5 Design Trends of this year
Every year new trends emerge or old ones come back. That is not only the way we know the 'fashion trends', but that is also the case with graphic design. Similarly, last year was an exciting time for graphic design, and 2019 will be no different. In this article, we'll take a closer look at the trends that emerged last year and see where they're headed next.
3D design & typography
Three-dimensional designs seem to be everywhere now: entire compositions that have so much depth, you can't help but reach out and touch them. 3D typography especially feels almost ready to pop. The best part about it is that there is no specific type that works best for this trend: bold, skinny, sans serif, script, any font can be rendered in 3D.
In addition to typography, we see many beautifully rendered 3D compositions that give the impression of being still lifes from distant planets. Some designs, such as Pinch Studio's vibrant pop art or Issey Miyake's marriage of textiles and food, merge these two design trends into futuristic landscapes of colour, type and form. Others, like Eiko Ojala's stunning papercut illustrations, seem to be made from elements straight from the natural world. Either way, the effect is stunning: these compositions literally jump off the page and make it impossible to look away.
We are starting to see the beginning of a move away from the rigid grid-based designs that have been standard in recent years. The dominance of Squarespace and Canva and other template-based design sites provided beginners with beautiful websites and graphics, even if they had no idea what a grid was. Now designers want to create products that are more customized and alive.
Enter the asymmetrical design trend. Because these layouts break away from the rigid and predictable grid, they deliver more kinetic energy and movement. An asymmetrical layout, whether it's a design composition, an app, or a site, requires attention. The user feels innately curious about where the information and images might go next, creating a sense of wonder and interest as they scroll or view a design.
The 'modern' design era takes its name from the artistic movement of modernism that began after World War I and lasted nearly half a century. There are two major styles from this period that are currently experiencing a total renaissance: the highly ornate and glamorous Art Deco designs of the 1920s and the streamlined organic shapes of the Mid Century period of the 1950s and 1960s.
We see the trend especially emerging in logo work. Designers embrace the complex line-work intense symmetry of the best work of the era, while combining it with sharp metallics that would make Jay Gatsby feel right at home. We also notice this influence in typography, as sans-serifs become slimmer and thinner, as if they had come out of a classic AM Cassandre poster design. These designs feel lavish and luxurious and are a stark contrast to the rustic, country-inspired work that has dominated in recent years.
To illustrate, there is currently a striking trend: the different ways in which women are represented. From gender issues to body politics, what it's like to be a woman today is explored in a more unapologetic way than ever before.
Motivated by #MeToo and similar movements, illustrators are feeling encouraged to move away from caricatures and explore more nuanced and multidimensional depictions of women facing the status quo. Scrolling through Instagram, Matisse-inspired nudes follow politically charged illustrations of female solidarity and resistance. Empowered, angry, cheerful, funny, flawed, stubborn, they're all there.
Warm color palette
A few years ago, designers were asked to ignore muted colors to embrace the bold and neon-inspired shows of Stranger Things: 2019's photo colors are more akin to the days when cameras and screens couldn't capture deeply saturated colors.
They feel like a direct throwback to the soft, low-fi photography of the 1970s and even muted camcorder footage of the 1980s. With a little black in every color, these photos have a warm and wistful atmosphere that neon colors can never compete with.
Ready for the next step?