Oh, the joys of the new year. To celebrate the beginning of the decade people create resolutions, set new goals and seek new trends. Us, digital nomads are no exception. We have to stay updated on the latest graphic and web design trends in order to create beautiful things and set productive goals.
To start with, a trend isn‘t a phenomenon that comes out around and goes around or changes radically every year. Sudden jumps do not happen from watercolour illustrations and soft calligraphy fonts to hard cyber colours with surrealistic details. Trends evolve gradually, season by season, taking something old and turning it into something new. This is how the trend evolution works.
As we look back, 2019 brought a lot of changes and innovations in graphic and web design world. Fashion brands were the first ones to experience it. ASOS took courage and experimented with 90s style, cyber colours and unusual shapes. Slowly but surely, other industry brands took the lead and began experimenting with their brand identities too. 3D designs, bold and edgy typography, surrealism, open compositions and cyber illustrations were on the top.
As we look now at 2020, we have to say there will be fewer major changes. Macro trends, such as minimalism, colour gradients and heavy fonts will last for another year but other design aspects will evolve to a new level and bring some cool things. So let’s take a look at 2020 graphic and web design trends and see what they will look like.
Top 10 graphic and web design trends to look out for in 2020.
ARTWORK CREDIT: Charlotte Ross “An Bang Beach” @BEHANCE
Colour gradients will remain popular but shades will go more into Earthy and Vintage combos.
“I think the vintage style with modern elements and colours (and vice versa) will be very strong this year.” – KisaDesign, Top-Level designer at 99 designs
So, the gradient trend is not going anywhere in the 2020s. It will be used across so many directions and not only as a background. Colour filters will be included in complex illustrations and visuals for extra depth and structure. Instead of the bold and intense colours, muted palettes are coming and might be a thing this year. Simple colours slightly desaturated with a sense of vintage. Talking about vintage, 50s were amazing and became a great source of inspiration for designers. To convey a home feeling of 50s’ designs, web and graphic designers are slowly and gradually creating compositions by using earthy colour nuances and hand-drawn illustrations. The vintage trend will be progressing in the 2020s.
ARTWORK CREDIT: Thanawat Sakdawisarak “Personal Illustration 06” @BEHANCE
Abstract and dreamy illustrations will get branded and become more minimal.
Custom-branded illustrations are becoming an integral part of the brand identity system as well as becoming one of the key ways brands convey friendliness. We can expect to see more and more customized illustrations on the market this year.
In order to offer a truly unique experience, many brands have begun using illustrations that were divisive, inclusive and exceptional. Some brands have even experimented applying motion graphics in branded videos and achieved amazing results.
So in 2020, the illustration trend stays but gets more simplified and thrown back to minimalism. This twit will help brands to concentrate on sending the right message to their audience instead of placing focus on the art itself. Illustrations will tend to get oversimplified, playful, sketchy or even… childish. So if you are an amateur Picasso, it’s your time to shine.
ARTWORK CREDIT: StudioKxx Krzysztof Domaradzki “After Hours” @BEHANCE
Typography is staying edgy, bold and loud with personal touches of graphics.
“With minimalist trends going strong, there will be a need for more personalized connection with the audiences. This will lead towards type-based designs but with a personalized touch, creating trends such as graphical integrations in typography or totally customized typeface based designs. “ – Terry Bogard, Top Level designer at 99designs
In order to create more contemporary and unique work, designers are playing with typography big time. So, this trend is staying and blossoming in 2020 but in a more personalized way. The fonts are staying bold and heavy but branded characters will be the top key to typography’s’ season this year. This trend will evolve as personal and unique, building connections and bridges all the way up to reach the target audiences.
ARTWORK CREDIT: FOREAL® Studio “Google Loops” @BEHANCE
Motion graphics, gifs and animations will be the ultimate 2020’s win.
“Rather than simple motion graphics, animation sequences will evolve to be more of a story, involving continuous movement where each portion of the graphic is tied to the next scene. “ – says Adrianne Mesnard, Art Director at 99designs
This year, motion will be the one telling your brand’s distinctive stories. Isometric graphics will transform into fully animated and visually engaging solutions. Animation will be a powerful 2020’s machine, creating real and magical graphic journeys.
ARTWORK CREDIT: Darko Vujic “Modern flat design isometric illustration” @BEHANCE
Isometric compositions are going mainstream in 2020.
Isometric compositions are expecting to gain even more attention this year. Through 2019, this approach has made its way for 3D illustrations, by transforming 2D visuals into 3D shapes for playful yet realistic results. This method will continue to be used in infographic, website and presentation designs because of the magical usage of 3D objects on 2D surfaces.
ARTWORK CREDIT: Culto Creative “Cobalto” @BEHANCE
- LINE ART.
Simplified illustrations, minimal elements and textures are evolving this year.
Simplicity is the key to popularity this year, that‘s why line art has conquered graphic design world in 2019 and is staying in 2020. Back in the day, the trend of outline elements has been quite mass and now is evolving into fully illustrated and animated line art designs, textures and patterns. In other words, line art is a schematic and simplified illustration style, which is not realistic or detailed. This art is a perfect way to complement minimal style design concepts, as it looks clean, smart and elegant. It is a safe and professional approach to keep your brand up to date and fresh.
Augmented reality, thumb-friendly and disability-friendly designs are coming.
This year we are expecting to see better loading times, pleasant user experience and compatibility to mobile devices that can lead your website to better revenue generations. And let me tell you this: better revenues are always trendy. So, in order to achieve these results, brands are taking minimalistic approaches to their homepages.
Thumb-friendly navigation is a new concept of mobile web-design and it’s no surprise why: most mobile users are in permanent scroll coma. So this is why we advise you to keep the scroll ball game on and place your focus on creating mind-blowing user experiences.
Speaking about experiences. Augmented reality has been one of the most popular words used across the technology world. It is known for combining reality with virtual elements and making to appear as part of your reality. Digital nomads are predicting this rend eventually to take over the web world and place its focus, particularly on e-commerce. The virtual “TRY ON” button will allow costumers to experience realistic shopping features while being at home: virtually trying on clothes and placing furniture objects directly to their home interiors.
Finally, the Internet isn’t always “one size fits all” and every day inaccessible web design prevents billions of people in the disabled community from communication and easy online access. So if you want to have an all-inclusive website, consider adding features such as: integration of voice commands, colour-blind view and alt tags or subtitles and transcripts for videos. Make sure to integrate the disabled community as much you care of integrating a general user.
ARTWORK CREDIT: RED ANTLER “Follain” @BEHANCE
- STOCK PHOTOS.
Earthy with less perfection
“Brands are realizing the power in celebrating their consumers instead of promoting just one, outdated aesthetic,” she continues. “This has been happening mostly within the beauty and fashion sectors, but I think we’ll see it expand across different sectors as we move into 2020.” – Jennie Potts, design director at B&B Studio.
Stock photos and images usually follow main colour trends which means that in 2020 we will see a lot of more muted landscapes, genuine portraits and neutral stock photos. Perfectly polished Insta – feeds are giving way to real ones and brands are portraying people so that audiences feel a more honest connection. The culture of over-filtered images is shifting to un-retouched imaginary with real people representing truer diversity. In the 2020’s it’s all about less perfection.
ARTWORK CREDIT: Multiple Owners “YOOX: Make a Wish” @BEHANCE
- 3D & TEXTURES.
In 2020, 3D gets combined with other realities, photos and 2D objects.
The 3D reached its peak in 2019 and it certainly won’t slide down in 2020. We are saying a huge thank you to modern technology and software capabilities because we will keep seeing more stunning 3D methods used across the 2020’s. This year is adding layers of realism in textural experimentations to 3D graphic design compositions and we cannot wait to see where it will take us. So stay tuned.
ARTWORK CREDIT: Kimberlee Sue “Generations” @BEHANCE
- PERSONALIZATION – GENERATION ALPHA.
Welcome to personalization, story-telling and getting to know your target audience.
We already talked a lot about personalization and this is the main “keyword” used across 2020 graphics world. Typography, illustration, compositions, stock photos and colours – all getting more earthy, realistic and individual. It encourages brands to be curious about getting to know their target audience and placing their focus on the Alpha generation. Millennials are already in their forties, Gen Z entering their twenties so the future is in Gen Alpha: those born during 2010s. Gen Alpha are tech-savvy by nature and this will definitely influence brands micro-behaviours.
“Generation Alpha are now up to nine years old,” explains Lee Hoddy, creative partner at Conran Design Group. “But what they lack in age, they more than make up for in influence in the family dynamic and spending behaviour; so brands ignore them at their peril in 2020.”Hoddy predicts that in 2020 brands will start using much more than just visuals tools to communicate with their audiences. “Instead they’ll craft interface-less, designed moments that surprise and delight to create long term brand loyalty, and if you’re lucky, adoration. The opportunity for designers and brand guardians is massive.”
To sum up – 2020 in graphic and web design world is going to be really exciting. 2019 Futurism will stay but 2020 will take it into another level. Our focus will be placed on personalization, storytelling and branding along with strong typography, stunning colour combos, old but gold retro-style approaches, line art, doodling, and many more awesome trends. What are your personal favourites of 2020 graphic design trends?
We’d love to see what you think in the comments below. Stay creative and be on-trend.