Graphic Design Trends 2021

The great thing about graphic design trends is that each year arrives with the opportunity for a reset. And given the challenging shape of 2020, the design trends of 2021 may offer us the biggest breath of fresh
air yet.

While past trends were driven by the promise of a new decade, borrowing from sci-fi and futuristic tech, 2021’s graphic design trends are putting people first. We sampled opinions from our global community of
graphic designers, and their predictions—ranging from classic symbolism to nature elements to analogue painting—signal trends that are grounded in the here and now.

Graphic design is all about transforming the plain into something special. So let’s take a look at how the designers of 2021 are influencing the trajectory of this decade.

graphic design trends that will be huge in 2021:

Abstract psychedelia
Irreverent characters
Socially conscious design

1 Abstract psychedelia

Psychedelia has its roots in the music and art scene of the 60s. It is associated with hallucinogens and creative experimentation under the backdrop of social upheaval: in short, the opening of one’s mind. In
contrast from then to now, it seems to fit the times: the chaotic imagery of psychedelia fostering freedom, the sense that designers are no longer bound by traditional constraints.

2 irreverent characters

Good design can tell a story. Great design makes that story unforgettable. For 2021, many graphic designers are looking to ditch abstract visuals in favor of quirky characters. And the more personality these
characters embody, the more memorable they become.
Concept illustration lies at the heart of this trend—providing not only character poses but personality in the form of a hand-drawn approach. It’s why these styles can range from detailed cross-hatching to the
simplified shapes, lines, and colors of modern cartoons. The concepts themselves—suit-wearing animals and anthropomorphic sushi—signal the much-anticipated return of humor and weirdness in the months
to come.

3 Socially conscious design

As the dawn of a new decade, it seems fitting that 2020 was the year the world understood how much it needed to change. From healthcare to environmentalism to Black Lives Matter to pandemic
preparedness, 2020 laid bare the many challenges to come. The good news is that this conflict might just be a turning point, provided everyone does their part.
With this in mind, designers from all over the world are stepping up to the plate to contribute their talents for the betterment of their community. We’ve seen this in the rise in creative hand-lettering that delivers
messages of unity, responsibility and advice. It comes in the form of protest art. It comes in illustrations that personalize mask-wearing. Whether through charity work or personal design projects, 2021 is
shaping up to be a pivotal year in which design gets involved.