03 Feb 6 Graphic Design Trends Every Business Should Know in 2021
Tumultuous times often upend the design world, so expect some big changes in 2021. Art Deco extravagance flourished in the wake of the 1918 flu pandemic and World War I, with people eager to forget their troubles and immerse themselves in bold, modern design. This impulse to move forward or reorient after COVID-19 is informing the trends we see for the coming year. Here’s what design experts say businesses should know about graphic design in 2021.
Luxe Gold and Jewel Tones
Last year’s millennial pink and rose gold is giving way to this year’s gold and rich jewel tones. While gold has been hot in interior design for a few years now, it’s set to make a leap into graphic design in a big way in 2021, particularly when paired with deep plums, sapphires, and emerald greens. These colors make a statement and when incorporated into your graphic design, they communicate confidence.
If you’re due for a new business logo in 2021, this might just be a trend worth considering. Symbolism is in right now and it’s easy to see why—symbols are a way to communicate without words, across cultures, and have a sense of universality to them. Having a graphic designer create a symbol for your business is a visual way to communicate what you’re about. Another option is to leverage an existing symbol for your brand—the moon, an astrological symbol, or mythological creature could be a good fit for many businesses.
The pandemic had many of us rediscovering the joys of long walks and other outdoor activities. This is reflected in a turn towards using more organic design elements and colors—think earth tones, leaves, and botanicals. These serene motifs feel soothing and calm, and we can all use a little bit of inner peace right now! Even if your business has nothing to do with nature or the outdoors, you may want to consider incorporating this trend into your website or marketing materials.
Design is often cyclical, which means retro and vintage is always in vogue in some shape or form, but the eras being referenced change from year to year. In 2021, look for 60s-inspired psychedelia, Pop Art-style comics, Art Deco geometrics, and nostalgic 70s-style typography in graphic design. Even retro futurism is seeing a renaissance, with visions of modern day technology, fashion, and architecture as conceptualized by previous generations. What each of these very different styles have in common is a bold sensibility that almost feels celebratory, a nod to the cultural changes that occurred after the Spanish Flu.
Maximalist Chaos Design
Is minimalist design finally over? Perhaps, if chaos design has anything to say about it. Typography chaos design uses big, bold lettering with mixes of different fonts, sizes, and alignments. Organized chaos design uses collage techniques, layering, and asymmetry to create eye-catching graphics. This type of design can be striking on packaging or even incorporated into a website, but it must be balanced with whitespace (or blackspace, as it were) to avoid being overwhelming.
When we talk about illustrations, we don’t mean stock vectors—we mean custom illustrations that tell the story of your business. Have your graphic designer create a character for your brand that people will remember. Cartoon illustrations are in, whether they’re hand-drawn, digital, or three-dimensional.