Every year, graphic design trends show us how art can imitate life. These trends are a reflection of our ever-changing needs and perspectives as a society.
In 2022, we’re seeing a pull away from last year’s minimalism and monochrome colors to bold and diverse approaches. From 90’s nostalgia to touchable texture, handmade illustrations, and mind-blowing psychedelic elements. Collectively, 2022 is all about breaking free, restructuring perspectives, and channeling freedom through creativity.
Why graphic design trends matter
Graphic design trends help you create projects that communicate and connect to your audience in a timely way. By following and understanding trends, you’re communicating to your audience that you are plugged in and engaged with how consumer interests are evolving.
Like writer and activist, Toni Cade Bambara said, “the role of the artist is to make revolution irresistible”. In other words, graphic design trends aren’t only a sign of the times, they’re sometimes a catalyst to change themselves!
1. Blast from the past
The nostalgia train has made its way to the ’90s, where design rules were as loose as the clothing and as bold as the hair. Color blocks, neon color combinations, and bubble writing that once riddled subway walls are all back. If you’re looking to add a retro feel to your work, the 90s era is a goldmine of uninhibited creativity.
This trend has few restrictions, a glaring appeal, and child-like freedom of expression. With the Y2K aesthetic not far behind, 2022 is embracing digital design in its infancy. Play around with raw graphics, pixelated shapes, shadows, and iconic design elements you might find on an old Windows 98. There’s an innocent charm to it!
Last year’s minimalism trend was an escape from the instability and chaos of pandemic life. But this year, designers are using maximalism as an escape from uninspiring routines and restrictions.
We’re seeing bold, explosive typography, radical color combinations, and overwhelming elements. Electric blue and supercharged yellows, display fonts, and challenging 3D elements are all encouraged in 2022.
It can be a tad overwhelming at first, but their appeal is striking and unforgettable. Make it work by following the rules of graphic design through an unconventional lens.
3. Experimental fonts
Some designs are transcending language barriers by focusing on visual communication. Mundane sans serif fonts are taking a backseat in 2022, and fonts will speak through shape and color rather than words.
Display fonts and serif fonts are taking center stage as we see experimentation with how far legibility boundaries can be pushed while sustaining clarity. Be cautious with this trend, sacrificing legibility for cutting-edge design can backfire as poor design.
Check out these experimental logo fonts on Looka’s logo maker:
4. A handmade touch
Handmade illustrations and doodles are a prime graphic design trend in 2022. For business owners looking to add a human touch to their project, this trend is all about reconnecting to people with a hand-drawn appeal.
From quirky patterns to free flow illustration, all doodles are welcome this year! Add an artisanal and handmade touch to your products by implementing serif and cursive fonts as choice elements. It’s an ode to old-world craftsmanship and handmade arts!
The logos below have a handwritten logo font and a handmade illustration as their symbol. These elements are best suited for artisanal industries that need branding with a human touch.
Create your own unique logo now!
5. Rebellion revival
Last year’s rules and regulations put people in a funk, and we’re craving change. With the spirit of rebellion strong, grunge is getting a revival in 2022. The rules of composition, color, and hierarchy are being broken to make a point.
Grunge design comes with torn and ripped textures, dark tones of crimson, sapphire, and hints of violet. It’s all about breaking things to create something new in an anti-conformist style. There’s no wrong answer here! In fact, wrong answers are welcome. Do your worst!
6. Vintage minimalism
This year’s rendition of the vintage trend is a simple vintage color palette with muted pastel colors taking the lead. Designers are adding a twist by removing most elements and keeping it minimalistic. Think of the vibrant ’70s color palettes without all the tweed and florals.
Keep font pairs minimal, and use a modern font to add an edgy element like the olive oil branding below. This trend is great for projects that want to capture the playfulness of the 70’s while showcasing a modern element. It’s a great balance of past and present!
7. Blurs and gradients
Gradients and blurs have drifted into graphic design with a dreamy and tranquil effect. They have a futuristic allure that’s equal parts modern and psychedelic. Gradients create a soft smoky effect that gently morphs colors from one hue to the next. Functionally, gradients add focus to your designs and improve the appearance of overlaid text.
Blurs are great as a decorative effect or background element that highlights text or images. Also, It adds aesthetic to the design composition while keeping it minimalistic.
Statement patterns are repeating themselves this year, so we’re seeing original patterns that aim to stand out. From overlapping geometric shapes to unique fluid-like swirls, patterns can instantly distinguish your brand identity without crowding your composition.
8. Touch and feel
People use colors, shapes, and words to communicate and inspire in graphic design. But in 2022, we’re adding real-world textures like bubble gum, glass, grainy paper, and flowy silk to include a physical feel to design.
When designing a project, look beyond digital confines and add layers of physical sensation through texture. From the fizz of soda to a soft cloth, textures stimulate a sense of touch your audiences can relate to – and crave.
9. Down to earth
With the sustainability conversation growing, designers are embracing climate awareness and infusing their designs with natural elements, textures, and earthy color palettes.
This trend is about being inspired by the sturdiness of rocks, the oscillating sea, bright fresh fruit, and lush forest canopies. Like a breath of fresh air, designers want to channel nature’s sensations through their designs. Ideally, this trend is great for branding, website design, and packaging food or nature-based products.
10. Sci-fi psychedelia
While some designers are getting inspired by our planet, others are taking inspiration from the vast unknown beyond it. With interest in space travel is at an all-time high, designers are embracing it with ethereal shapes and otherworldly elements.
Although this design trend isn’t suitable for all industries, it’s for projects that aim to shatter our perceptions of what is possible. Take inspiration from sci-fi or fantasy movies like Dune, Star Wars, and The Mandalorian to kick off your designs.
In this case, the sky is not the limit. Push your creativity beyond the comforts of the earth!
Jump on the graphic design trends of 2022
Design is everywhere, and staying in tune with graphic design trends gives you the advantage of being relevant, open-minded, and spot-on with your projects. So, here are the graphic design trends of 2022:
- 90’s and Y2K
- Experimental fonts
- Handmade illustrations
- Grunge and brutalism
- Vintage minimalism
- Blurs and gradients
- Real textures
- Earthy elements
- Sci-fi psychedelia
Although this year’s graphic design trends feel like a bit of everything, they’re only a reflection of the changing world around us. With so many trends to try out, It makes the playground of graphic design boundless and exciting. Try on different perspectives and go out there to create meaningful, world-changing work. We’re rooting for you!