Last year was all about taking risks in graphic design.
But most of the graphic design trends I predicted last year have become mainstream. With brands like Apple, Google and other tech giants embracing bold and unique designs trends.
So you’re going to need to take it up an extra notch, or three, to be seen and heard in 2019. That means more vivid colors palettes, bold fonts, and futuristic patterns.
Luckily, this guide will help you stay ahead of the curve
1. Pops of Vivid Colors
You may have noticed the world of design feels a little more colorful lately. You would be right.
Splashes of electric yellows, bright corals and vivid blues are replacing the reserved colors of the past. More brands and designers are adding vivid colors to their palettes for 2019 and beyond.
I love it–more color is always a plus in my books!
If you aren’t familiar, vivid colors include lighter hues that are intense or attention-grabbing. Kinda like the blues, pinks, and reds in the example below.
2. Strong Typographic Focal Points
This bold font makes it easy to read the text on social media feeds and on mobile devices. As well as instantly projecting strength, innovation, and individuality. However, as you can see in all of these examples, the bold font is often the supporting partner to the other design elements. But this year the bold font will become the main focal point in a lot of graphics. Especially if your graphic only has a few seconds to grab the reader’s attention. Like with a poster, social media graphic or flyer. In these poster examples from the CTA18 conference you can see how powerful a bold font can be:
3. Futuristic Influences Are Mainstream
I guess since we are technically living in the future that so many 80’s films predicted, it’s time for our designs to reflect that. This means a lot of futuristic patterns, colors and ideas are about to dominate the design world for the next few years. We do have most of the futuristic devices they predicted in our pocket each day. So you might as well take advantage of that tech with your design work! I believe that this approach will help brands create unique content that will stand above the noise on social media. The visual rebrand of BBCTWO this year is a solid example of a large brand embracing this idea.
4. Light and Dark Color Schemes
You may have noticed that some of the largest companies are adding light and dark modes to their apps. Or embracing light and dark color schemes across different devices and avenues. This includes Apple recently adding Dark Mode for all of their Macs. You may be asking why I’m highlighting these companies now. I do like talking about tech companies but that’s not the reason. Instead, I wanted to point out that the biggest brands in the world of tech are embracing this dual colored app design trend. So it’s pretty easy to see the graphic design world wholeheartedly adopting it this year.
These apps use different modes to make the apps more useful for the user depending on the situation. You can use this same flexible technique in your design work to instantly adapt to many mediums or screens. In fact, one of my favorite flyer examples uses a light and dark color scheme. Each fits the subject matter and event extremely well.
5. Complex Gradients and Duotones
Gradients are one of my favorite things to add to any design project to give it a little more depth. Plus, like some of the other rising graphic design trends, they look incredible on mobile devices. Last year I predicted that gradients would begin to take over the world. Especially after seeing large companies embrace it, like Microsoft.
6. New “Colorful Minimalism”
I think it’s pretty common misconception that minimalist design only used black text and white backgrounds. Or another combination of the two. But minimalism is actually about paring down design to only the necessary components. It’s seen as the rejection of complicated and cluttered ideas. Many people have interpreted that as using only muted and neutral color palettes. Especially after the main tech giants used it for about a decade in their marketing.
7. Dynamic and Complicated Hand-Drawn Illustrations
Custom or hand-drawn illustrations are an excellent way to make your visual content stand out. And stand above all the other brands that take the easy way out. That’s because no other brand is going to be able to exactly replicate these visuals. Competitors can copy your color scheme, your social media strategy and the stock photos you use. Plus, in the quest for a strong brand, unique content such as this is extremely valuable. That’s why I believe that hand-drawn graphics and illustration will continue to be a graphic design trend this year.
However, like some of the other graphic design trends we saw roll over to this year, things are about to get a bit more complicated. Last year you could get away with using simple flat doodles, like the examples from MailChimp below.
8. Authentic and Genuine Stock Photos
As you have probably noticed many brands are creating some very creative designs to seem more genuine. Or to make them feel more authentic, instead of a faceless corporation. This push into the more real and genuine will be seen in the type of stock photos they use this year as well. I feel that a lot of stock photos have become too professional, polished and vague. In their quest to reach as many people as possible, these photographers choose a safe subject.
Overly edited photos are also out this year, readers really want more genuine and authentic looking photos of people. The viewer should be able to see themselves reflected in the photo. These new stock photos look like they were taken with someone’s personal camera or phone. Kinda like the examples of people below.