I have been doing extensive research and digging around to find the top trends for 2021's graphic designers. I have complied a list of the top 7 and I am here to spread the good news! I waited a few months in to the year because not everyone's predictions are always accurate. But with this list, I can guarantee that it is accurate because I see it almost everyday on sites (Behance, Pinterest, Dribble). With that said, I felt like now was a better time than ever to share my findings with everyone! Away we go!
Note: there are more than 7 trending graphic design creations, but these are my favorites. Also LUCKY Number 7!
1. Monochrome & Duotones
By definition Monochrome means: a photograph or picture developed or executed in black and white or in varying tones of only one color. And Duotone means: a halftone illustration made from a single original with two different colors at different screen angles.
Now that we have had a vocabulary lesson, let me explain a little more in detail! Designers these days have been using monochrome and duo tone colour schemes, because it is convenient to keep structure, harmony and balance within what you're designing whist still being able to spread your creative wings and really express oneself. The idea behind monochrome and duotones are to bring a calming and more relaxed vibe to the audience or viewer(s). Since so many of us spend hours upon hours in front of screens, this is a nice way to give our eyes a break and not have so much in our face, like everything else. You have heard of decision fatigue? Well eye fatigue is a thing too, and many people suffer from the strain computers and other screens put on our eyes, So this fun and funky way of designing with colors is a benefit to viewers as well! (They may even just like your site and business best of all because they feel so relaxed and content ~ something to think about!)
2. Type Chaos Craze
Type is the style or appearance of printed matter, also not printed matter cause it can be on screens. Anyways, people seem to be experimenting with type more and more these days. But not in terms of creating their own typography, but rather, the opposite. People enjoy breaking the rules of typeface now and mix it up by scrambling letters, words, alignment, shape, and its honesty the best fit for 2021, given the last year we had. Type is seen as and created through a cultural influence as well. It is something that takes us back eras, decades and gives us a different feel, that is the beauty of type. But with this new fad, it has created a brand new nuance in the type world!
3. Nature Inspired
I think this is my favorite trend because I love framed botanicals! This one is also self explanatory, but I will explain anyways. Nature inspired design is not only designs like the botanicals that hang on my bedroom wall, but it is also taking earthy colors and tones, softer, muted colour pallets, and more natural shapes. This trend is not just for shits and gigs either. It actually "flourished" (pun) out of the pandemic and people desiring for the outdoors due to extended periods of being indoors. Personally, I love it, like I previously stated. I think we need more earth in our life and recognize that nature is beautiful. Design is also not the only thing that is going au natural! Most products in America are going green and taking it to the natural extreme! Go us!
4. Emojis Galore
Want to explain emotion through text, type or writing? Just call upon the emoji for your pictogram needs! Emojis are being used more and more than just over text messaging. You see them on packaging, labels, billboards, menus, and other commercial items. Sometimes they are even buttons on a screen or on a counter to express how you enjoyed the place of business and their service. It is crazy that this is the newest form of communication for all ages, and people love it. The biggest benefit I feel that emojis bring to the table is they convey the message clearly. You will never mistake information if there is a smiley face below it. Or even an angry emoji. Welcome to the 21st century folks, we now use little character faces to express how we feel and spread information.
Somewhat similar to monochrome and duotone, there is colorless. This is just plain black and white though, aka colorless. 2020 was the year of muted tones and pallets but now that were in 2o21 were taking it a step further and going no color at all. Seems opposite from what you would want, bright popping colors, eye catching reds, or maybe some cool moody blues.... but as we have seen with type, 2021 is the year of rebellion and doing 180s. So there you have it! Go no color, go colorless and see how your design turns out! You will certainly be on trend!
6. Gold Gold and more Gold
Ok, and now were back to having color, LOL! Just kidding this is a little different, this isn't just adding color to your logo. This isn't for the faint of heart. This is GOLD! Whether it be a trim of gold, 3 dimensional, or a shiny metallic, people are GOING FOR THE GOLD!!! (Olympics reference). It is so simple yet so elegant. It brings warmth to any design. It adds contrast to everything it is in and is sure to bring aw out of your audience! So do it, go for the gold, you won't regret it! As a side note, try Fortuna Gold with these two colors: Set Sail Champagne and earthy Tidewater Green.
"Historically, gold hues were the markers of religion and royalty, symbolic of both celestial light and the monarch’s divine right to rule. In Buddhism, gold is a particularly sacred color. It is the tint of monks’ robes and the aura of enlightened individuals. Meanwhile, in Ancient Egypt gold was known as the “flesh of the gods,” and artisans adorned sacred murals and statues in gold leaf." -Discover the 2021 Color Trends: Fortuna Gold
7. All About the Cartoony Characters & Mascots
Stand out among your competitors and get yourself a mascot! It is a fun and super easy way to brand yourself and have a little character be the center of attention for your business. This category and your character, the options are endless; Minimalistic, super digital, graphic, sleek, you name it! Then you get to choose if you want a dog, cat, mouse, person, or Monarch (wink wink) Just kidding that is my mascot, so no copy cats! Anyways, I really love this trend and I am glad it is becoming more growingly popular in the design world. The most satisfactory part of having a mascot on a logo or brand is that you will never not receive a positive look from your audience when they see the face of your business. I think we could always use a good mascot, character or icon in business branding! Have a little fun in life, be imaginative and be different.
I hope you enjoyed this lesson and rundown on the latest 2021 design trends! As always email, DM, reach out for any questions or info you have to share with me! Thank you to all the sources I read and learned these hot topics from, I could not do it without you! Have a great month of March and I hope you stick around for more future blog posts and podcasts!