Graphic design trends 2020

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10 graphic design trends to look out for in 2020

We’ve entered a whole new decade, and with it comes great new vibes in graphic design. So what does 2020 have in store for us?

According to 99designs.com, “With the year 2020, graphic design trends have reached an important milestone. It’s the dawn of a new decade, and graphic design is poised to reach new heights as designers begin to define the era. There’s a feeling in the air that anything can happen—that we are about to witness the next evolution of graphic design as we know it.”

At Catgraphics we feel that excitement and can’t wait to work with you to explore new ways to get your brand message out there and make an impact on your target market.
Here are some of the top trends we’ll see this year.


Bringing brands to life

Brands are going beyond mere logos as companies use a variety of other design elements to bring their brands to life.

“Expect 2020 to see brands … building a broader, more comprehensive brand identity,” says canva.com. The firm recently interviewed design experts for their insights into the trends poised to sweep the design world in the upcoming year.

People are starting to understand that a brand is so much more than its logo, according to Rani Sweis, Creative Director at AtticSalt. “In a digitally driven world where brands interact with consumers on a variety of touch points, designers are realizing the importance of a cohesive and impactful brand identity system that speaks volumes about their brand in any context.”

Bold playful colour

Many top designers predict bigger, bolder colours and a more playful approach this year.

99designs.com predicts cyberpunk colour schemes as one of the biggest graphic design trends for 2020, saying we should expect colours in 2020 be even more vibrant and luminous.

“Futuristic color schemes and designs will be on trend … bringing in colors like blues and purples and hot pink to give designs that futuristic glowing feel,” according to Adrianne Mesnard, the company’s art director.

The Pantone colour of 2020 is Classic Blue (PANTONE 19-4052), a deep blue shade that’s at once comforting and relatable. According to Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute, “it’s a reassuring blue, full of calm and confidence. It builds connection.”

She told TIME Magazine that the colour highlighted dependability, trustworthiness, credibility, and constancy, “all traits that are valued in the fast-paced, high-stress situations of the current world.”

Not all designers agree that colours will be vibrant this year, however, with many predicting more muted, monotone hues.

Asymmetrical layouts

Asymmetrical layouts are predicted to be one of the top design trends in 2020. Referring to website design, Merehead.com claims, “Users may have an extraordinary curiosity about where the new picture or text will be located, how the graphics look down the page. It creates a sense of interest and surprise.”

justcreative.com agrees, claiming that “purposely allowing a design to feel unfinished in its lack of symmetry is a way to capture attention and to convey a message more boldly.”

Losing the grid

Aligned to the above, several designers are planning to get rid of the grid in 2020. Design grids—in everything from websites to brochures—restrict design freedom and tend to result in symmetry. Brace yourself for designers breaking the rules this year and experimenting with totally different layouts.

More illustrations

There’ll be more illustrations in design this year as they continue to replace images. Look out for more abstract and imaginative drawings than ever before.

Genuine stock photos

Those designers still using photographs are choosing more natural, authentic and genuine stock pictures, recognising that their audiences need to relate to them.

Writing for the Venngage website, Ryan McCready also predicts a bigger focus on neutral colour palettes across the board: “muted color palettes make graphics seem more natural and authentic.

“This shift continues to push back against the overly edited, posed, and produced stock photos that some companies still use,” he continues.

Celebrating the individual

Brands are changing their stereotypical thinking about gender and sexuality, and are getting more real about real people. In 2020 designers will set aside stereotypes like pink for girls, action for boys, women must be portrayed as beautiful, and so on. Instead, design will celebrate real people, warts and all, and reach out to everyone—no matter their sexual preferences. We’ll also see more gender-neutral characters in websites, brochures and advertising.

Typography is king

Designers are playing with typography, which is expected to undergo radical transformation this year. We’ll see an exciting mix of typefaces, while the trend towards brands designing their own fonts will continue. Some designers are even advocating a type-only approach and not using photographs or illustrations at all. As Merehead.com puts it, “creating more sophisticated fonts and serifs is another 2020 trend. It will help build brand reputations and attract more audiences.”

3D

According to graphicmamma.co.za, one of the major 2020 digital design trends is 3D depth and realism.

“The 3D trend reached its peak in 2019 and it certainly won’t fade away so quickly,” according to their website. “Thanks to the opportunities of modern technology and software capabilities, in 2020, we will keep seeing more awesome 3D graphic design compositions. Moreover, in order to be more creative, designers will often combine it with other realities, such as photos and 2-dimensional objects.”

See here for example.

Minimalism

Creative Bloq, on the other hand, believes the opposite, listing their top trend as intensifying minimalism.

They believe flat design will continue to dominate the world of digital, citing two designers at Grady Britton:

“In line with marketing’s ongoing quest for transparency and honesty, design will continue to strip away extra flair and embellishment and move toward a much simpler, straightforward presentation,” says group creative director Brian Dixon.

Designer Paul Levy concurs, predicting that the “ubiquity of flat design, involving primary colours, simple, intuitive two-dimensional illustrations and easy-to-read type, will continue to grow.”

Last words

Here at Catgraphics we love what we’re seeing and will continue to open your eyes to new possibilities that will help your brand soar, founded on productive, cost-effective and sustainable strategies.