2019 was a year where taking risks in design was considered normal. What design trends can you look forward to this year? As we round the corner into a new decade, we may see a softening of some of 2019’s more abrasive trends and a shift toward simplified contrasts when designers want to be bold.
Here’s a sneak peek at five design trends to watch for in 2020:
1. Beautiful Flowing Shapes & Lines
The last few years have brought an abundance of geometric, rigid, proper shapes. In the new year, these will be replaced by more flowing shapes, patterns, and lines. Flowing shapes can convey a natural, abstract, peaceful feel on a page. Whether you use a soft speech bubble to surround text or place images of overflowing water or lava currents in your backgrounds, the shift toward flowing lines brings a down-to-earth, creative, and authentic tone.
2. Neutral, Natural-Looking Stock Photos
Several years ago, bright, colorful stock images were all the rage. Graphic artists were boosting saturation and enriching color contrasts to the point that some photos didn’t even look real. As color trends have relaxed, audiences are embracing more muted palates, colors similar to what you might find in a soft sunset, a misty morning, or the corner of a woodworker’s craft shop.
As stock photos follow, this year, you can expect to see more muted, genuine, and neutral stock photos. This includes a focus on candid faces, shadowed silhouettes, and seemingly unfiltered photos. Look to use stock photos that seem more reserved, harmonious, and real, and take a step back from air-brushed perfection.
3. Textured Bevels and Chisels
One way designers can bring a more authentic vibe in 2020 is through texture. Forms like buttons, icons, or coins, bevels, and chisels can create a 3-D effect on a 2-D (flat) surface. This is typically done with tight layering, shadowing, and some degree of opacity. Look for beveled knock-offs of real-life objects. The result will be a flat image that looks tantalizingly real enough to touch.
4. Creative Typography
Creativity is just not limited to vibrant designs and unusual color combinations. Font choices also play a prominent role in the tone and personality of every design.
Whether it is a paper coffee cup, a wild banner, or a funky poster, sometimes creative typography is all it takes to drive home your message. While typography can stand alone as its own design (like this), it can also be woven into the image itself to give unique expression to the artwork (like this). With great font selection, sometimes the words are the graphic, and just a small amount of creativity can truly spice up the project.
5. Bold, Clean Colors
Finally, with a move toward expediency, simple, bold colors are taking the stage once again. We’re not talking about the neon vaporwave of the 80’s but dreamy, vibrant, full colors like enchanting blues, tomato reds, and radiating purples. Color is the key driver of attractive designs, and 2020 will see an emphasis on gradient blends replaced with things like filled color canvases with no white space between hues.
As you play with bold shades in your graphics, avoid using too many bright colors that make designs hard to read. Instead, use bright, energetic colors with simple, clean design to create contrast.
Stay Ahead of the Curve
Ready to kickstart the year with a new style? To do so, it’s helpful to reflect on the past and decide what you’ll do differently in the future. Stay ahead of the curve with these design trends and let us know if we can help you infuse your designs with a fresh look in the months to come!