Schools Training

Emerging Graphic Design Trends

12 APR 2013
Career Path : Computers and Technology

While trying to follow trends can be counter-productive to creating original products, any graphic designer should be aware of recurring features influencing the industry at any given time without succumbing to blind imitation. After all, clients want to work with designers that offer them creations that will be cutting edge when they’re released.


Geometric Design

This design type is a combination of minimalism, simplification and experimentation with basic shapes. At their best, geometric designs are eye-catching not just from the boldness of patterns but also from the colour used and are on the rise because of the popularity of infographics. Infographics engage viewers by encouraging them to move their eyes around the whole image, not just scrolling down a page. The key is balancing the colour scheme with generally neutral tones interspersed with strategic dashes of bright colour. Repeating internal patterns must be carefully coordinated to avoid outright chaos. New 3D production technologies are working well with these designs.



Sophistication and clarity may emerge from limiting the amount of colours or leaving plenty of white space. Large, simple imagery can do the talking for paragraphs of text and big, bold typography directs the viewer’s attention to the most important content. Many of the big brands have found stripping back their logos increases their versatility by being able to be applied over diverse surfaces. This trend has only been growing since last year and is increasingly evident in web design courses.



Many graphic designers are compiling their own letterforms from “modular construction kits”, often coming in hybrid forms that combine multiple elements in an interesting fashion. These decorative fonts can complement the rest of the content. Hand-written type is another trend that adds unique personality to contrast with slick digital design in these times of polished perfectionism. Vintage and retro letterpress typography also promises to be prominent over the coming year.



Many graphic designers are incorporating original hand-drawn illustrations into designs as a mode of unique expression, harder to copy than digital work. At the same time, illustrators are becoming multidisciplinary artists fusing their digital and hand drawn work with photography and animation to enhance their versatility and create original, boundary-pushing pieces. Operating in a multiple medias opens doors to being commissioned for music videos, apps and video games.


Vintage Style

More artists are integrating vintage and found objects into modern design techniques, while others are making the aesthetic choice of making new designs look old or “classic”. Combined with a trend towards art deco, this may be known as the “Instagram effect.”



Neon is out in favour of bold and vibrant colours of intense shades. Emerald green seems to be the colour of choice for fashionistas. Large, transparent blocks of colour with contrasting hues are popular.


These are only some of the more pervasive trends affecting the industry that students in graphics design courses should be aware of but as always, the clever designer will zig when the others zag to invent the next trend.



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