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Top Graphic Design Trends for the New Year

posted by Michael Epps Utley Michael Epps Utley
Dodgeball seo top graphic design trends in 2022

How people access information has changed dramatically in the last two years. People consume and engage with content in more and different ways than ever before.

  • Words are out. Videos are in.

  • Small screens are hot. Big ones are not.

  • Infographics are cool. Charts and graphs are old school.

This is forcing an epic change in how graphic designers approach their work.

In this article, we’ll share some of the latest graphic design trends the graphic designers we partner with are incorporating into their work.

Current Graphic Design Trends

Minimalism with Some Color

Most people think of minimalism as a whole lot of black and white, with maybe a bit of gray and beige added in.

Over the past year, all that has changed. Apple, known for its simple black and white designs, leads the way by adding some muted color to their brand color palette and marketing experiences.

Other brands have gone further, with their designers staying minimal by eliminating unnecessary elements while adding bright colors that grab attention and guide the eye.

This has resulted in greater sophistication than traditional minimalism and allowed designers more creative freedom.

New for 2022: If you have a brand known for its minimalism and you’re finding it challenging to break through in the current cluttered marketing and media environment, adding some color to your brand color scheme could help you get the consumer attention you crave. It will also help you — and the people in your consumer base — see your brand in a new light.

Authentic Inclusion

Inclusiveness in representation has been around since the 1960s. So what’s changed?

Ever since the Me Too movement and Black Lives Matter, companies and their designers have been forced to get diversity right. At last.

For example, Rihanna has been a leader in this, representing all kinds of women in authentic ways that make them feel genuinely beautiful. Victoria’s Secret, trying to do the same thing in a less authentic way, came close to blowing up its business.

It’s no longer enough to merely represent racial, gender, cultural, sexual, and other forms of diversity in marketing and communication experiences. A brand has to be genuinely inclusive throughout.

New for 2022: The reason your graphic designers may not be able to represent your brand as inclusive is that it isn’t really inclusive. If you haven’t reviewed your brand with an eye toward inclusion in the last few years, it’s time. It’s the only way it will be viewed as genuinely diverse.

Geometric Shapes Are Back

It may seem a bit like Sesame Street, but shapes are back to being a thing in the world of marketing and communication design.

Designers are using them to define brands, guide the eye, make images more interesting, and more.

People have grown tired or numb to the amorphous abstractions that were trendy during the last decade. Circles, squares, triangles, and arrows that define, communicate and direct the eye are hot again.

New for 2022: If your brand design has gotten a little abstract, it could be time to tighten it up and clarify it. Consumers are no longer responding to meaningless shapes and abstraction. They don’t have the time to deal with the clutter that they did during the pandemic. Use clear shapes that communicate things. If the elements you’re using aren’t meaningful, eliminate them.

Data Communication at a Glance

The bombardment of information consumers get online and through social media has left them questioning what’s real and what’s not. That’s why, more and more, they turn to data to prove that a claim is real. If the data isn’t clear and compelling, they move on.

This is the reason graphic designers are being encouraged by their marketing partners to come up with clear, simple, and compelling ways to present data and other numeric information.

Designers must leverage data to tell a simple story at a glance. The best infographics and data-based images are able to do this.

New for 2022: Designers should become familiar with the latest data design trends and challenge themselves to take them to the next level. Data is no longer a math problem. It’s a storytelling device.

Unique Photo Effects

It’s all Instagram’s fault. It’s no longer enough for a photo to be a photo. It’s got to be tinted, treated, and totally unique. If your photos are too traditional, they may fall flat with today’s viewers. It’s why more and more brands are using photo treatments as a part of their brand identity.

New for 2022: If the images used in your company’s designs are too basic, it might be time to find a way to make them more original, compelling, and interesting. However, we’re hedging our bets on this trend. Some experts are telling us that people may be getting tired of falsified photos and may want to see a return to absolute authenticity.

The Serif Is BACK

Maybe it’s because we’ve been modern for too long. It could be a desire for authenticity. Perhaps it’s simply because they’re more readable, even online and on a smartphone screen. What are we referring to? Serif fonts are returning to vogue.

Serif fonts date all the way back to the 15th century. They are the font types that have added embellishments at the top and bottom — or on both sides — of letters. By comparison, san serif fonts are more modern and streamlined.

Serif fonts evoke feelings of nostalgia, elegance, and intelligence. Many companies have benefited from the use of serif fonts because they convey seriousness. The embellishments also tend to guide the eye, making them easier to read than san serif fonts

New for 2022: If you’re stuck in a Helvetica or Arial rut, it could be time to change things up and explore some san serif font options. It could be a great way to refresh your brand in the new year.

Symbols

Symbols are a very powerful tool when it comes to conveying information or eliciting emotions.

  • Arrows, for example, are a good way to guide the eye and point out what’s important on a page.

  • Two symbols joined together can demonstrate unity.

  • A heart symbol can convey love more simply and powerfully than words can.

Another interesting aspect of symbols is that they are universal because they cross language and cultural boundaries.

The increased use of symbols in design can be traced back to the emergence of emojis in social media. It got people used to “reading” without words. The trend will only continue and expand in 2022 and beyond.

New for 2022: Have you considered adding some unique symbols to your brand elements? If you use them a lot in your marketing and communication, they could be as important to your brand as your typefaces, imagery, brand colors, and logo. Take time to work with your design team to find a way to make your symbols stand out and align them with your brand.

From GoEpps in Nashville, Tennessee

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