What are the Graphic Design trends for 2020?

No matter what you specialize in as a graphic designer, you should always have your finger on the pulse of what is trending in graphic design. Knowing what’s trending in graphic design will keep you inspired and full of ideas. So that you can put those ideas to use.

We’ve curated a list with examples, moodboard style, of what’s trending in graphic design. We did this by looking into a variety of experts and influencers across different graphic design disciplines. Let’s dive into Graphic Design Trends for 2020!

Table Of Contents:

3D Design
3D Typography
3D Abstract Design
3D Isometric Design
Bespoke Typography and Hand Lettering
Bright Vivid Colors
Gradients
Street art Inspired
Open Composition
Single Stroke Design
Simplicity and Minimalism
Custom Illustrations
Modern Mid Century Design
Real-Life With Flat
Cutout Collage
Hand Drawn Elements
Big Bold Typography
Cropped Typography

3D Design

After the past few years seeing a lot of flat designs, 3D is back in the mix. While clean and minimal design is still popular, 3D technology is more accessible than ever and designers are now combining 3D elements to add dimension, depth and tactility.

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3D Typography

There’s no denying that designers are using typography in new ways. I think it comes down to brands and individuals wanting to stand out and experiment. After all, people resonate with what they relate to. For this reason, designers are crafting letters/words with realistic/dimensional qualities in the form of 3D type. With 3D Typography, letters now jump off the page or screen and you are seeing it more and more as we move into 2020.

Graphic Design Trends 2020

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3D Abstract Design

3D elements incorporated into abstract designs is a natural progression two treads; 3D Design, and Open Composition Design. Materials and lighting are critical to this style, and will be with any 3D work.

What I love about this style is that there’s no rules. As a result, we are seeing so much variety with shapes, materials, color, and compositions. Abstract 3D Design provokes the viewers imagination. Every time I’m like, I don’t know what this it, but damn that looks cool!

Graphic Design Trends 2020

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3D Isometric Design

Continuing on the 3D trends, 3D isometric designs are becoming more popular. I will say this design style should only be used where is makes sense.

It works well when you want to visually communicate a physical location, or how a product or service works. This style is best suited as an overview visual. Check out the examples below.

Graphic Design Trends 2020

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Bespoke Typography and Hand Lettering

I don’t see Hand Lettering as a trend necessarily, because the use of type and hand done type has been around forever. Why it makes our list is down to the way social media has brought custom type and hand lettering to a global audience.

The way lettering artists are evolving lettering and custom type, is remarkable. As a result, big brands are taking notice. Here are some examples of bespoke type and hand lettering being used in ad campaigns and branding.

Graphic Design Trends 2020

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Bright Vivid Colors

With so much noise out there online and off, we are seeing brands such as Apple and Spotify use bright vivid colors to get attention. Vivid colors with high contrast combinations are replacing the more reserved color palettes of the past. This is a win in my opinion. More color in the world can’t be a bad thing. We’ll maybe I should be careful what I wish for..

Graphic Design Trends 2020

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Gradients

Gradients are making their modern-day comeback. Designers are using gradients to enhance flat and minimalist designs. I see this as a welcome evolution in the flat and minimalist design trends.

Graphic Design Trends 2020

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Street Art Inspired

Years ago street art was considered to be this outlaw form of expression. Now, street art is highly sought-after. You see it being elevated as an art-form in galleries worldwide.

Brands are taking notice and using it as a way to engage with their audiences. Designers are taking cues from street art and incorporating that into their designs.

Graphic Design Trends 2020

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Open Composition

This this Graphic Design Trend, we can forget about grids and layouts. Open Compositions lets viewers tap into their imagination and curiosity. Design elements break the frame. 3D and 2D are intertwined.

In Open Composition Design, a wide variety of subject matter and techniques are now working in harmony. With Open Composition design, we are seeing designers push boundaries and leave old rules behind.

Graphic Design Trends 2020

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Single Stroke Design

Single stroke design is created by only using one stroke or line thickness. This minimalist yet decorative style has been gaining popularity. And I have seen this style applied to everything from logos, posters, apparel, and iconography.

The only thing to watch out for is single stroke design doesn’t scale down well. But overall, I believe single stroke design is somewhat timeless and it is here to stay.

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Simplicity and Minimalism

I’m not surprised that simplicity and minimalism is still here in 2020. You see it everywhere now with clean and airy websites to modern Instagram feeds full of tasteful photography, brands are fully embracing the minimalist design trend.

At its core, minimalist design is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. For this reason, we see this trend sticking around for years to come.

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Custom Illustrations

Cookie cutter graphics and clip-art are out! Custom illustrations are in! Illustrations are a perfect way to make content stand out. Mainly because they are truly one of a kind.

This highly curated from of visual communication has gained popularity in the consumer space. In fact, we referenced a lot of major brands using custom illustrations. Apple and Adobe are two examples below.

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Modern Mid Century Design

Modern mid century design has a bit of a retro vibe. It is a collection of design styles that come from art/design history. Modern mid century is often colorful and bold. Shapes and negative space are often wide and asymmetrical.

Typography is usually simple side with display sans serifs, simple serifs and plenty of all-caps fonts. Overall, it’s probably the most polarizing  design styles, you either love it or you hate it.

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Real-Life With Flat

The combination of real-life objects and flat is changing the way we see design. These opposites interact to give dimension and depth.

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Cutout Collage

One of the latest graphic design trends in 2019 are papercut collage style illustrations. Papercut illustrations mimic compositions made of different layers of paper. Each layer is spaced enough to create realistic shadows which means depth.

In the example below, designer/artist tierneymilne was commissioned by Facebook to create the piece “Our Friendship Is Tighter Than Jeans”.

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Hand Drawn Elements

Another graphic design trend that is inline with hand lettering and custom illustration, is hand draw elements. This graphic design trend is all about illustrations over photography, or combining illustration with type and flat graphics. This is another example of combining styles to work in harmony.

Graphic Design Trends 2020

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Big Bold Typography

When it comes to making typography stand out, you’ll find that the bigger and bolder, the more impact. Designers will use extra-large font sizes for display styles and headers.

Bold and Heavy fonts make it easy to read on everything from posters, to social media feeds and on mobile devices. Overall, Large impactful type communicates strength, confidence, and individuality.

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Cropped Typography

Cropped typography has been on-trend for the past couple years, and is still going strong. Designers are evolving this style by finding new ways to clip or mask out parts of letters, while still keeping the letter recognizable.

I love this style, especially when combined with other trends such as big bold type, and open composition. Whether in branding work or personal projects, designers are creating amazing art when infusing cropping typography.

Graphic Design Trends 2020

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Conclusion

To sum up everything we’ve covered, we’ll be seeing trends evolve as opposed to new trends emerge. There will be a lot of open composition designs that tap into the viewer’s imagination. 3D will be used more by designers, as technology improves. Bright vivid color schemes will make designs stand out. Typography and hand lettering will continue its upward trend. Overall, designers are combining these styles to push and evolving trends, as opposed to creating new ones.

If you are new to Graphic Design and want the more, check out these two articles:

Camden Taylor

Author Camden Taylor

Camden is Arturth's founder. A Senior Graphic Designer from the Pacific Northwest, he has a passion for art, design, and bringing people together through the creative process.

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