Trends come and go. Most of the time, they are recycled. But trends are also highly influenced by our reality and what’s happening around us. Sure enough, the pandemic has dramatically affected how we consume graphic design. You’ll see that many in this list of graphic design trends related to the sweet, sweet world of nostalgia or the technological advancements we made at the beginning of this decade.

Here are our predictions for the most anticipated graphic design trends for the year ahead.

 

90’s Nostalgia

Retro 90s devices and toys illustration by yupiramos, 123RF.

Vivid color palettes, zany typography, vibrant fun, and optimism – the ’90s nostalgia turns the wheel back to simpler times. Pastels and muted colors have been prominent in the last several years, but it seems like the world is welcoming bright candy colors with open arms. The vibrant color schemes make bold statements and create striking graphic designs while spreading positivity and joy.

Woman astronaut eats ice cream shaped like planets by studiostoks, 123RF.

 

Space ship by studiostoks, 123RF.

 

Holographic

Holographic abstract background by gadost, 123RF.

 

Neon colored leather texture backdrop by anjafadeeva, 123RF.

2022 marks the return of the holographic trend. We clearly remember these being the talk of the fashion industry, spotted on every bag, pair of shoes, etc. It’s one of the most mesmerizing graphic design elements and incredibly versatile. The otherworldly yet futuristic holographic design always looks good, from fashion to web apps and logos to animation designs.

Blurred background with holographic sparkles and lights by efetova, 123RF.

 

Liquid blue watercolor and marble texture posters by owlka, 123RF.

An undoubtedly eye-catching visual, a holographic design would definitely stop the thumbs of a younger audience’s endless scrolling on their social media feeds.


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Paper Cutout

International Mother Earth Day illustration of green papercut of the world map by cienpies, 123RF.

The traditional art of paper cutting has found a way to merge into the digital world. The mixture of paper cutouts and digital illustrations creates a unique look that encourages artists to be creative with a sense of realism.

International Women’s Day poster by tandav, 123RF.

 

Layered paper cut-outs in curved designs by mash3r, 123RF.

In the hands of a capable graphic designer, paper cutout designs could be engaging multi-dimensional visuals ready to be shared by brands and marketers.

 

3D Characters and Elements

Miniature forest background in pastel tone by mitdesign, 123RF.

 

Given that 2021 was a year with one of the most groundbreaking technological advancements made (We’re talking vaccines, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, green hydrogen, and more), not to mention the crazy crypto and NFT hype. It’s no surprise to see that all the tech talk has led to a trend with characters and elements in 3D graphic styles. 

Decorative balls design by theromb, 123RF.

 

Sale poster in 3D pastel illustration by hstrongart, 123RF.

 

Modern conceptual art poster of ancient bust statue of Lucius Seneca by bashta, 123RF.

 

Cyberpunk

Futuristic sci-fi illustration of a man causing destruction in a city by grandfailure, 123RF.

 

Cyberpunk graphic design is precisely what cyberpunk design is: the clash of low-life and high tech, megacorporations, and a dystopian world. The launch of Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse – a virtual world seen through augmented reality and virtual reality, and the release of a trippy latest sequel to The Matrix franchise are some of the reasons for the cyberpunk trend’s return – and it shows no signs of slowing down. 

80s style sci-fi background with a futuristic car by mix3r, 123RF.

 

Futuristic city by grandeduc, 123RF.

 

Woman in a transparent latex raincoat with neon lighting by liakoltyrina, 123RF.

 

To greater designs in 2022

And there you have it – five graphic design trends you do not want to miss. Just like we mentioned, trends are highly influenced by our surroundings. Or, as some might agree, ‘art imitates life.’ Put your own spin on these trends! Good luck!


For inspiration, check out these gradient design ideas to brighten your graphic design plans! Thinking of getting into vector designs for that futuristic look? Check out these advantages of why you totally should.