, will be making a strong comeback. Those who grew up in the 90s are now in the position to make a change, including people in the graphic design and marketing industry.
In the wake of the pandemic, people will look for familiar styles to serve as comfort. The retro look of the 90s fulfills that while also bringing a unique flavor of its own.
In 2023, many designers are turning to minimal line art to create illustrations that are humorous and fun. This is a retro style that recreates the nostalgic memory of drawing with felt-tip markers.
The simplicity of the line art lends itself to a cartoonish style (like thick outlines and rubber hose limbs), which is why the trend is a natural fit for more light-hearted projects. And because these drawings are so minimal, they can handle ultra-bright colors without overwhelming the viewer. To enhance the retro effect, many designers pair these illustrations with throwback bubble fonts and design features reminiscent of vintage magazine ads, such as oval borders and starburst stickers.
Source: Danilo Trbojevic
This can be between seen in illustration, typography, packaging, websites, logos and more. There is a nice style to it that adds a sophistication with the minimal touch. We especially see this in tech, cosmetics and more corporate designs that want to look conservative and professional. A big way to apply this style is the aesthetic use of lots of white space. Apple was a huge player in making this minimalistic style popular and it just has not gone away.
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