Trends in design in 2020

The beginning of the new decade brings fresh trends that will surely leave a big mark on the upcoming period. Original thinking and approaches are emerging, and social events inspire creators with innovation that creates the atmosphere of the upcoming years.

Graphic design trends have also reached a major milestone with 2020, and although it will probably be a few years before the twenties truly leave their mark, designers can already outline what awaits us in the near future in this field.

Let’s take a look at some graphic design trends that are already marking the new decade.

A combination of abstract and realistic 3D graphics

The three-dimensional design method was already in place in 2019, and it seems like the trend will only intensify. This technique is a lot of work for designers who will have to keep doing it with a good deal of patience, but the excellent results that elevate a company or campaign from the average are well worth the effort.

A 3D illusion is most often created by combining typography, images and abstract shapes that mostly reflect a company’s brand. Bright and vibrant colours, gradients, various textures (bubbles) and materials (glass, metal, plastic) predominate. This is how designers create a youthful and upbeat aesthetic look.

Source: Dribble


Source: Omar Aqil and Rob Juarez


Source: Jerry Shu


Source: George Stoyanov


Colour gradients

Designers too can feel the influence of Instagram on popular culture in various areas. When the Instagram logo in 2016 was transformed into a minimalist gradient icon, the popularity of this technique increased dramatically. Gentle gradients from one colour to another or sharp coloured edges that divide into several parts can be observed. In 2020, we expect that gradients will play an even more important role in various types of design, especially in illustration.

Instagram logotype


Source: Siti Dahlia


Source: Happy F & B


Organic sense of design

Over the last decade, we have noticed many brands, campaigns and even products that have focused on organic, soothing and natural designs. In response to our relationship with our increasingly exhausted planet, our increasingly digitized society, and our lack of time to build genuine relationships, we can expect this trend to grow even more in 2020.

In brands that have even become a part of our lifestyle and operate predominantly on digital channels (such as Uber), we can see the simplicity and softening of lines using simpler typography, round and lower case letters, and clean, realistic icons. In recent campaigns of well-known brands such as adidas, we can notice a greater emphasis on the honesty of photographs and styling, with an emphasis on real individuals and less staged environments. This kind of design indirectly highlights the enormous importance that genuine conversations and live gatherings have in our lives.

Good Things Brewing Company uses simple graphics that are rich in meaning (Image credit: Good Things)


Realism combined with flat design

Flat design, in combination with 3D shapes, is gaining in popularity. There is a tendency to combine individual elements from both worlds (straight or flat and 3D design) to create unique combinations. Here, it is possible to combine digital 3D and flat graphic elements, or create collages from photos, and add graphic elements as on a Madgiel Lopez poster. His work is a great example as it represents a bridge between simple, flat-surface elements and complex, authentic realism, thereby interacting with the digital and real world.

Magdiel Lopez combines realism and flat design to stunning effect (Image credit: Magdiel Lopez)


Animations, GIFs and moving visual elements

GIFs have become a part of our everyday lives and we can hardly imagine online communication without them. As GIFs progress, the popularity of various animations, moving logos and moving statistics is growing too.

Animations are a great tool for refreshing brand identities as they add uniqueness and draw even more attention of the viewers.

Data has become the most important asset in the digital world. As its value is constantly growing, so is the need for their proper visualization and presentation to a wider audience. Simplifying the presentation can make the data much more memorable and interesting for the user, so a great increase of animations in this area is expected.

Source: Dribble


A fluid hand-drawn animation by Konstantin Kostenko


An animation with seamless transitions by lautzip


Source: Mailchimp



More and more global brands are creating distinctive illustrations. In doing so, they express their own style and identity, and differ from competitors. We can expect more and more companies to communicate with illustrations embodying their mission in the upcoming year.

Let’s take a look at Airbnb and Slack as an example. The Airbnb brand’s mission is much better served by illustrations that are much more airy, bright and line-illustrated. In the case of Slack, however, these are much more geometric, textured and filled. Both styles create a distinct personal touch and further revitalize the brand.

Source: Airbnb


Source: Slack


We can also notice the beginnings of many other trends – from various types of fonts to “toned-down” colours, more authentic photographs, futuristic and asymmetrical shapes, and more. That is why it is all the more important that we constantly monitor both domestic and world happenings and see right away which events and techniques are of great interest, and consequently implement it in our own work.

With all the predictions and trends, what remains important is that we have our own style and give free rein to our imagination.

May 2020 be full of fresh ideas and great masterpieces!

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