The great thing about graphic design trends is that each year there is a new opportunity on the way. Graphic design trends appear and reappear each year with new topics and trends. Some of the previous trends included sci-fi and futuristic tech, while this year we can observe a variety of topics available. And given the progressive aspect of 2020, the design trends of 2021 may allow us to rethink some existing inclinations.
One of the trends that revived his year has been Retrofuturism. Retrofuturism is a visual style that has been trending for its bold and optimistic attitude. Retro futurists believe in human progress. Characterised by a blend of “retro styles”, it investigates the themes of balance between yesterday and tomorrow. Retrofuturism is observed as an animating scene in society. Retrofuturism also implies a reevaluation of technology. While it is not universally optimistic, it usually references its features on dark periods like World War II while sometimes it may grow too bitter and dystopian.
The second trend has been Seamless Surrealism. Surrealism is linked with dreamy illustrations and paintings dedicated to the unconscious mind. When simple but unrelated elements in unexpected juxtapositions generate something mysterious and sturdy, this is surrealism. Most of the surrealist style is also associated with Dali. Dali based a lot of paintings on his dreams. Companies attempting to craft something unique and fresh might want to practice a surrealist way identified as the element of surprise. A sharp conflicting colour palette, melding modern pairs of images into an impossible composition and typefaces that expand the boundaries of a letterform.
Another trend is that of Fine art infusion. An example of fine art infusion is abstract geometry. Abstract geometry will get shapes, lines, and angles, and their position in space. Abstract art is about interpreting subjects by utilising shapes and colour to convey a concept. When you use these two together, you get elements of geometry like shapes, lines, and grids displayed in a flowing, non-linear way. Wassily Kandinsky began to create what we know as abstract art, while he tried to deconstruct the principles that guided institutionally recognised art to that point. Others, like the Cubists and the Bauhaus, also evolved the application of geometry and grids, establishing the practices of modern graphic design styles.
The last trend that has also made its appearance in design in 2020 is the Elements of Nature. A number of brands have combined natural elements into their brands. When simple elements interact, they intensify one another and become the more complex relationships that you experience as a pattern. This method is called emergence and is recognised in science as well as the arts. They compose a multilayered relationship instead of several unrelated ones. The design doesn’t have to suffer the visual clutter of additional information to have meaningful value. By making more relationships with less information, you leverage the most meaning with the least material. A pioneer in this technique has been the images of Christian Ban. Boian believes that colours have the power to protect our individual happiness. The Romanian graphic designer has been using technology to empower the power of visual communication. Using curves and curves, he incorporates the elements of nature in a digital computerised approach.
To sum up, these trends have been growing rapidly throughout 2020. I strongly believe that some of these trends like Retrofuturism and the Elements of Nature will continue shaping 2021 too. I believe that every single of them adds to the distinguished nature of graphic design and will continue to be inspirations for many upcoming designers.