A new year always brings new trends. But it’s hard to keep up to date with all that’s new. We get that. So we’ve put together a list of the top 10 design trends of 2022. Take a read and let us know if you’ve seen any of these trends prevalent in your day-to-day. If you want to design something trendy, or perhaps you’re in a creative rut and want to improve or add to your design, then perhaps give one of these trends a shot.
Design trends to look out for in 2022
1. ’90s nostalgia
Let’s start out by going back in time a little to the 1990s, also known as the era of pop culture, where grunge, pop, baggy clothes, zany typography and vivid colour palettes were trendy. Over the past few years, some of these trends have started making a comeback and designers are inspired by the likes of Nirvana with their grungy feel (dirty backgrounds, distressed textures, torn edges, etc.) or even Britney Spears and the use of bubblegum fonts (big and bubbly). Not to forget (if you are a gamer) the use of old school gaming devices like Ataris, Game Boys or even the cute little Tamagotchi pet. There’s plenty of inspiration to be found. Image source: Red Sage
2. Expressive experimental lettering
The biggest point to consider when it comes to expressive lettering is being able to express emotion through the font you are creating. Expressive typography is the merger between typography and visual communication. The goal is to be able to create copy that not only reads what you are trying to communicate, but also communicates the concept. Whilst many expressive typography examples are strictly copy with no colour or imagery, this is not a rule. Other examples are very expressive and have strong communicative elements. Image source: Soap Bubbles Photoshop Text Effect
3. Ukiyo-e flat design
Originally Ukiyo-e was a type of woodblock printing dating back to the 17th century in Japan. The aim of this design was to be minimalistic and it was created using simple line work and bold colouring. A contrast was then created between the simple design and dramatic, vibrant colours allowing the flat two-dimensional designs to have a sense of life. The idea of Ukiyo-e is to focus designs around one single subject and allow the line work and colours to emphasise it amongst a natural and beautiful background. Image source: Dandingeroz Designs
While this type of design can be aesthetically pleasing, it is also difficult to understand. In order to do anti-design, you need to have a good knowledge of the elements and principles of design because anti-design is the process of breaking those rules. Without understanding what the rules actually are, you won’t be able to find yourself bending/breaking the set rules effectively to create a new design. All anti-design is, in a nutshell, the idea of rebellion – rebelling against the common rules and guides of graphic design. Image source: Ian Douglas
5. 2D/3D mashup
2D/3D mashup is a simple concept to understand. It is the process of taking a 3D design and mixing it in with a 2D design. This process of 2D/3D mashup is creating a unique visual aesthetic that combines both depth and flatness. This combination can allow for some creative mashups. The hyper-realistic visuals of the 3D elements with the flat background of 2D paper cutouts make your main subject really pop. Image source: Multiple Owners
Psychedelic means mind manifesting and is the term given to portray the inner world of the psyche. The psychedelic style makes use of clashing, glaring and contrasting colours with loud textures and symmetry, objects are also inserted in a collage manner and sometimes given rubber-like distortions. Image source: Scott Balmer
7. Geometric shapes
When one thinks of geometric shapes, the first thing that comes to mind are things like triangles, squares, circles, etc. In design, shapes are 2D figures with clear boundary lines at the edges and become forms when you add a third dimension to it. Geometric shapes can be used on their own to create an image or they can be used as an accessory to accentuate the design. Image source: Freepik
8. Interactive data visualisation
Interactive data visualisation is the presentation of data (like graphs or charts) in a more graphical nature. By adding graphics to your data, it allows users/readers to better understand and follow what you are presenting, as it makes it more interesting. The goal of data visualisation is to be able to tell a comprehensible story through data and graphics as it takes a tenth of a second for a person to understand a visual scene. Image source: Stanford online
9. Serif fonts
Serif fonts are commonly recognised by the “little feet” that can be found at the end of letters. When searching for serif font examples, it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole of Google because there are MANY. If you’re looking to create some clean and elegant logos, justcreative has got some great serif font examples. Image source: Designcuts
10. Daydream doodles
Do you remember, as a kid, picking up a pencil and filling up a page with random drawings? That is doodling or daydream drawing. Doodling gives you an unobstructed view into your own mind, improves your attention (by providing you with just enough brain stimulation to prevent you from “zoning out”), can be used as an emotional outlet for those things you may struggle to put into words, and can also boost your creativity by keeping you in a state of mental awareness and daydreaming. It relaxes one to the point where things that could be in the back of your mind come to your conscious thought. Check out this article by 99designs. Image source: Yixin Zeng When it comes to design trends, that’s all they really are: trends. They will come and go, fade-in and fade-out, but it’s always a good idea to stay on top of the trends for each year. You never know what sweet little gems you may discover, or what trend might give you that little bit of inspiration to create something epic. To all the designers out there, keep creating and never stop being creative!
What design trends have we missed? Send us a comment.