It’s a new year and a new decade, which means it’s time to take a look at the graphic design trends for 2023. Whether you’re just starting out as a graphic designer or a professional looking to refresh your portfolio, here’s everything you need to know about what’s hot in the world of graphic design this year.
1. Understanding Graphic Design Trends in 2023
- Responsive Design
Graphic designers now look to create responsive designs that quickly adapt to the needs of any device, from PC to mobile. Responsive designs make sure that all of your content fits perfectly and looks great on any screen.
- Material Design
The Material Design trend is based on thoughtful lighting, colors, shadows, and textures— creating designs that feel light, subtly alive, and gesture-driven. The goal is to create user experiences that are smooth, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing.
- 3D Design
3D designs are growing in popularity in 2023, allowing graphic designers to add great depth and detail to their work. Whether it’s a minimalist cartoon-style character design or an intricate object or space, 3D designs open a world of possibilities.
- Dramatic Typography
Typography isn’t just for texts anymore— it can now be a focal point in graphic design. Bold, readable fonts can be used to make a bold statement in a design, like the cover of a magazine or a web page for a retail store. Combined with other elements, like dramatic colors, typography can be used to create stunning visuals.
- Mix & Match
Graphic design trends in 2023 are all about mixing and matching elements. It’s up to the designer to create something that’s unique, blending concepts from various trends to create a look that’s one-of-a-kind.
2. The Main Themes and Influences Transforming Graphic Design
Graphic Design Tools
- Adobe Creative Cloud
- Affinity Designer
- CorelDraw Graphics Suite
- Gravit Designer
Graphic design is a rapidly changing landscape. As the current year rolls in, 2023 is predicted to be the year of minimalist design and the utilization of mobile design. Additionally, with the rapid advancements in technology, tools have become more readily available for graphic designers, leading to a more innovative graphic design industry.
The most popular tools out there today are those under the Adobe Creative Cloud umbrella, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign; accompanied by Affinity Designer, CorelDraw Graphics Suite, and Gravit Designer. Those already in the know are leveraging these tools to create cutting edge visuals in shorter design cycles.
- Responsive Design
- Mobile Design
- Improved Interactivity & Animations
- UX/UI Design
User-centricity is the core philosophy of 2023’s graphic design trends. Conversions, retention, and engagement are the metrics driving the focus on user-experience design. Many designers are becoming UX/UI designers to develop attractive user-interfaces emphasizing the end-user’s experience. To implement this, elements such as responsive design, mobile design, inteste animations have come to the forefront.
- Clean & Crisp Designs
- Subtle Visual Stimuli
This trend is of course not new, but it continues to be a driving force of modern graphic design. In 2023, many businesses are incorporating minimalism into their graphic design. Cleaner and more elegant designs are trending, combined with subtle visual stimulation. This minimalistic approach should offer breathing space to the user, along with highlighting important visuals and information. Thus, only the most important elements should be present in the design. All of this translates into wrapping a message in a beautiful package, without oversaturating the visuals.
3. Advancing Digital Art and Design
Graphic design has evolved over the years and 2023 is no exception. Here’s what’s ahead for graphic designers this year.
- Dynamic Typography – Expect to see dynamic typography become more popular this year. Playful, attention-grabbing fonts will be widespread, helping designers create eye-catching visuals.
- Simplicity and Minimalism – Minimalist visuals that are easy to understand and visually pleasing will continue to be increasingly popular. Stripped-down designs with a focus on content will be preferred.
- Hand-Drawn Elements – Hand-drawn elements continue to be popular this year. The tactile artwork helps create a unique feel to each design, adding a level of personalization.
- Retro Themes – Expect to see a blast from the past this year as retro-inspired designs continue to be popular. Using old techniques and technology with an old-school look and feel is sure to make this trend last into 2023.
- Glitch Art – Glitches have become popular in graphic design as they tend to add an unexpected and unique flair to designs. This trend will continue to be popular this year with an emphasis on visuals that incorporate glitches in interesting and inventive ways.
These design trends will shape the future of graphic design in 2023. Creative designers will continue to push boundaries and create fresh visuals that will captivate audiences.
4. Smart Color Palettes for Strategic Branding
As we enter a new year, you can see new visual trends entering the market, some lasting, and some quickly passing. Among those that have lasting effects on your business’s marketing presence is color. Selecting the right colors for your branding should be strategic and make sure to use color palettes that will stand out. Here are five tips to help with your color palette this year:
1. Mimic Nature’s Vibrancy - As designers are turning more to nature as a source of inspiration, expect to see a heavier presence of bright and vibrant palettes. This means mixing lilac purples, sunny yellows, robins egg blues and a variety of other natural colors together in unique and creative ways.
2. Keep the Palette Small - Intentionally keeping your palette small makes sure any colors you do use stand out more boldly. Choose two or three colors that are suitable to your business and make sure they fit together well. Don’t overwhelm the design with too much color to keep the overall message simple and clean.
3. Use Metallic Accents – Adding metallics to your color palette can subtly reinforce the feel you are trying to capture with the main four or five colors. Not to mention they can also help add a feeling of luxury to your branding efforts. These metallics can be used in background elements and accent colors.
4. Try the Monochrome Route – Sticking to a single color scheme but using different values and tints of the same hue will bring uniformity to the design. Multiple versions of the same color give a classic look that stands the test of time in regard to visual trends.
5. Play With Gradients – Gradients bring great contrast, without relying on many colors. Two complementary colors merged together and faded will add a touch of depth to your design. Plus, people are naturally drawn to gradients for their visual interest. This can be very helpful with any content posted on social media.
5. Unexpected Typefaces with Stand-Out Impact
As we enter into 2023, we’re beginning to see some interesting unconventional typefaces make an impact on graphic design. Though some of these types are steeped in history, many are modern-day alternatives with an unexpected twist.
- Egyptienne: this elegant slab serif typeface has a scholarly, bookish quality to it and was popularized in 1850s England.
- Ex Ponto: designed by Jasja Hahn in 2014, this font is striking and dramatic despite its thin layout.
- Rowandra: this curvy script typeface is unique and modern with a nod to 1970s yacht club style.
- Chequered Ink: this modern font is inspired by traditional circus lettering and is sure to turn heads.
- Bignord: this textured typeface is eye-catching and intriguing; its sharply angled serifs make for an unexpected typeface.
From traditional Egyptian themed fonts to modern circus influenced type, these typefaces can bring a bold and powerful message to any graphic design project. Try incorporating one of these unexpected fonts into your next project for a truly unique design.
6. The incorporation of Serifs in Graphic Design
Serifs are decorative typographical elements found at the end of the stokes of any typeface. Since 2023 has been all about technical and visual advances, it’s no surprise that has become trendy. Amongst the benefits of utilizing it are:
- Add more visual impact to designs
- Provide an extra layer of security to the message
- Improve legibility
- Invoke an air of sophistication and elegance
Pixel Perfection – adding a serif to a design adds a level of precision to the work. It emphasizes detail, allowing you to bring out the beauty of a design or message. As a result of this level of perfection, it has become increasingly popular in everything from print publications to website design.
Readability – serifs can be used to effectively create a readable and attractive layout. They can be used to differentiate between titles and other text, increasing legibility. They also provide a subtle touch of finesse to a project.
Versatility – serifs can be used to create a range of different looks. From more traditional projects, to more modern and minimalistic. This means they can be used in a variety of different projects with varying levels of success.
In conclusion, this is an important trend for 2023. With its versatility, precision and legibility, it’s easy to see why it has become such a popular choice for designers and other creative professionals.
7. Craftsmanship and Handmade Illustration
is a great trend for graphic design in 2023. It can create unique visuals and stunning backgrounds that are reminiscent of traditional art forms. The emphasis is on quality, rather than quantity, and the one-of-a-kind feeling of handcrafted illustrations can bring a project to life in a way that digital designs simply cannot.
To create a handmade look, designers are experimenting with mediums such as watercolor, acrylic, paper, and textiles. Fresh symmetry and intricate line work are also big trends, and can create a unique style for design pieces. Layering elements is another great way of incorporating handmade elements into a design – from cutting out paper and stacking them to photo-froming layered elements, intricate layers can bring an illustration to life.
Some of the top handmade and craftsmanship-inspired trends for this year are:
- The use of natural materials and textures
- Colorful and abstract compositions
- Unique typography design
- Realistic 3D illustrations
- Layered and intricate line work
This trend looks set to stick around as it continues to bring an organic and unique feel to graphic design. Experimenting with traditional and innovative techniques can lead to unique projects, and can help a design stand out from the crowd.
8. Resetting the Design Conversation with Outlooks and Attitudes
2023 is the year of novel design trends with unusual outlooks and attitudes – pushing the boundaries of creativity to its fullest potential. Here’s a fresh list of what’s hot in the world of graphic design right now:
- 3D Typography – Embrace the eye-catching aesthetics and create an impact with the third dimension.
- Geometric Shapes – Make statements with clean lines, unique shapes, color gradients, and bold compositions.
- Neon Illuminations – Glow up with futuristic neon illuminations that make ordinary designs stand out.
Apart from the modern trends, outdated design styles such as retro designs and vintage typography elements make a renaissance through modernization. As a result, timeless design trends are making a triumphant return while setting the stage for an exciting reinterpretation of classic aesthetics. With the changing design environment, the creative possibilities are endless and no idea is too bold.
9. Graphic Design Tools and Technology to Utilize
- Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard for digital image manipulation; with its powerful editing capabilities, there’s no limit to what photos and images can be turned into. New features in the latest version include improved retouching, enhanced 3D compositing, and a vast selection of filters and effects.
- Adobe Illustrator lets designers create incredible illustrations, banners, logos, and other artwork for print and digital media. Its highly intuitive vector drawing tools make drawing and editing shapes and lines effortless.
- Canva is a new online graphic design platform that offers powerful features with an easy-to-use interface. Designers can quickly assemble images, shapes, fonts, and colors into professional-looking designs, with access to a library of templates and stock photos.
- Inkscape is a vector-based drawing program that can be used to create logos, icons, and other graphics. With Inkscape’s diverse and powerful feature set, even complex designs can be created quickly and easily.
- CorelDRAW is a software suite for creating professional graphics, logos, and cartoons for both print and digital media. With CorelDraw, lay out and resize objects more accurately, work faster with fewer steps, and produce stunningly realistic images.
- Gravit Designer is an open-source graphic design program that is quickly becoming the preferred application for many graphic designers. It offers a variety of features such as vector manipulation, image manipulation, and even web-based design.
Graphic design in 2023 is all about bold, bright colors that pop. Fresh and modern design techniques, such as kinetic typography and geometric shapes, are favorites among professional designers. Designer’s are also finding creative ways to mix color palettes and are pushing the boundaries of visual storytelling through inventive use of fonts and imagery. To get started with great graphic design, there are a variety of tools and technology available. Whether you want to create a logo, illustrate a concept, or design a website, the following tools and technology can help you to create beautiful and engaging designs.
10. Final Considerations for Contemporary Graphic Designers
1. Keep Up With Social Media Trends – Social media trends come and go, and knowing what’s popular on the various platforms is essential for graphic designers. From Instagram Story filters to LinkedIn user engagement, staying in the know is necessary for ensuring campaigns are relevant and successful.
2. Embrace Minimalist Design – Gone are the days of maximalism in design – 2023 is leaning toward a simpler design aesthetic that embraces minimalism. Finding a balance between whitespace and images is a necessity.
3. Incorporate Illustrations – Graphics design isn’t always about traditional photography – incorporating illustrations in campaigns can add life and personality to campaigns. Using custom illustrations is a great way to make a design piece stand out from the competition.
4. Utilize Color Psychology – Smart graphic designers use color psychology to influence people’s behavior through design. Various colors can evoke different reactions, so understanding how to effectively utilize hues is key in successful campaigns.
5. Master Mobile Design – There’s no ignoring the power and popularity of mobile devices in today’s market. When designing a website or an advertisement, mobile optimization is essential. Designers should stay ahead of the game and be conscious of how their work is being viewed on a mobile device and in multiple browsers.
6. Diversify Your Skills – Taking the time to diversify your skillset is a great way to expand the services you can offer to clients. From coding to animation, having various tools in your arsenal will help you gain clients in various industries.
7. Experiment and Take Risks – Graphic design trends constantly change, and taking a risk can land you with a successful (and profitable!) campaign. Experimentation will give you insight into what resonates with your audience, and help you understand how to target them better.
8. Know Your Tools – Although experimentation and new tools can help a designer stay ahead of the competition, knowing the basics of graphic design tools is a must. Staying aware of new features or tools within various design programs is key to ensuring the highest quality of design.
9. Understand Your Audience – Knowing your audience is key to being successful in any industry, and this is especially true with graphic design. Some demographics will respond better to certain designs, so understanding the target audience of a project (and adapting the work accordingly) is a must.
10. Stay Informed – Education never ends for a graphic designer. Staying informed of new trends, developments within the industry, and style changes is essential for being at the forefront of the industry.
As we head into the second half of 2023, it’s time to look forward to what this year’s graphic design trends have in store. Whether you’re a designer or a consumer of design, embrace these new trends and use them to create a beautiful and timeless piece of design work.