As far as trends go, there’s just no way of knowing for sure what will pique the most interest. After all, even the most hyped design choices can easily phase out after a few months.
However, there are some ways to predict what kinds of design will make a splash. One of them is looking at trends outside the world of graphic design. By looking at current events and emerging patterns from various industries, you’ll get an idea of the top design styles next year.
We’ve taken a long hard look at our surroundings. Reflected on what kinds of moments we’ve had the past year. And, after hours of research, here are the trends that we’re sure to see in 2023.
Graphic Design Trends 2023 Edition
The defining factors of the 2020s aesthetic are the love for retro nostalgia and punk aesthetics. More and more artists are going down the unconventional road—and people love it. You can say thanks to various factors here. The long-winded pandemic, the accessibility of AI technology and art tools, as well as the resurfacing of the Y2K aesthetic.
Whatever it is, designers aren’t holding back their expressive side. Because Gen-Zs love everything weird and funky, surrealism is going to play a huge role in typography, web design, print ads, and even packaging this year. Expect to see more expressive and unique designs that have bold concepts and even bolder colors.
1. Celestial Tarot Aesthetic
Interest in spirituality and mysticism has existed for years, but now it’s gaining a wider audience base. The beloved subculture gained popularity for its mysterious nature. Add to that the yearning for something certain—like the rules of the universe—and it’s not surprising to see the tarot-style and art deco aesthetic hit it off with younger audiences.
2. Color-Rich Tropicalism
The Y2K revival is also set on bringing back joyful and bright tropicalism. This color-rich aesthetic is most commonly used in the funkadelic and afrofuturism design circles, but it’s slowly permeating the mainstream. We expect the trend to come with bright and colorful prints, bright illustrations, contrasting geometrical elements, and bold, funky typography.
3. 3D Pastel Assets
With the rise AI art tools and the rise of the metaverse also comes the mashup of various design styles. Today, it’s not uncommon to see 3D elements permeate graphic design. You can see it in how logos, type, and even other graphic design elements. You’ll most likely see this design style in tech brands, but it could very well appear in other industries.
4. Funky and Geometric Elements
Color is still going to be huge next year. As the retro revival continues, we’re expecting to explore more Bauhaus-inspired elements. Expect bubbles, blobs, and sharp geometric shapes in bold primary colors. As more and more brands embrace strange-shaped aspects, it’s going to be interesting how these elements will be used by both minimalist and maximalist designers.
5. Experimental Typography
If there’s one trend that we’re guaranteed to see next year, it’s the continued boom for custom typography. More and more type designers are making their expressive fonts available for mainstream use, which is why we’re seeing an abundance of experimentype. We’re likely to see fonts with varying widths, depths, and dimensions–condensed fonts, bold fonts, distorted fonts, wavy fonts–all that jazz. Oh, and one more thing, expect to struggle reading typography next year. Most designers now favor hard-to-read type.
6. Holofoil Packaging
Meanwhile, we’re seeing hints of the holo craze being brought back in retro minimalist graphic designs. While in the past holo was used as the focal point of a design, it’s now become a strong accent detail used to elevate fonts, packaging, and small collaterals like business cards. Using foil print has become a favorite for many brands to bring a subtle hint of iridescence.
7. Era of the Aura Gradients
Hopping off the celestial tarot trend, we also expect to see the gradient play a more significant role in next year’s graphic design choices. It’s been a beloved trend for the last six months of 2022, and we expect this to pick up by wellness brands. The aura and noise element plays a huge role in online wellness culture, and it won’t be surprising to see this combined with botanical elements.
8. Bold Retro Illustrations
If you think the retro revival is finished, it’s not quite done yet. Right now, we’re seeing a revival of flat cartoon illustrations with retro elements–characters with gloves, huge boots, and exaggerated expressions. Think Mickey Mouse in the 50s but with illustrations but modernized.
9. Photos Galore
While photos are slowly dying off in social media–just look at the slow shift from photos to reels on Instagram–we are begging to differ. Companies are now more comfortable breaking the mold and incorporating images into their campaigns. logos, packaging, print ads–you name it. Plus, as more brands move to 3D designs, there’s definitely going to be more
10. Edgy and Rough Aesthetics
If there’s one thing Gen-Zs are known for, it’s being chaotic and out of the box. In 2023, we expect a similar frenzied vibe in layout and design. As an ode to the Y2K cyber aesthetic, we’re expecting to see more edgy and hyper-designed posters and magazine covers. At the same time, they’re keeping the graphite texture and wireframe elements trendy.
Graphic Design Trends 2023 Roundup
And there you have it. The top graphic design trends 2023 that design agencies need to watch out for. It’s likely that we’ll see an upward trend of experimental type, more metaverse-inspired branding, and strong bold colors. As we ride the nostalgia wave, we also expect to see some retro, vintage, and art-deco designs permeate the design space. On the other end of the spectrum though, some agencies may also play with punk concepts like anti-design.
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