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Top Graphic Design Trends in 2022

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The importance of graphic design  cannot be overemphasized. It adds to identity as well as extends beyond the appearance of a brand. Due to good graphics, brands provide education, inform or convince the audience by using various images, shades, and shapes. It’s important to realize that things regularly change in the world of graphic design and it’s hard to keep up with them sometimes. Consequently, designers should explore the latest trends of 2022 thoroughly and implement them in their activities. Later in this article, I will tell you about new trends 2022, which will be relevant for several years.

Colorful minimalism

According to traditional beliefs, minimalism combines black text with white background, but as a rule, such images lack brightness and colorfulness.

In the past year, modern creators have done a lot of work and now it can be said that the concept of «minimalistic design» has completely changed. Fans of new minimalism are emerging in today’s world. This minimalism mixes two designs with the use of important sense-bearing components only. Global giants like Apple have already implemented neutral and muted color palettes in their marketing messages.

However, a range of color palettes hasn’t become an obstacle for modern designers. They create beautiful combinations of sophisticated design with traditional minimalism. Color and creativity have become advantages of many famous brands, which have dismissed unnecessary elements and gave due consideration to visual effects.

Top Graphic Design Trends in 2022

Attention to inclusion

The Black Lives Matter movement has sparked interest in reconsideration of social prejudices around the world. Currently, this movement continues to inspire all people, in particular, graphic designers.

It’s evident by diversity, which is represented in many designs. Renewed interest in this problem can be seen in how graphic designers portray diversity while trying to achieve positive changes with colorful illustrations and stock photos.

Change has touched the designers, who have achieved fame by portraying  black people in inspiring works of art. It’s expected that this inclusion will get itself into graphic design, the purpose of which is to highlight different cultures, skin color, and beliefs.

Top Graphic Design Trends in 2022

Geometric shapes

More and more geometric shapes show up in graphic design this year. Wherever you look, you’ll see designers use such shapes in their work, while replacing abstract ones, which used to define graphics earlier.

You can combine them with any image and create a unique mix of unusual details. They became popular with many companies such as Rivet, Zendesk, and Venngage. Apart from the images, you can use shapes to represent data points, display content, and even reflect your brand. Even better, these shapes combined with muted colors create client-friendly text and attractive visual effects.

Top Graphic Design Trends in 2022

Simple data visualization

Why do we visualize data? A short answer – to make information easier to understand by eliminating the complexity of data sets. To make them more effective, graphic designers have simplified the way of presenting data.

A positive result is achieved because a reader can quickly see the conclusion, which an author is trying to lead to with a picture. Considering tons of data that people have been dealing with lately, reader-friendly images are critical. Designers do that to retain people’s attention. Remember that complex information is usually ignored because the readers are trying to save their time and scroll.

Data can be simplified with the help of simple pie or bubble charts. But if you are a creative person or you want something more attractive, the creation of infographics is the best option. Make sure that you have all the necessary information, which you want to present graphically, and it’s well-visualized.

Top Graphic Design Trends in 2022

Monochrome effects

Nowadays many graphic designers are experimenting with the creation of images and saturating them with monochrome effects. As a derivation of a two-color trend of 2017, monochrome effects are becoming increasingly popular with graphic designers. Use a monochrome filter and the achievement of an unusual result is guaranteed.

Top Graphic Design Trends in 2022

Classic serif fonts

Serif fonts, which date all the way back to the 15th century, are one of the oldest font styles still in use. Don’t get serif and san serif fonts confused. Note that classic serif fonts have little «embellishments» at the top and bottom (or on both sides) of letters. Our ancestors couldn’t express themselves in a standard way even in writing.

Serif fonts, however old they might be, aren’t just black marks on paper. They evoke a feeling of nostalgia and exude elegance in each word they compose. Some companies have benefited from the use of serif fonts in the design of their landing pages.

Serif fonts help entrepreneurs to promote their brands, set the tone of their pages, and position themselves with graphic design. The simplicity of fonts can give websites an aura of authenticity, which is very popular with users. To boot, serif fonts work in both social networks and blogs, which draws the eye.

Top Graphic Design Trends in 2022

Text-heavy videos

As the COVID-19 pandemic is still wreaking havoc around the world, the creators of video content won’t return to normal life anytime soon. Shooting original video content has become not only difficult but also completely impossible.

Things, which well-organized teams used to do, have ceased to exist (at least for now). Users get bored with standard videos that demonstrate a talking head very quickly. People will unavoidably miss watching creative videos, which served as both education and entertainment.

For these reasons, the idea of using animated graphics and text during the creation of videos can’t be bad. Actually, many companies have started following this trend by filling their accounts on social networks with text-heavy videos. The projects include content from their users, product explainers, and even simple announcements.

The good thing about text videos is that companies can maintain their uniqueness by using their brand colors, fonts, and voice in each of them. This helps them present a unified brand across all of their marketing channels.

Besides, as video shooting is minimum or absent, you need less time to handle these videos let alone the fact that they require less money than the ordinary ones. If it’s hard for you to make new videos from scratch, you can really give old videos new life with this technique.

Top Graphic Design Trends in 2022

Psychedelic design

Abstract psychedelia, which traces back to the hippie days of the 60s, is a technique of graphic design that originates from drug use and social unrest. Artists used to consider this art form an opening of minds, hence a gap with traditional art. This is the reason that most pictures created in those days reeked of chaos.

Some designers think that abstract psychedelia is about to come back in the new year. It will be presented with complex abstractions and a wealth of colors in graphic design. However, the use of grotesque and confusing images will be stabilized by symmetry while creating the view of order amidst the chaos.

Top Graphic Design Trends in 2022

Symbols, symbols, symbols

Symbols are a very powerful thing when it comes to information transfer or an attempt to elicit emotions. For instance, banners and flags affect people and road signs help to put chaotic traffic to order. Another peculiarity of symbols is that they are universal by their nature because they cross language and cultural boundaries.

Designers will be using symbols to create unique and flexible web designs in 2022. Medieval crests, symbols of divinity, and other classic visual effects serve as an example. In a way, designers will use them to keep off disappointments, which will inevitably come this year.

Top Graphic Design Trends in 2022

Muted colors

This direction was relevant last year when muted color palettes took over the graphic design for the first time. Expect to see more of this in the coming years. Put simply, muted colors are vivid colors that have had their edge taken off with an infusion of black, white, or a complementary color.

Years of bright and bold colors have passed and more and more people prefer muted colors. Multiple large companies have referred to these colors, an example being LinkedIn, which abandoned bright tones in a heartbeat. This has filled the platform of social networks with messages, which seem light and authentic.

Aside from the above-mentioned effects, muted colors also give off organic vibes, which makes them suitable for health and wellness brands. Other representatives of top brands of the world will find out about the advantages of using muted colors in graphic design and start supporting a new trend soon.

Another benefit of muted colors is that they blend well with text (a light or a dark one). When using these colors as a background, they make a text stand out on any Internet page or social media page.

Top Graphic Design Trends in 2022

Social slide decks

Social slide decks are a trend in themselves. For those, who remain unaware, slide decks on social networks are exactly what they sound like (step-by-step presentations in the form of slides). They are meant to be shared on social media and in messages. These innovations work most effectively and beautifully in LinkedIn and Instagram because these platforms use them to handle images by default. Besides, both platforms seem to want the users to use slide decks more often.

Designers can use sliders to repurpose the most important content from a blog post or even summarize an article. Slide decks are quite useful to activate your followers to take an action, without needing a direct link. They can be effectively used for B2C companies when launching products because they equally deliver messages in simple visual effects. You can use videos or images with their help to increase the audience’s engagement.

Top Graphic Design Trends in 2022

Surrealism

As it follows from the term, modern surrealism is a mix of realism and non-verifiable surrealism. This trend became popular in 2020 when we ended up drawn into a surrealistic world of science fiction with a killer virus that threatened the whole world. In the short run, the reality snapped into action and almost everyone accepted the concept of «a new normal».

Graphic designers were eager to reflect this new reality in their works by combining objects to form a weird mix, which at least seems vague to the senses. Although sometimes it’s a little confusing and looks creepy, such images can be disjointed by separating interwoven objects at the seams.

Many companies have accepted surrealism by using these images on book covers, album covers, posters, and even product labels.

Tendency 1: brands in movement

When you walk by a digital advertisement board, scroll a website, or use an application, you might notice that motion design is frequently employed. Most professionals believe it is beneficial. Martin Widdowfield, Robot Food creative director, says that a static image now is not attractive. As new innovative digital platforms appear and virtual reality develops, the brands now find new ways to keep afloat on the internet. Animation and movement are new ways to attract clients. He says that this trend impacts even inert materials like packs. Martins says that QR codes were practically dead before the pandemic, but now humans have a behavior pattern concerning scanning the information. To his mind, the way AR might develop the packs is impressive. He believes that this innovation will rapidly grow and spread over online advertisements. For example, it might also help to digitalize the widespread experience of unpacking.

A brand can now have its choreography and behavior that will provide individuality. This improvement has made a significant impact on the design industry. Design and promoting merged. To complete decent work, the designers should develop a deep understanding of movement, rhythm, and time in combination with software development skills. It is all in addition to their traditional design skills. 

Tendency 2: New Wild West 

Approximately five years ago, minimalistic geometrical forms were popular in design. But now, in a world torn by the pandemic and the economic crisis, this utopia aesthetic is sort of outdated. However, this style is still often met. Julius Colvin, Space Doctors associate director, claims that the opposite approach should be used. "The trend is a reaction to an increasingly harmonious and consistent graphic style defined by too many brands and businesses. Space is growing for something uneven, something raw, something real -- sharp collages, sharp contrasts, powerful neon, and irregular frames." The source of this approach is the Wild West of the early internet that chose chaos before harmony. "It's a space of acid green and terminal fonts, screenshots, and digital artifacts as fundamental design elements," Julius says. "These are designs based on new skills in the age of the creator economy, so this energy is not the completely unrestrained neon chaos of Internet 1.0. It's an enhanced version of digital chaos created by digital natives."

Tendency 3: crossing the borders

It quickly became a cliché, but only because it was true. Ali Ozden, Universal Favorite design director, says that not many people appreciated the global pandemics, but it made us think and work differently. It allowed us to work on international levels for foreign clients or with foreign talent. 

Destroying the digital borders is the unique perspective for the design world in 2022. It gives a chance to work with dream talent and clients. He says that in Universal Favorite, this meant working with clients from Korea and USA, hiring designers and artists from New Zealand or Berlin. The most exciting part is sharing the skills and experience, which helps reach better art results. Also, it influences the culture in general as we enter a new world after the pandemic.

Tendency 4: Giving up a fuss in favor of optimism and new experiences

There was a certain period when most talks at designers’ conferences were about increasing the income, such as increasing the freelancers’ rate or launching a startup. However, since March 2020, the priorities of the people have changed. 

Natalie Redford, Robot Food creative director, says that abandoning the culture of fuss and material values was the most noticeable. Now, success means being happy. Self-care and self-definition are the central priorities.

Perhaps, as a result, she reflects, we will see more eclecticism in design. "Does the clean and concise style fit with the notion of pleasure and indulging one's weaknesses? Does the principle  'more, more' fit the rejection of over-consumption? Maybe we will see a more authentic and undistorted aesthetic, and aspirations will become simpler. 

Whether next year will be positive, of course, remains to be seen. As Samantha Barba Giovanni, design director of ThoughtMatter, says, "Whether 2022 will mark a celebration of the post-pandemic world, no one knows. Next year will embrace more of the sensual, diverse, and emotionally satisfying trend experiences that we have lacked in our safe but confined homes in self-isolation. Our senses are ready to be stimulated."

Ellen Monroe, creative director of BrandOpus, shares the same sense of cautious optimism. "In a world full of seriousness, we see brands strive for a more festive and carefree look and feel. On a deeper level, we're seeing the growth of brands anchoring their meaning on positivity and joy."

Lately, the feeling has been exalted higher to provide a more emotional response. Vanity, buying products for the sake of buying them, is becoming a thing of the past, and feeling happy and optimistic about the brand is becoming much more critical.

How do you keep up with current trends?

As you can see, graphic design trends are constantly changing. Visual hierarchy and layout methods are developing according to a modern customer’s needs. Moreover, a logic of displaying visual elements is developing as designers seek to optimize the interaction with users.

Graphic trends in 2022, which have been described in this post, play a major role in the world of graphics and design. However, some of them will vanish and new ones will take their place. The most popular specialists will continue redefying the path of graphic design. The view will change, but it’s hard to say in which direction.

If you are a graphic designer, you have to learn your entire life to keep up with a snaking course taken by the design world. You need to constantly expand or change your specialization to stay relevant and adaptable.

First of all, if you’re just starting, such a platform as Adobe can be too expensive. You should consider the possibility of getting one of the alternatives of Adobe Photoshop CC.


Top Graphic Design Trends in 2022 key takeaways:
  1. Colorful minimalism
  2. Attention to inclusion
  3. Geometric shapes
  4. Simple data visualization
  5. Monochrome effects
  6. Classic serif fonts
  7. Text-heavy videos
  8. Psychedelic design
  9. Symbols, symbols, symbols
  10. Muted colors
  11. Social slide decks
  12. Surrealism
  13. Tendency 1: brands in movement
  14. Tendency 2: New Wild West 
  15. Tendency 3: crossing the borders
  16. Tendency 4: Giving up a fuss in favor of optimism and new experiences
  17. How do you keep up with current trends?
Merehead does professional development of graphic design trends 2022. If you have questions, contact us for a free consultation.

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Yuri Musienko
Author of the post
Merehead is a design agency

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